Work plan

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This topic outlines the proposed approach to the project work plan.


  • Several early stage meetings have been held with interested parties. These parties include Connexions, University of California at Irvine OpenCourseWare, MIT OpenCourseWare, OpenCourseWare Consortium, eLML Project at the University of Zurich, Open University of the UK and MERLOT. Information from these meetings has been circulated to additional interested parties including members of JISC CETIS (Joint Information Systems Committee, UK, Centre for Educational Technology and Interoperability Standards).
  • The collection of high-level requirements and objectives in this document are the result of these earlier discussions and while they have been agreed as the right requirements on which to focus the effort, it is recognized that some of the requirements are complex and may take several iterations to achieve (eg accessibility requirements which will need input from domain experts). The current description of these requirements may vary slightly with additional input.
  • Through continued dialogue some of the organizations involved have clearly signaled a desire to participate in the high-level schema harmonization effort. Others may still join this effort. All parties are positive about the potential to arrive at a "base" schema that will suit their communities' requirements. The organizations involved in this effort are currently differentiated as "Collaborators".

Past activities

  • A face-to-face meeting between several of the interested parties was held at the Open Education Conference in Vancouver, Canada on either 12 or 13 August 2009. The focus of the discussion was concerning ways in which the project could be moved forward ways to jointly seek funding for this project.
  • Several discussions and some face-to-face meetings have been convened since the meeting in Vancouver and some additional members have joined the project.
  • Face-to-face meetings were convened at the OCW Consortium Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam from 5 - 7 May 2010. The project has received broad support from many individuals including OCWC Board Members and private companies associated with Connexions and OCW (eg enPraxis who developed eduCommons and UniqU??)

Next Steps

  • Step 1: Confirmation of any additional organisations to participate as Collaborators and development of the harmonisation plan.
  • Step 2: Develop the harmonised schema and the model for incorporation of additional schemata.
  • Step 3:Prioritisation and formalisation of requirements into different stages and development of an appropriate functional specification in line with those stages. (Note: The format of both the requirements and the specification will vary according to the existing technologies that can be incorporated into the project and the most suitable development methodology to (eg waterfall, spiral, Rapid Application Development, etc).
  • Step 4: Based on the output of the first three steps, identify whether any existing open code or projects are able to act as a base, in whole or in part, for this project.
  • Step 5: Develop the formal plan for integrating existing developments into one or more tools (ie Authoring; Aggregation; or combined) that fulfill the project's high-level requirements and specify the development of code and/or implementation of services to support the outcome.
  • Step 6: Development, testing and release of the application(s).

Note: The staged approach gives opportunity to manage risk and provide confidence in the ability of this project to deliver the outcome(s) in a timely manner.

It is important that this project be undertaken with some degree of priority and that appropriate funding be found. In the absence of an authoring and aggregation tool of this type together with supporting documentation and user assistance guidelines, there will be continued investment in content that is either more costly to produce in existing formats or lacking in interoperability, reusability and adaptability for content that is not produced in a structured content format. Where content is in a structured format, it is important to provide simple ways to aggregate, adapt and otherwise customise the content to the learning activities.

Road Works.svg Work in progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page. Road Works.svg