The IST-funded TELCERT project has developed software tools and other resources to help authors, suppliers and standards organisations improve the interoperability of e-learning systems and materials. TELCERT gathered a range of partners that include e-learning providers, research organisations and industry from France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.
"Some of the research that inspired TELCERT showed that up to twenty five percent of the cost of acquiring new e-learning content goes on testing, and on reworking materials that don’t work together as they should," says project coordinator David Rose of The Open Group, based in Reading, UK.
While some specifications do facilitate interoperability, various learning communities – countries, districts and educational sectors – modify these standards to accommodate their own needs. "So it is common for a major educational publisher, of a maths lesson or biology test let's say, to have to produce the same product in six to seven versions," Rose says. Which makes the engineering process more costly, and thus more difficult for smaller companies to produce a varied product range.
"The governments and public authorities that fund much of education want to level the playing field for all suppliers, so that their materials are more plug-and-play," he says. "Smaller firms can then compete more effectively, and the big suppliers benefit as well. The evidence is that more innovation and greater interoperability help everyone.”
TELCERT participants have created a set of tools that allow learning communities to localise international specifications for e-learning content and services, and enable publishers to create interoperable products.
SchemaProf, for example, is a powerful XML-based tool that allows users to create application profiles defining local cultural and pedagogical needs within an e-learning product. An English specification can be changed to a French one for instance. A plug-in, the Schema Transformation Tool, turns SchemaProf application profiles into localised schemas, avoiding the need to create custom specifications.
The Content Reengineering Tool (developed from the widely used RELOAD editor) helps publishers adapt content to a particular user profile. "It helps make sure that the content matches the profile from the start, like a quality tool," says Rose.
Finally, the TELCERT Test System verifies that content conforms to the profiled specification and provides information for product certification programmes. The system can be reconfigured automatically from any XML-based profile information.
TELCERT's new tools, code, sample profiles, guidelines, reports and tutorials help publishers deliver quality e-learning products and services to users quickly, and for less cost. Instead of constantly making new content, they can quickly adapt what they already have.
The project also researched the complex challenges of interoperability testing for web services, widely seen as the future for e-learning delivery. "We have been able to develop the understanding and approach for these service-oriented architectures," says Rose. "We've found a way to do conformance testing of web-based e-learning services using the automatically configurable test system."
One potential use is to support the design and testing of interoperable electronic CV services, which allow students and job candidates to compile electronic records of their professional and academic achievements. "Let's say an employer wants to recruit an engineer from Romania. For that candidate's CV to be readable across borders and by different recruiters and employers, the information has to be interoperable," he explains.
"Feedback from the communities has been excellent," says Rose." They can do things they couldn't before." He adds that delivery of certified content and trials of electronic CV services could begin as early as 2007.
Jernett Karensen | alfa
New software speeds origami structure designs
12.10.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology
Seeing the next dimension of computer chips
11.10.2017 | Osaka University
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy