« Handgame and Gourd Dance | Main | People keep talking »

March 18, 2004



It's LOLA!

And, Learning Objects at Wesleyan.

Sorry, but my professional life is creeping into the log with this entry. The above image is a link to the best presentation of what I do professionally. I support programs like the Learning Activities/Learning Objects Repository at Wesleyan University. LOLA is an attempt to create a "refertory" of digital teaching resources. Refertory means that the project does not store the objects on its own servers. Rather, LOLA is just a catalog of metadata records with links to the actual objects at individual instructor or institutional websites. It's a clearing house where professors can find teaching material, share the way they make particular use of objects, and evaluate the object's effectiveness in the classroom.

For LOLA I provided an implementation of IEEE Learning Object Metadata (LOM). This meant picking a set of elements that completely and accurately describe an "Object," and another set that describes an "Assignment." Through conceptual models, data models, xml bindings and definition of best practices for metadata creation, I defined all possible relationships between "Objects" and "Assignments," and designed user interactions for creating a LOLA object (entering metadata), searching the catalog of LOLA objects, and providing feedback on LOLA objects in the form of assignments. Here's a picture of the Data model I provided to give you a better idea.


In the data model, the two big circles define the two types of metadata records, objects and assignments. The gray sausage looking things are individual metadata elements or fields in those records, and the green squares represent user interaction screens (webpages) where visitors enter catalog information or view that same information. So a LOLA object to the user is a collection of five webpages (including assignment) that provide useful information about the digital resource. The metadata elements in the System interaction screens are provided programmatically by the LOLA system behind-the-scenes; the user never sees them.

The cool thing (to me, anyway) about LOLA is that an object in the "refertory" is neither a physical thing, nor even a digital thing. It's just an instance of metadata (including a URL) that points to a thing!

Kinda explains why I call this weblog metametametadata.

Posted by Keeper of the Blog at March 18, 2004 09:32 AM