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6 June 2006 / erikduval

Automated Metadata

Yesterday, I talked about “automated metadata” at the ProLearn Summer School in lovely Bled, Slovenia.

The students are a nice group, and gave some wonderful feedback. (I regularly ask the audience to write a few sentences on a piece of paper and hand it in at the end of the session.)

At the start, I asked them why they believed learning objects will certainly/never “work”. Here are some of their problems they identified:

  • organisational problems
  • cheap and easy classification
  • standards lag behind research
  • “learning objects are not popular”
  • “no universally accepted standard”
  • learning objects alone will not work – they require an environment”
  • “irrepressible tendency to atomize knowledge to a useless level and expect technology/magic/metadata to put it back together”
  • “learning objects are too rigig and cannot be adapted to context”
  • “learning objects will not work because learning is not free of context”

and some of the enablers:

  • efficiency
  • effectiveness
  • cost and time
  • “sharing and reusing content is the most important and without flexible and adaptable learning objects that will be impossible”
  • ease of annotation
  • automatic composition of learning objects
  • “it’s a market – prosumers?”
  • ” learning objects should be in the back office”

At the end, I asked them what they picked up from the session. Again, some of their feedback:

  • different kinds of “openness”
  • personalization enabled by metadata
  • “maybe metadata will be the lower layer on top of which learning objects can be created dynamically”
  • “openness is good for innovation and getting better at getting better”
  • “reused content is the way to go”
  • “you think RSS can get us from searching to finding, but we still need to find useful RSS feeds – can we make RSS find us?”
  • we need to make systems interoperable rather than monolithic

Overall, I really liked their feedback: THANKS, folks! If you want to, you can add some more in a comment below 🙂


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