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Learning standards: IMS Learning Design

 
Martin Dougiamas
Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
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One new standard that is definitely on the plans is the IMS Learning Design standard.  However, it hasn't been discussed in these forums yet so I though I'd start a topic for future reference.

  http://www.imsglobal.org/learningdesign/ 

From my point of view supporting this standard will be a lot more interesting and important than SCORM compliance.  In fact Moodle is not very far from implementing it already, since Learning Designs are based around a sequence of activities (sound familiar?)  smile
 
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Picture of Amy Bellinger
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 

aTutor announced just last week it's adopted the IMS standard.

http://sourceforge.net/forum/forum.php?forum_id=328649
 
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Martin Dougiamas
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
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Note that IMS is an organisation that puts out heaps of standards ... the content packaging standard is about learning objects (SCORM is based on this).

I did my link above in a hurry and forgot to change the format to Moodle-Auto. blush

http://www.imsglobal.org/learningdesign/

 
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Picture of Ger Tielemans
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 

"TEACHERS ARE ARRANGERS, NOT COMPOSERS OF GOOD EDUCATIONAL MUSIC"

So we need a tool for rearranging group-scenario's..

The most difficult part will be to find an editor with a good methaphor for normal users:
they now write scenario's in framemaker, that's too abstract:

During the founding conference for LD in 2002 We fantasised about a usefull metaphor.

During a brainstorm we ended up with a music-editor:

  • every student gets his own bar in the orchestra: musicbar = workflow timebar
  • depending of his compentence, you can raise or lower the pitch of his notes
  • you also can give a student more time for a task by making the notes longer
  • groupwork? several students work paralllel on their tasks, and then you draw two black vertical lines to synchronise these task in a meeting, etc...

Will take a year or two before the standard it is ready, I guess.. but who creates the editor?

 
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Picture of Jordi Adell
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 
Hi,
Well, is not IMS Learning Design, but I find the work of Daniel Schneider (TEFCA, Geneve) very interesting:

"Conception and implementation of rich pedagogical scenarios through collaborative portals sites" (316 K PDF).
http://tecfa.unige.ch/proj/seed/catalog/docs/sevilla03-schneider.pdf

The research group portal:
TECFA SEDD
Socio-constructivism for the masses
http://tecfaseed.unige.ch/door/index.php
 
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Martin Dougiamas
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 
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Picture of Michael Klebl
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 
Hi Martin,

As time goes by – I missed the point to give a notice of my use of Moodle … but here it is:
I’m using moodle to build a prototyp for a virtual learning environment which is able to run courses designed with IMS Learning Design. (At present, it is not more than 5% of Level A from IMS Learning Design, but it is meant to be a prototyp, not a polished marketable system.)
This is part of my thesis – and you can find the VLE here:
http://www1.ku-eichstaett.de/PPF/Arbeitswiss/lab005/

If anyone is interested to take a peek at the courses – let me know via e-mail. If you give me a short notice about your special interest, I will drop you the access keys for the courses (it’s all in German!).

I introduced a new course format called "imsld" (IMS Learning Design) – with hacks in /course/view.php, /course/edit.php and in the database/table/mdl_course. For a course with format "imsld" there must be a file imsmanifest.xml in a folder called imscp in the file-directory belonging to the course. To edit the course design, this file is edited within XMLSpy – so there’s no authoring environment for IMS-LD in Moodle yet.

My programming is sort of quick'n'dirty – it would be a nice task to do this more professional, which I won’t be able to for myself. So if anyone is interested, drop me a note.

Cheers
Michael
in Germany
 
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Picture of Ger Tielemans
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 
  • How can you implement IMS/LD without roles?
  • Do you use subsection for deeper structures?
  • Do you have a conceptual draft of your research, I am very interested. (And it could be a very good impulse for version 2 "conceptualisation")
 
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Picture of Michael Klebl
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 
Hi!

* How can you implement IMS/LD without roles?
Basic roles in Moodle (student / teacher) map with basic roles in IMS-LD (learner / staff).
When there are "subroles" of these in IMS-LD, they are shown in the GUI of lab005; so users know what to do; but there are no rights assigned to them yet.

* Do you use subsection for deeper structures?
No - sections in Moodle may map to environments in IMS-LD; yet in lab005 any course structure in Moodle is overwritten by the IMS-LD-XML-file.
In lab005, Moodle is used to create and edit resources (any module), IMS-LD with manually coded XML is used to arrange them in the course.

