The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) to create a common metadata vocabulary for describing learning resources is seeking the participation of education metadata experts to participate in a technical Working Group (WG) over the next 6-12 months.
Spurred by the growing need to make online learning resources more discoverable and the opportunity created by the launch of schema.org (a Bing/Google/Yahoo! project to develop and encourage use of metadata vocabularies which can be used to enhance search results), LRMI has been formed. Its goals, in brief:
- Document an abstract vocabulary representing the most common descriptions of learning resources used by existing educational metadata standards (e.g., Learning Object Metadata), by online publishers of learning resources (whether a machine-readable vocabulary is used or not), and addressing the contemporary desire to link learning resources to learning outcomes (e.g., Achievement Standards Network).
- Create a concrete expression of the abstract vocabulary for use within the schema.org hierarchy. Given this deployment target and the motivation to increase discoverability, utility for enhancing search queries and results will be a desired property for each term in the abstract vocabulary.
- Create a concrete expression of the abstract vocabulary as RDF, for interoperability with other applications and existing vocabularies. This drives another desired property for abstract vocabulary terms -- to mirror the semantics of existing education matadata vocabularies to the extent possible, so that explicit equivalences and refinements may be established, protecting existing investments in educational metadata made by publishers and curators of learning resources and by institutions to date.
- Liaise with search engines, learning resource publishers, communities, and repositories, and other potential distributors and consumers of education metadata (e.g., Learning Management Systems vendors, National Learning Registry) to promote adoption and impact of the vocabulary.
- Explain the impact, value, and use cases of a common education metadata vocabulary to the general public, decision-, and policy-makers.
In order to ensure that LRMI hits a "sweet spot" of addressing real learning resource publishing practices, the requirements of search engines, and interoperability with existing education metadata (and hence achieves widespread adoption by publishers, repositories, and search and other application developers), we require the active engagement of experts in the field. Thus we are issuing this Call For Participation:
- Technical Working Group members wanted to participate in researching and writing LRMI vocabulary and expressions. Tentatively weekly teleconferences, two face to face meetings. Commitment averages 2hrs/week over 6-9 months. This is a volunteer commitment. However, we do have funding for travel to face to face meetings if required.
LRMI's work will occur in public. One does not need to participate in the Working or Advisory groups to follow, comment on, and contribute to LRMI. All interested parties are encouraged to join the LRMI Google Group/mailing list at https://groups.google.com/group/lrmi/
Please direct interest in Working group participation privately to firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you wish, to the public mailing list.
We strongly encourage interest from around the world. Educational metadata efforts have historically arisen from various parts of the world, and improving discoverability and interoperability of learning resources is truly a worldwide challenge and opportunity.
Prospective timeline (2011-2012)
- publish CFP
- announce initial WG
- first WG teleconference
- preliminary findings on existing education metadata vocabularies and real world use
- first WG F2F
- request domain expert and list feedback on findings re existing education metadata vocabularies and real world use
- publish findings on existing metadata vocabularies and real world use
- request domain expert and list feedback on first rough draft of abstract vocabulary
- publish first draft of abstract vocabulaary
- request domain expert and list feedback on schema.org and RDF expression first rough draft
- second draft of abstract vocabulary; release candidate pending bugs found in developing schema.org and RDF expressions
- submit schema.org expression to first stage of to be determined schema.org process
- work intensively with early adopters
- finalize abstract vocabulary, schema.org and RDF expressions
- finalize list of launch/1.0 publisher and application adopters
- denote 1.0 of abstract vocabulary, schema.org and RDF expressions
- launch with array of publisher and application adopters
- maintain and fix bugs
- work to make adoption universal
- pass on maintenance to established standards organization