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DECP 05: Developing e-Content

e-Learning in broader way

The SCORM Content Aggregation Model

(ii) Metadata

SCO are described, searched and discovered by using metadata which follow some standards i.e. LOM standard (IEEE LTSC, 2000). The purpose of this standard is to facilitate search, evaluation, acquisition, and use of learning objects. The purpose is also to facilitate the sharing and exchange of learning objects. The LOM standard was also developed to enable the use and re-use of technology-supported learning resources such as computer-based training and distance learning. SCORM allows metadata to be included in every object and in every content package.

Metadata is a formal and structured way of describing the LO so it can be found when searched for or otherwise make it easier to retrieve, use or manage an information resource. It is also a mechanism used for the management of LO and digital rights information. In the context of digital LOs, metadata refers to information about the learning object: what the content is about, who the authors and developers are, who the target audiences are, who owns the object, and how it may be used, etc.

Metadata is often defined as “data about data”. A metadata record generally only exists or has meaning in relation to a referenced document or objects and consists of a set of attributes or elements necessary to describe that resource. The term metadata is used differently in different communities. In the library environment, metadata is commonly used for any formal scheme of resource description, applying to any type of object, digital or non-digital. Traditional library cataloguing is a form of metadata.

The LOM defines the minimal set of attributes to manage, locate, and evaluate learning objects. The attributes are grouped into eight categories (IEEE LTSC, 2000) which are:

(a) General: Provides information that describes the learning object as a whole such as title, a brief textual description, and keywords.
(b) Life Cycle: Describes the development and current state of the resource (learning object).

(c) Meta-MetaData: Describes the metadata itself (rather than the learning object), e.g., who entered or validated this meta-data instance and what language it is written in.

(d) Technical: Provides information on technical requirements and the characteristics of the learning object. i.e. media type, size, software requirements, etc. for those learning objects to which these attributes apply.

(e) Educational: Is intended to provide basic information about the pedagogical characteristics of the resource.

(f) Rights: Describes the conditions under which one may acquire and use the learning object.

(g) Relation: Is intended to describe the learning object in relation to other learning objects.

(h) Annotation: Allows for the accumulation of comments by persons who have used or are otherwise evaluating the learning object.

(i) Classification: Describes this learning object in relation to a particular classification system. It provides a means of extending the LOM to meet specialized needs.

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