* Do you have a conceptual draft of your research, I am very interested. (And it could be a very good impulse for version 2 "conceptualisation")
I gave a talk recently in Bremen, Germany - in English!
http://www.informatik.uni-bremen.de/mmiss/workshop/talks_d.htm

Cheers
Michael
 
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Picture of Ger Tielemans
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 

You wrote: ..we learned that classification of resources is not important for the learner..

In the breadcrumbs we now have a resource-type reference. You suggest that it would be better if this was a kind of "list of objects in this course, (a little) related to this activity"?


For Moodle version two: having a course complete... it would be possible to show for each activity a list of all the objects - or even better all references in the course including weblinks etc - and then the teacher could mark the objects that have some meaning for that activity....

(And repeating this for every activity...)

The breadcrumb could then show a hyperlink with the related objects, as soon as a user goes into an activity (modul)..

 
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Picture of Michael Klebl
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 
Hi there!
Hi Ger, you made two points.
----
First:
* we learned that classification of resources is not important for the learner..

In IMS Learning Design, a suggested classification of resources is taken from IEEE-LOM (there 5.2 Learning Resource Type: exercise, simulation, questionnaire, diagram, figure, graph, index, slide, table, narrative text, exam, experiment, problem statement, self assessment and lecture)
This is a mix of presentation formats and didactical functions.
Classification of resources in Moodle is a similar mixed nomenclatur of modules, functions and formats, esp. in mod/resource.
One can discuss the classification of resources for learning broadly from the course designers point of view - but actually learners don't bother, as long as they know what to do with the resources. So learning activities are more important than classification of resources.
----
Second:
* to show for each activity a list of all the objects
Well, I think conceptualization in Moodle (2.0) is different from concepts in IMS-LD:
"Sections" in Moodle as we know it esp. from topics format in Moodle 1.x are both: they represent learning-activities as well learning-environments.

In IMS-LD, the concept of environments is separated from activities. Only for a short overview from my understanding of IMS-LD:
** Environments are boxes, in which a course designer can arrange anything needed for learning (resources, tools, communication services etc.). These boxes can be reused during the whole course.
** A course is a aggregation of teaching-learning-activities. Resources must not be assigned to activities directly (!), only environments can be assigned to them. So process of teaching-learning and resources needed for learning are separated.
In my opinion this is a very useful concept.

----
I hope I made the point (sorry for my unsufficient English!)
Cheers
Michael
 
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Picture of Bernhard Zech
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 

I agree. Just two clarifications from my point of view. First, the rightly critized LOM vocabulary is not part of the IMS-LD "kernel" but may occur in the optional sub-element "metadata" only. According to the spec it is possible to replace the IMS CP / LOM 1.0 completely by another metadata model. Moodlers could decide to create and use their own taxonomy ( just as an example). Second, an IMS-LD acticity is directly linked to "content" called "activity-description" which tells the role what todo. This is the only mandatory element, because "learning can (sometimes) happen without content" (or other resources). Most other content or "resources" must be bundled or wrapped by an environment as Michael wrote (note, that the term "resource" inside IMS LD has the same meaning as in IMS CP: as an example: an environment contains learning-objects which contain items or collections of items which reference resources which reference files or URLs).

 

 
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Picture of Ger Tielemans
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 
Mai o mai, Moodle takes so many time, I have to go back to the Valkenburg Group and ask them about these things.. (Do you have contact with them?)
 
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Picture of Michael Klebl
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 
Hi Bernhard, wink
Hi Ger,

Bernhard is right: the classification/taxonomy of resources is not a core concept in IMS-LD.
But it has been a main issue in discussion on "Learning Object" for quite a time, so I felt I had to refer to this discussion.

But: in IMS-LD this is /not/ only a matter of metadata. Classification of resources is needed for the attribute "type" directly in the element /imsld:learning-object/. For this attribute IEEE-LOM is mentioned as a suggestion, but not as a mandatory enumeration. So anyone can classify learning-objects in IMS-LD with the attribute type by any taxonomy - Hence, if you want to use this information in the GUI for learner/staff, this will cause interoperability problems.

Bernhard is also right: learning-activities need at least one resource as a activity-description. According to the data model these activity-description are resources like learning-objects, too. In Moodle they would be /mod/resource.
But: I for myself separated activity-descriptions from learning-objects conceptually. In lab005 activity-descriptions are XHTML coded directly in the imsmanifest.xml-file - I felt like they are more "learning design" than "learning objects".

To cut a long story short: These issues are already very detailled questions on the implementation of IMS-LD. Often they are a question of interpretation. IMS-LD can be a orientation for conceptualisation of a LMS like Moodle 2.x - in general, I think using IMS-LD leeds up to a very useful and versatile architecture.

@Ger
No, I am not member of the Valkenburg Group. Are you?
If IMS-LD is going to become an issue in Moodle 2.x, we should start a /task force/ within the moodle-community and continue our discussion there, shouldn't we?

Cheers
Michael

 
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Picture of Ger Tielemans
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 
Yes
 
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Picture of Don Hinkelman
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers
Hi Ger, Michael, Bernhard and others,

I am very interested in this discussion but am having a hard time keeping up with the important nuances of terminology. I was wondering if anyone could make a chart showing emerging IMS-LD terms in comparison with Moodle terms. Also we may want to put these words in the Moodle glossary. In particular, I don't quite understand "environment". So I cut Michael's definition and put it in the glossary with some added questions (assuming someone can edit my entry).   If you put a new word, be sure to add "IMS" or "IMS Learning Design" as a Keyword so we can search for it.

I am curious about the comment, "Resources must not be assigned to activities directly (!), only environments can be assigned to them. So the process of teaching-learning and resources needed for learning are separated." This seems important so could you explain more?

I noticed the Moodle meaning of activities is, "Activities in Moodle are educational things to do. They include, for example: discussing a topic in a forum, writing a journal entry, submitting an assignment, or completing a quiz." Is this the same in IMS-LD? Also have some confusion about learning objects, etc. that I would like to know more about. Finally, since IMS-LD is still developing, is our goal to create Moodle Version 2 with some co-developing identity with that standard, or help develop that standard?

Incidentally, I will have a year sabbatical beginning October to work on this project, so please feel free to advise me on more articles I should read or discussions to join. I found the recommended TECFA articles, and Michael's presentation especially helpful.
 
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Picture of Bernhard Zech
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 

@ Michael: sorry, I forgot the learning-object attribute "type", because we decided to use another vocabulary at this place in our own implementation.

@Don: I agree that the area of e-Learning specifications and models is hard and confusing. One reason is that each spec often has it's separate meaning of terms like "Learning Object", "activity", "resource". Therefore if we put such terms into a glossary we always would have to add the different scopes.

Note, that IMS LD 1.0 is the current final release  (a next release is currently not on an official IMS roadmap). There are some implementation projects at several places, editors (authoring tools) and "players" (runtime functionality).  

I suggest  http://dspace.learningnetworks.org/browse-date where you can find some ppt presentations and summaries about IMS LD from creators of the spec, per instance Rob Koper and Colin Tattersall, most of them in English.

 
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Picture of Ger Tielemans
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 
Would be great to work on a IMS/LD version for Moodle as an integrated design AND runtime environment....
 
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Picture of Michael Klebl
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 
Hi there,

in my opinion it is not the best idea me as a German speaker having to explain concepts and terminology of IMS-LD. First, the authors of the specification know better; secondly, during evaluation of my small implementation for IMS-LD I did a interpretation of the IMS-LD-Infomodell according to my thoughts and needs, which still is discussable, but only on the basis of the spec itself.

Back to the roots - recommended short reading in the IMS-LD-spec:

First, get an insight in the scope of IMS-LD, especially in modularity of Level A, B, C in the IMS Learning Design Best Practice and Implementation Guide 1.Introduction:
http://www.imsglobal.org/learningdesign/ldv1p0/imsld_bestv1p0.html#1501762

Secondly, continue reading the 3. Designer's Guide, which gives you a quick overview on the key concepts:
http://www.imsglobal.org/learningdesign/ldv1p0/imsld_bestv1p0.html#1502225

Thirdly, refer to the Information Modell for explanations on certain elements:
http://www.imsglobal.org/learningdesign/ldv1p0/imsld_infov1p0.html

----
Anyway, a note on activities:
- Yes, learning-activities in IMS-LD are quite similar to activities in Moodle. But, in IMS-LD there are also support-activities (performed by teachers). This means, activities are assigned to roles.
In IMS-LD, a teaching-learning-process (i.e. a course) is created by aggregation (organizing) of activities. The organization of activities allows the description of a workflow for the teaching-learning-process. Compared to information models for workflows (petrinets etc.), workflow modelling in IMS-LD is still very basic (= simple = easy to use).
But, organizing activities rather than content is the main difference to "content aggregation models" for learning objects like SCORM and IMS-Content-Packaging. Organizing activities of teachers and learners in group (= class) is the "unique selling point" of IMS-LD.
IMS-LD: Stop thinking about putting together resources for learning, start thinking of the learning process.

