CEN WS-LT - Previous Works
|Previous activities of the WSLT included investigations into digital rights and copyright protection, interoperability frameworks, learner profiles, accessibility, harmonisation of vocabularies, and the establishment of a learning technology observatory. More specifically, below are enumerated and described the previous activities of the learning technologies workshop:
- Copyright. As digital learning materials become more widely available and it becomes easier to edit, combine and redistribute resources, the issues of digital rights and copyright protection become even more complex. Publishers want to protect their investment against illegal copying and non-commercial organisations or individuals want mechanisms to share materials with certain restrictions.
The Workshop examined digital rights management and coordinated with international developments and offered a European perspective. In particular, it focused on use cases and best practice, links to standardization initiatives and made suggestions for developing and harmonising European educational licence conditions.
- Interoperability Frameworks. Most of the information that supports school administration is now stored and transferred electronically. It is important that the correct information is preserved and that information remains up-to-date in all instances of a record, but this is often made difficult because not every application uses the same vocabularies, format and structure.
The Workshop aimed to provide interoperability specifications for a range of information exchange. This work item support the outputs of the OASIS project (Open Architecture and Schools in Society - IST-2000-26216), that enables different applications and systems to share information and the SIF project (Schools Interoperability Framework).
Existing specifications were adapted to meet the needs of a broader audience so they are suitable for standardization. Any specifications produced should not duplicate international standards activity. Additional information available at Interoperability frameworks for exchange of information between diverse management systems
- Learner Profiles. It is inevitable that information about users will be stored electronically and transferred between learning systems. There are issues about privacy and data protection but it is important that various systems can interoperate to exchange learner information records. The Workshop dealed with the development of data models, protocols and bindings that are capable of expressing specific European requirements and concerns for learner information, for example an acceptable model for handling competency that allows the secure handling of this personal information in open and distributed learning environments.
The development of European contributions as part of future international standards was required in order to avoid conflict with European privacy or security demands. The Workshop encouraged harmonization of effort and provided input into international activities such as Participant Information being developed by ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 36 and the Learner Information Package from the IMS Global Consortium.
The Workshop produced recommendations for a European competency repository and various mappings taking into account the European Diploma Supplement, CEDEFOP specifications (European CV format, CV supplement) and language capability definitions. More information available at Handling of Learner Profiles in IT - supported learing environments from a European perspective
- Accessibility. Accessibility to all forms of information and communication technologies for everyone, regardless of their requirements and abilities, was a high priority. The Web Accessibility Initiative of W3C enables, for instance, production of web-sites that are accessible to all, including people that are visually impaired.
The Workshop studied the accessibility requirements for learning objects for learning communities with special needs. One specific activity was to propose vocabulary and elements extensions to be integrated into the IEEE LOM. More information available at Description of Language Resource Capabilities with Respect to Accessibility Requirements
- The Learning Technologies Standards Observatory. (The current Web site) Uptake of learning technology standards is increasing, with numerous commercial products under development, and many RTD projects exploring the issues in this area.
However, there is widespread confusion and misunderstanding about the relationships between the relevant standards and specifications, as well as between the organisations that develop, define, profile or implement them.
To respond to this need, the Learning Technologies Workshop decided to establish an accessible and sustainable web-based repository that acts as a focal access point to projects, results, activities and organisations that are relevant to the development and adoption of e-learning technology standards.
What is thus offered is a neutral source that addresses for instance the relationship and main differences among specifications and standards for the same category (e.g. how do IEEE/LTSC LOM and IMS metadata interrelate).
- The on-line repository of taxonomies and vocabularies. A web based registry of vocabularies, thesauri, classifications, taxonomies relevant to the field of education and learning technology, is available to assist the users of the Learning Object Metadata model who want to create their own controlled vocabulary while indexing their resources.
Users should contribute to the repository’s maintenance by submitting new descriptions of a vocabulary, taxonomy, and thesaurus or by modifying an existing description. Links to the registry are provided through the Workshop’s home-page. More information available at Repository of taxonomies/vocabularies for a European Learning Society
- Quality Assurance. The public perception of the quality and awards obtained through learning schemes that involve use of learning technologies must not be compromised if such schemes are to flourish.
Standards on quality requirements of different processes cannot be established before the processes themselves are defined. Moreover, such standards should not be prescriptive, especially when dealing with stylistic or pedagogical issues. As an example, descriptive elements might be used to ensure the transparency of design and development processes. Such elements may include reports and documentation.
The Workshop produced an analysis of existing approaches, focusing on two main aspects: Process-oriented approaches and transparency of learning resources. The outcome of the project was CWA 14644, "Quality Assurance Standards for IT-supported Learning, Education and Training", published in January 2003. More information available at Quality assurance
- Now that LOM is formally approved in IEEE, the CEN/ISSS/WS/LT has initiated a process to translate it into a number of European languages. Translations are available for downloading from this web-site: