The produced LOM APs cannot be exported and reused by other software tools and systems. This means that the produced LOM APs remain “locked” in the software tool and cannot be edited and reused by other similar software tools.
They do not support the process of educational metadata authoring based on the produced LOM APs. This means that an educational community has two options:
- use existing educational metadata authoring tools along with the produced AP, to author educational metadata instances based on it. However, this is a difficult process, since existing educational metadata authoring tools incorporate existing built-in LOM APs, which can be modified only from their source-code,
- develop from the scratch a customized educational metadata authoring tool based on their desired LOM AP.
1. an analysis of the guidelines proposed by IMS GLC and CEN/ISSS,
2. interoperability issues,
3. widespread availability issues and
4. lack of XML programming competences of its end users.
To meet technical and other requirements and preferences specific to a project, a community, a domain, and/or a region.
To address ambiguity and generality in a specification or standard.
To foster semantic interoperability, e.g., through the use of commonly understood vocabularies.
To facilitate testing for conformance and successful interoperability.
A set of rules for constructing an AP will confine the changes that can be made, thus ensuring greater interoperability across conformant APs.
The consistent documentation of APs will enable vendors to build products and services that reach out multiple communities with simple configuration settings for localization.
The growing number of publicly documented APs will allow subsequent adopting communities to select and reuse elements of existing APs, rather than develop them from the scratch.
Machine readable definitions of APs will facilitate data exchange and interoperability across different communities.
Step 1—Selection of data elements. During this step the data elements that the new AP will be built on are selected.
Step 2—Size and smallest permitted maximum. This step includes the definition of the size that a data element is allowed to have at a metadata instance. More specifically, the size can be equal to one (when the data element can have only one value at the metadata instance) or more than one (when the data element can have multiple values at the metadata instance). In the second case, a smallest permitted maximum is defined, which is the smallest number of occurrences of a data element in a metadata instance. However, it should be noted that the new AP can reduce the size of a data element or keep it equal to the value of the IEEE LOM Standard but it cannot increase the size of a data element.
Step 3—Data elements from multiple namespaces. This step aims at the definition of data elements from different namespaces, which are part of different metadata schemas. For example, the IEEE LOM Standard itself illustrate this by integrating the vCard schema (which is a schema for describing electronic business cards) to describe people and organizations.
Step 4—Adding local data elements. During this step new local data elements, which are not contained to the initial metadata schema, are added to the new AP.
Step 5—Obligation of data elements. This step aims at the definition of the mandatory data elements (that is, the value for these data elements shall always be present), the conditional (that is, the value for the data element shall be present only if a certain condition is satisfied), the recommended (some APs recommend including values for specific metadata elements).
Step 6—Value space. During this step the value space of the data elements is defined. The value space defines the set of values that the data element shall derive its value from. In IEEE LOM Standard, a value space is defined though
- a vocabulary (where the values are enumerated) and
- a reference to another standard or specification. It should be noted that the new AP may be more restrictive about the value space of a data element than the IEEE LOM Standard but it cannot be less restrictive.
As a result, the new AP can restrict an IEEE LOM vocabulary to a subset of this vocabulary or it can replace the reference for the value space of an IEEE LOM value space to another standard or specification.
Step 7—Relationship and dependency. This step includes the definition of interrelationships and dependencies between data elements.
Step 8—Data type profiling. This step aims at data type profiling of the metadata elements of the new AP. In the IEEE LOM Standard applicable data type values are:
- CharacterString and
Therefore, data type in IEEE LOM Standard is a metadata schema in its own right and all rules defined for LOM APs can be applicable to data types.
Step 9—Application profile binding. The final step includes the production of the AP binding, which is the conceptual data schema of the AP and should be represented in XML schema or RDF format.
The CELEBRATE Application Profile [ 18] and its evolution, namely, the Learning Resource Exchange (LRE) Application Profile [ 19] developed by the European Schoolnet (EUN) Partnership and adopted by the Learning Resource Exchange for Schools Repository ( http://lreforschools.eun.org).
The UK-LOM Core Application Profile [ 20] and its evolution, namely, the JORUM Application Profile [ 21] developed by a JISC-funded Service for Development in United Kingdom Further and Higher Education and adopted by the JORUM Web Repository ( http://www.jorum.ac.uk).
The VET Metadata Application Profile (Vetadata) [ 22] developed by the Australian Flexible Learning Framework and adopted by the LORN Web Repository ( http://lorn.flexiblelearning.net.au).
The Australia New Zealand LOM (ANZ-LOM) Application Profile [ 23] developed by the Le@rning Federation, a collaborative project for the development of Educational Services in Australia and New Zealand. The ANZ-LOM AP is adopted by the Le@rning Federation Web Repository ( http://www.thelearningfederation.edu.au).
The DET Learning Resource Metadata Application Profile [ 24] developed by the Department of Education and Training of New South Wales in Australia and adopted by the Teaching and Learning exchange (TaLe) Web Repository ( http://www.tale.edu.au).
Requirement 1. Capability to select the IEEE LOM metadata elements which will be used for the development of a new AP (addressing Step 1).
Requirement 2. Capability to define the minimum and maximum occurrence of the selected IEEE LOM metadata elements in the IEEE LOM metadata instance of the developed AP (addressing Step 2).
Requirement 3. Capability to select metadata elements from other metadata schemas (not only IEEE LOM) and to include them to a new AP (addressing Step 3).
Requirement 4. Capability to include to a new AP, metadata elements which are not included at the IEEE LOM metadata schema (addressing Step 4).
Requirement 5. Capability to define to a new AP the mandatory, the recommended, and the optional metadata elements (addressing Step 5).
Requirement 6: Capability to define the set of values that a metadata element of a new AP shall derive its values from (addressing Step 6).
Requirement 7. Capability to define relationships, as well as, dependencies between the metadata elements of a new AP (addressing Step 7).
Requirement 8. Capability to define the data types of the metadata elements of a new AP (addressing Step 8).
Requirement 9. Capability to produce and export the AP binding using the XML language (in the form of an XML Schema) (addressing Step 9).
Requirement 10. Capability to produce new LOM APs, which can be interoperable with other tools such as educational metadata editors. This is very important because the produced LOM APs should not be isolated from those tools.
Requirement 11. Capability to author educational metadata instances based on the produced LOM APs. This is also an important requirement because the user of the LOM Application Profiling Tool should not be needed to use a separate educational metadata editor, so as to author educational metadata instances based on the various LOM Application Profiles developed.
Requirement 12. Capability to be used by non-XML experienced users. This requirement is making the LOM Application Profiling process accessible to users without XML programming competences.
Requirement 13. Capability to be accessible via a web browser. This requirement maximizes the potential of sharing and reusing LOM APs between different users and different communities of users.
Create New LOM Application Profile. The user has the capability to use a step-by-step wizard following the IMS GLC and CEN/ISSS Guidelines for the development of LOM APs and built his/her LOM AP customized to his/her specific needs and requirements. This functionality guides non-XML experienced users (through the use of the step-by-step wizard) to create easily LOM APs.
Browse and Edit Existing LOM Application Profiles. The user has the capability to browse LOM APs that has been developed by other users of the tool and edit them by applying changes to the metadata elements and value space of the elements. Moreover, the modified LOM AP can be saved to the LOM APs Registry of the tool for future use. This functionality facilitates collaborative development of LOM APs from the various users of the tool.
Export the XML Schema of a Developed LOM Application Profile. The user has the capability to export the XML Schema of a LOM AP with all the modifications, in comparison with the base schema of the IEEE LOM Standard and import it to other educational metadata authoring tools. This functionality enables the interoperability of the tool with other software tools that can import LOM APs such as IMS SchemaProf.
Author Educational Metadata based on Existing LOM Application Profile. The user has the capability to use a step-by-step wizard and author educational metadata instances of a LOM AP stored in the tool. Moreover, the educational metadata instances could be exported in XML format and imported to web-based Repositories of Learning Objects Metadata. This functionality facilitates the interoperability of the tool with web-based repositories or software tools that are compatible with IEEE LOM Standard.
Has a comparative advantage on users' satisfaction against other existing tools for developing LOM APs.
Can facilitate the process of LOM Application Profiling and make them more accessible to users without XML programming competences, as well as to XML-experienced users.
D.G. Sampson and P. Zervas are with the Department of Digital Systems, University of Piraeus, 150 Androutsou Str., Piraeus, GR-18534, Greece, and the Informatics and Telematics Institute, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, Greece. E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
G. Chloros is with the Department of Digital Systems, University of Piraeus, Piraeus, GR-18534, Greece. E-mail: email@example.com.
Manuscript received 28 Apr. 2011; revised 1 Nov. 2011; accepted 18 Dec. 2011; published online 28 Dec. 2011.
For information on obtaining reprints of this article, please send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, and reference IEEECS Log Number TLT-2011-04-0054.
Digital Object Identifier no. 10.1109/TLT.2011.39.
Demetrios G. Sampson received a diploma in electrical engineering from the Democritus University of Thrace, Greece, in 1989 and the PhD degree in electronic systems engineering from the University of Essex, United Kingdom, in 1995. He is an associate professor at the Department of Digital Systems, University of Piraeus, Greece, a senior researcher with the Information Technologies Institute (ITI), Centre of Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), and an adjunct professor with the Faculty of Science and Technology, Athabasca University, Canada. He has been the founder and director of the Advanced Digital Systems and Services for Education and Learning (ASK) since 1999. His main scientific interests are in the area of learning technologies with an emphasis on context-aware adaptive and personalized mobile learning systems, cloud computing for open access to education and learning, the Internet of Things and gesture-based computing in learning and education, and learning analytics. He is the coauthor of more than 280 publications in scientific books, journals, and conferences with at least 1,216 known citations (h-index: 20). He has received the Best Paper Award six times from international conferences on advanced learning technologies. He is the co-editor-in-chief of the Educational Technology and Society Journal (impact factor 1.011, 2011). He is also a member of the steering committee of the IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, member of the advisory board of the Journal of King Saud University - Computer and Information Sciences, member of the editorial board of 19 international/national journals, and a guest co-editor for 20 special issues of international journals. His participation in the organization of international/national scientific conferences has involved: general and/or program committee chair for 30 international conferences, program committee member for 265 international and 15 national scientific conferences, and keynote/invited speaker for 40 international/national conferences. He was a visiting professor in the School of Computing and Information Systems, Athabasca University, Canada in 2010, in the Information Management Department, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan, in 2011, and at the University of Tunis in 2012. He has been a project director, principle investigator, and/or consultant for 63 research projects with external funding in the range of US$14 million (1991-2016). He is a senior member of the IEEE and was the elected chair of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Learning Technologies from 2008-2011.
Panagiotis Zervas has received a diploma in electronics and computer engineering from the Technical University of Crete, Greece, in 2002, a master's degree in computational science from the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, in 2004, and is currently completing the PhD degree in the Department of Digital Systems, University of Piraeus, Greece. His research interests focus on context-aware mobile learning systems and digital systems for open access to educational resources and practices. He has 10 years of professional experience in the development and management of international, European, and national projects. He is the coauthor of 50 scientific publications with at least 60 known citations and he received the Best Poster Award from the 11th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT 2011), Athens, Georgia, in July 2011, the Best Paper Award from the Second International Conference on Intelligent Networking and Collaborative Systems (INCoS 2010), Thessaloniki, Greece, in November 2010, the Best Short Paper Award from the Ninth IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT 2009), Riga, Latvia, in July 2009, and the Best Poster Award from the Seventh IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT 2007), Niigata, Japan, in July 2007. He is also a member of the executive board of the IEEE Technical Committee on Learning Technology as the website management chair and the technical manager of the Educational Technology and Society Journal.
George Chloros received the BSc degree in electrical engineering from the Technological Educational Institute of Piraeus, Greece, in 1995 and the master's degree in technology education and digital systems (track: e-learning) from the Department of Digital Systems, University of Piraeus, Greece, in 2010. He currently works as a school teacher of Informatics. His main scientific interests are in the areas of technology-enhanced learning and, more precisely, in the area of learning objects and educational metadata.