----

So long, Michael
 
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Picture of Bernhard Zech
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 

 [quote] workflow modelling in IMS-LD is still very basic [/quote] ... as long as you can express the desired learning-flow as a hardwired sequence of  "acts" (like acts of a theatre play), otherwise you have to "program" it with "conditions" and "properties", which can be very complex ...

 
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Picture of Frances Bell
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
 

Learning Design 'inspired' Learning Activity Management System (LAMS) announced in July that is going (sort of) Open Source, see http://cetis.ac.uk/content2/20040722175623 for details.

I just searched the moodle forums for references to LAMS and only found 2 refs, neither of which provoked much comment so I thought that I would raise it  here.

The other two refs on moodle.org are

http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=9087#43943

http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=10827#52196

I am a member of the CETIS Pedagogy forum in the Uk , see http://www.cetis.ac.uk/members/pedagogy/, and we have had a couple of presentations on LAMS.  Whilst I have my doubts about LAMS' universal applicability, I think it is very interesting work.

Anyway what do you standards people think?  Would collaborating with the LAMS community be mutually beneficial?

 
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Martin Dougiamas
Re: Learning standards: IMS Learning Design
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Testers
Well, as I've said at the top of this thread, I like the LD idea upon which LAMS is based, but LAMS itself is a Java program, and so of limited use even when they do make it open source next year.

The Flash component to it might be interesting for us to look at (once modified to communicate with Moodle instead of LAMS), I hope they make that Open Source too.
 
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Picture of Ger Tielemans
IMS Learning Design: Moodle as the missing link
 

To design for Learning Design you must use editors with a very high level of abstraction. Few people like that or even can live with that.

The interesting point - for me - is that Moodle has the potentail to serve the everyday life of teachers, creating very creative learning designs within the freedom of Moodle in a very "loose" way and the possibilty of Moodle to bring more structure in that design with the XML-export. 

The more this xml import/export grows into a real ORB, the more close Moodle comes to the higher world of LD, without giving up its freedom..

(I looked at the importfilter for BB: I like this combination of automation and human redesign decisions... I hope we will keep this human on top aspect in all Moodle parts) 

 
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Picture of Dai Griffiths
Moodle, Learning Design and UNFOLD
 
Hi all. This message is related to the points in a number of different postings, so I'm starting a new thread.

I'm coordinator of the UNFOLD project, and our main objective is to support the adoption of eLearning standards which support multiple users and flexible pedagogies, and in the world as it stands today that means IMS Learning Design. We are a Coordination Action funded by the EC, and we provide information, forums and events for those interested in Learning Design. We have had some contact with Michael Klebl, but I'm aware that there hasn't been much linkup with the Moodle world, and I'd be delighted to see that change.

There are three things I can suggest immediately
a) If you'd like to know more about Learning Design please register on our site www.unfold-project.net and have a look at the extensive resources, and post questions on the forums.
b) If you are seriously considering working with Learning Design, please note that there is a three day meeting in Valkenburg, IMS Learning Design Tools 16th-18th Feburary 2005, where there will be extensive hands on sessions with the new RELOAD LD Editor and the CopperCore Learning Design Player engine. Both these are open source tools. Find details in the "upcoming events" panel on the UNFOLD site. The event is free, but registration is necessary.
c) We run a Moodle server, and if you register for the Learning Desigers Community of Practice you will have access to the courses on Learning Design which we have set up. We are currently developing an "IMS Learning Design level zero" course, which will see the light of day before long.

Over and above all this, please write to us on unfold.info@upf.edu if there is anything further we can do to support the Moodle community in evaluating and getting to grips with Learning Design.
 
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Picture of Don Hinkelman
Re: Moodle, Learning Design and UNFOLD
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers
Dear Dai,
Thank you very much for your posting.  I hope Moodle users/developers will actively support the emergence of IMS-Learning Design, which from Martin's comments, appears to be the best standard to match Moodle's flexible, constructivist approach.   I will join your forums and I hope you will continue to visit here as we grapple with standards.
 
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Martin Dougiamas
Re: Moodle, Learning Design and UNFOLD
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Testers
Thanks, Dai - I just saw this. I've enrolled in your Moodle courses and will be keeping an ear and an eye open.

I'm still very keen to bring support for IMS LD into Moodle as soon as possible. If you hear of any open-source development in this area based on PHP I'd be particularly keen to know about them!
 
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