128 paper

Sharing open courseware content through learning objects standards

Sergio Freschi, Rafael Calvo
Web Engineering Group
The University of Sydney

A number of universities around the globe have decided to share their learning materials, making them available for use and modification by learners and other institutions. This initiative, started by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has opened up great opportunities for new ways of reusing content and for collaboration amongst teachers. It has also created new challenges, including the fact that there are thousands of courses available which cannot be easily modified by authoring tools or integrated into the courses managed by Learning Management Systems, due to the fact they are not in a standards compliant format. Regrettably, making them standards compliant is time-consuming and expensive, requiring a lot of effort from academics and institutions. This paper reports on a project to automatically structure learning materials and package them so they can be reused. We present a tool that produces IMS-CP compliant courses, with embedded metadata, in an automatic way by combining custom-built information extraction techniques and open e-leaning standards. Extensive testing was carried out on different learning object repositories.

Keywords: open courseware, e-learning, standards, metadata, content packaging, learning management systems, learning objects repositories