If iDevices are to be a significant development for the eXe they should be agile and easily distributed. By agile I mean that they need to be easily editable or modifiable by anyone (who complies with an attached licensing agreement, ie. CC licence, LGPL) to suite their purposes. They need to be able to collect 3rd party metadata as they are passed through any community, practice, organization or culture.

While readily accepting that content can be a collaborative process (wikis, versioning, co-writing), we can now start to consider the structures of the teaching activity to be equally as collaborative a process. This is partially the motivation behind the notation language (metalanguage) described as Learning Design. iDevices attempt to capture aspects of Learning Design in a practical and descriptive way. These two aspects of the iDevice, the practical and the descriptive may be referred to as the interface, a prorammatic description of the functioning of the iDevice within eXe or any system, and the metadata associated with this device and providing a means for establishing semantic relationships between this iDevice and other iDevices, pedagogies, ontologies, etc...

Like all open discourses, the ability to modify, manipulate, and exchange the individual units of that discourse, contribute to continued use and success. We should try to enable this in the idea of an iDevice. Adding metadata to iDevices by utilising technologies and protocols such as RDF, taggin/folksonomies, FOAF and RSS could contribute to the success of iDevices in creating a community of individuals authoring content within a browser based client application like eXe.

To help facilitate this, iDevices should have the potential to be annotated in some way. iDevices need to be able to collect third party metadata as they are exchanged from client to client, synced with users environments, or centralised in a repository. It makes sense to develop a seperate interface in XUL for the activity of categorising and applying metadata to iDevices. This metadata can be seperated into two categories; metadata about the intended use of the iDevice including the pedagogical help, and instructions for completion, and metadata primarily for 'search and discovery'.

Could include the following:

  • author and organisational details
  • intended audience
  • relation to other iDevices
  • relation to particular pedagogies
  • keywords (folksonomies, tagging)


[Developers Guide to Semantic Web Toolkits for different Programming Languages]

[Semantic Web API]

interface ideas


NB: check out the AMG framework Automatic Metadata Generation DJM

We spoke today a bit more about something we had talked about much earlier in the project; the ability to choose a particular pedagogy or teaching style and have it present to the user (content author) only those iDevices which are suited to that pedagogy. The user would be able to override and insert an iDevice that wasn't on the 'suggested' list.

This requires a node in a template to "recommend" a group of iDevices to be used in that node. The simplest way to create that recommendation would be for the template creator to list all the iDevices recommended for there. We may require something more sophisticated though - iDevices will have different classifications and the user might just recomend a class of iDevices for a node. Also does the recommendation apply just to the one node, or the node and all its children, or all nodes at that level - can the user select between these options? DJM

This would depend on the classification framework that is used for iDevices (for example static, interactive, format etc.) I think that we must distinguish between generic templates and presentation specific templates (which could also be pedagogical templates inspired by particular paradigms). In the case of generic templates, individual iDevices can have objective metadata - as well as subjective metadata that could be accessed in a way that does not prescribe its behaviour in eXe. I think that it will become confusing if an individual iDevice attempts to carry information about its relationship to a particular pedagogy. For example the iDevice "learning objective" could be used in a behaviourist pedagogy as well as a more eclectic cognitive based pedagogy (see Gagne et al). However, the linguistic semantic of the content in the idevice would differ. In a behaviourist pedagogy you would expect to find clearly defined objectives in terms of measurable behaviour. In a cognitive based pedagogy you might find "objectives" written as thought provoking questions. The problem is that an individual iDevice does not have relational meaning outside of its pedagogical context (paradigm). Therefore, without its context (pedagogical template) it does not have relational meaning. I also think that we must think about the issue of technical pragmatism - what is reasonably doable. It does make sense for iDevices to have metadata within particular pedagogical templates - after all, a pedagogical template is an aggregation of selected iDevices. I don't see pedagogical templates as prescriptive top-down pedagogy - because users have the freedom to select the template of their choice plus the ability to overide recommended iDevices for the template concerned. I think that there are different classes/classification frameworks for pedagogical templates, for example 1) Pedagogical paradigm 2) Presentation format specific(eg TALL presentation format). Also within different templates there are different classification frameworks that can be used to group iDevices, for example: 1) According to iDevice properties (static versus interactive) or 2) Phase of the learning process (introduction, body & conclusion). So I think there are two categories of metadata to consider - metadata about iDevices, but also metadata about different pedagogical templates that can be loaded into eXe. Further complications from WGM.

Another thought today on iDevices. How about if we provide (at first) some kind of very simple repository for iDevices, from the repository we provide an ATOM feed that lists new iDevices, including their description (or pedagogical tip), author, etc. This feed can show up in a pane like the current iDevices do. If you see something you like and are online they clicking on it actually uses a web service to go and get that device and either install in your iDevice folder(?) or just uses it in the templat e you're currently working in. We could add the option to use other RSS feeds for other iDevice repositoris, say if you had an institutional one, or a particular community oriented repositorys (ie; iDevices for biologists, etc...) What do you think? brent Date(2005-05-19T01:40:27Z)?

I really like the idea of piloting a simple repository for iDevices, plus pedagogical templates (and their children iDevices) when we get this sorted in the architecture. The question of folder versus current template, depends on how we resolve the issue of pedagogical templates. One suggested solution - if you are in a generic template, then idevices that will work in the generic template are added to your iDevice folder. If the iDevice is template specific, then it is added to the specific template you are using. WGM

CategoryMetadata? CategoryExe2

Last modified 10 years ago Last modified on 2009-05-22T06:07:31+09:00

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