One question that we always get asked about LRMI is “who is using it?” There are two sides to this, use by search service providers and use by resource providers, this post touches on the latter.
In phase 2 of the LRMI project, various organizations were given small amounts of money to implement LRMI in their systems and workflows. Those organizations are listed on the Creative Commons web site, and Lorna is in the process of gathering together the lessons they learnt which will be reported back shortly. Perhaps more importantly, at least from the point of view of sustainability, are implementations that arise spontaneously, either by organizations with learning resources to disseminate who make a conscious decision to use LRMI, or those who in using schema.org markup find that one of the properties that LRMI added is appropriate. Of course no one doing this is under any obligation to inform us of what they are doing, so it is harder to keep track of such use. Fortunately the Google Custom Search Engine Wilbert and I cobbled together can be used to discover such implementations. It’s a bit hit-and-miss, you need to search for common topics (Math, English) and trawl through the results for new sites, but it’s better than nothing.
On 17th-18th June, in Bolton, Cetis had their more-or-less annual conference. One of the sessions was Lorna and me, with some help from our friends, discussing LRMI addressing the question “What on Earth Could Justify Another Attempt at Educational Metadata?”
…this is the last blog post I shall make here, comments are closed.
I will continue blogging about my Cetis work from my general work blog, “Sharing and learning” This is so that I don’t have to maintain separate sites for Cetis work, other projects and reflections on teaching. My posts about Cetis work will still be aggregated into the Cetis blogs site which is probably how most of you get here, but if you’re used to coming direct to this page please change your bookmarks / feed settings:
As part of my work with Cetis for Creative Commons on managing the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI), Cetis today publish a new technical briefing paper “What is schema.org?”. LRMI is built on and expands schema.org so that it can be used to describe educationally significant characteristics of resources. I often find when explaining LRMI at a technical level, mostly I am explaining schema.org, hence this briefing as the first of a series coauthored by me and Lorna M Campbell, planned to explain LRMI.
As I said, Wilbert and I are building a Google custom search engine for LRMI-tagged pages. We got a basic search that finds pages that have an educational alignment and matches a search term. Next step is using the properties of the educational alignment to filter the search result based on things that teachers care about. Our friends at a11y showed us how to do the filtering based on properties with their search demo which uses the search modifier
to filter results that have schema.org markup showing that they contain captions.
Wilbert and I are spending the day trying to create a search engine for finding learning resources by searching LRMI-tagged web pages. A bit of code sprint if you like.
First attempt: standard custom search engine hosted by Google.
1. Go to https://www.google.com/cse/ set up new search engine. Choose option to “Restrict Pages using Schema.org Types” to CreativeWork.
We’ll use “Declaration of Arbroath as a test search. By way of baseline, here’s the what we get just searching Google for that:
I had the pleasure yesterday to talk on the Mozilla Open Badges community call about how LRMI and Open Badges may intersect. Open Badges are a means of displaying digital recognition of skills and achievements, there’s a technical framework behind the badges that offers the means of providing data in support of the claimed achievement. A particular part of this technical framework is the assertion specification, which includes a pointer from each badge to “the educational standards this badge aligns to, if any”. This parallels the LRMI alignment object very closely: in short the educationalAlignment property that LMRI added to schema.org allows encoding of statements along the lines of “this resource [teaches|assess|requires|has level] X” where X is some point in an shared educational framework, e.g. of attainment standards, topics or educational levels or shared curriculum. Diagrammatically
The educational alignment property and the associated alignment object that LRMI introduced into schema.org have been described as the “killer feature” for LRMI. However, I know from the number of questions asked about the alignment object and from examples I have seen of it being used wrongly that it is not the easiest construct to understand.
Perhaps the problems come from the nature of the alignment object as a conceptual abstraction, so maybe it will be help to show some concrete examples of how it may be used. However, bear in mind that the abstraction was a deliberate design decision made so that the alignment object should be more widely applicable than the examples given here. So I will first discuss a little about why some simpler more direct approaches were considered and rejected (as were some approaches that would be even more abstract).
Even in the knowledge that current mainstream EPUB readers and applications for managing eBooks will most likely ignore all but the most trivial metadata, we still have use cases that involve more sophisticate metadata. For example we would like to use the LRMI alignment object in schema.org to say that a particular subsection of a book can be useful in the context of a specific unit in a shared curriculum.
This is a longish summary of a presentation I gave recently, covering why I was talking, the spectrum of openness, the ways of being open, the range of activities involved in education and how open things might apply to those activities. You may want to skim through until something catches your eye