05/21/07  (susheyer)  [0 Comments]

IMS Learning Design Level B Analysis accepted in EC-TEL 2007

In the past few months, the IMS Learning Design specification has taken up a great deal of time in my work. I have placed an estimate at the mass and complexity of the specification earlier, nevertheless, the complexity needed to be tackled somehow. In order to do this, I analyzed the available units of learning at the DSpace repository looking specifically for functions that properties and conditions fulfilled, the property types and datatypes being used and the place where they were used. Our PROLIX team at the University of Vienna discussed this analysis' outcomes and took them as the basis for software additions to our graphical modeling tool (screenshots to follow). I include here the graphical summary of the distribution of property functions.

The figure shows the six main categories of functions that properties served. Some of the functions are split into subcategories, which you can better see when enlarging the figure. It should not be surprising that the function "Change Value of a property" was the most common function since that is the purpose of properties: to store data values. Most of the time this property value was changed in a resource, meaning that a learner or other involved role in the learning design would assign this value to a property during runtime while interacting with the resources presented in the learning management system.

This analysis was then described in a paper titled "Making Sense of IMS Learning Design Level B: from specification to intuitive modeling software", which I co-wrote with Petra Oberhuemer, Stefan Zander and Philipp Prenner, and which we submitted to EC-TEL 2007. I am very happy to see that the reviewers found this analysis worthy enough to be included in the EC-TEL 2007 full paper line-up (acceptance rate: 21%) and a publication in the Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Our reviewers were constructive in their feedback; one of them mentioned, however, that IMS Learning Design is "withering away...". I am curious to see whether this prediction holds true.