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
UT professor develops algorithm to improve online mapping of disaster areas
29.11.2016 | University of Tennessee at Knoxville
New standard helps optical trackers follow moving objects precisely
23.11.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy