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Relaunching the W3C OpenEd Community Group

As indicated in an earlier post, we are currently in the process of re-launching our community group on “Linked Open Education”. After a quiet period in the last few months, we would now like to step up activities and kick off the group with a first joint call, open to everyone who is interested to participate in the discussion. The main goal of the call would be to introduce ourselves to each other and jointly discuss and shape the activities for the future.

As it’s notoriously hard to find a slot which works for everyone, we will try our best to find a suitable slot which works for the majority of group members. For this, we’ve set up a Doodle at


If you are interested in joining, please provide your preferences by end of next week (1 February), after which we’ll announce the most suitable slot and the access details. Please accept our apologies in advance in case we cannot meet all preferences.

We are looking forward to meet many of you during the call.

Best wishes,

Stefan, Mathieu, Madi

Update: Renovation of the Open Linked Education Community Group

Hello Open Linked Education.  Good news.  I’m happy to report progress on this neglected Community Group with a proposal for a new direction.

In recent participation with the  Open Education Working Group, Stefan Dietze (L3S Research Center) and Mathieu d’Aquin (Open University) approached me with a proposal of extending the current charter  to include partnerships across like-minded education groups, and changing the objectives of the group with more pragmatic goals.  I encourage this change and have already received acceptance from the W3C.  This will, I believe, breathe new life into the Community Group.  Their proposal is below:

“As a burgeoning and emerging area, open linked data for education is currently experiencing momentum across several initiatives and organistions from Open Education, LinkedUpLinkedUniversities or LinkedEducation., and the Open Knowledge Foundation, to name just a few.  While the original intention to produce and share subject vocabularies was ambitious and noble, it may be to vast a goal to achieve.  Instead, we propose the following:

We believe that we are now at a time when these efforts should converge, with the group representing a focus point for the community to collect, capture and adopt the practices that are going to be the foundation of the web of educational data. We therefore think that the group should be “re-launched” with the following new set of goals:

  1. To collect from existing initiatives the practices currently employed to sharing education-related data on the web. This includes the vocabularies that are employed as well as the ways in which common aspects of the data are being modeled with these vocabularies (e.g.course catalogues, resources, university facilities, results). Further statistical analysis can provide sound guidance on vocabulary usage within the educational Web of data.
  2. Identify common, best practices amongst those and document them (including concrete examples)
  3. To facilitate the adoption of these common best practices, through direct interaction with community stakeholders, as well as through showing the benefits of the reuse of data modeling practices in application developments.

Regarding 1, it is important to note that this is already an ongoing effort, which has been started as part of the LinkedUp support action, through the creation of a catalogue of web data for education.

Also, we want to clarify that, while 2 has some similarities with the idea of “creating an ontology of education”, it is not what we are aiming to achieve. Education is very broad, and our goal is therefore rather to provide common “patterns” that use existing vocabularies for the representation of common education-related data. We do expect this to create resources of interest whenever our efforts will contribute to filling a gap, and to refer to other of such resources (such as LRMI for learning resources) in other cases.”

I also propose that Stefan and Mathieu lead the Community Group as Co-Chairs.

Please share your thoughts on this new approach.  It this is positively received, as I hope it will, we’ll proceed with the new charter.

Thank you so very much for your patience with me.

Madi Solomon

Education Taxonomy Being Developed for Learning Registry in U.S.

Approximately 3.5 years ago, we built out a pretty straight forward controlled vocabulary for the California State Dept. of Education’s K-12 resource portal that allowed them to ingest a handful of known large repositories they were interested in exposing to their states 300,000 educators. We used a foundational starting point of GEMS and a compilation of large, known vocabularies governing large, known repositories like the National Science Digital Library and Thinkfinity at the time.

That “Topics” list we derived can be viewed in the Topics modal on the left-hand side of the following page.

We of course developed other vocabularies for them based on their own state standards and links to assessment items at the time, and now to their Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Math (based on ASN specs), as well as Next. Generation Science Standards.

However, we are now in the process of building out a new controlled vocabulary that integrates granularity points from the CCSS and NGSS as part of our work on the USDOE Learning Registry project as part of their submission form for agencies needing to submit metadata on behalf of records in their own repositories for bi-lateral publishing across the U.S. and beyond. 

We will have a draft of this new taxonomy ready for viewing by the end of March, 2014 as it will play a significant role in the submission and publishing of educational record data from a filtering and searching standpoint as states in the U.S. start consuming this data.

Open LInked Education Data Charter

Hi folks!

Hope you’re enjoying the summer.  The Open Linked Education Data Charter has been uploaded on the Wiki:

We’re hoping to have something to show the group by the end of this month.  We’ll also be reaching out to our esteemed colleagues on this group to help guide and advise as we converge with other vocabulary sets.

Thank you again for your participation.  I look forward to hearing from you.



Hello Open Linked Ed Data Community!

Thank you for participating with the Open Linked Education Data Community Group.  In going over some of our goals with esteemed colleagues at W3C, I’m told that our ambitions are unprecedented for Open Linked Data.  Curating Open Data and releasing shareable vocabularies that can be used for tagging learning resources hasn’t been done before I’m told, though it seems so obvious that I find it hard to believe.  This shall be exciting then.

A quick update:

  • Chris Sizemore, BBC Online Learning has agreed to be my Co-Chair.
  • Pearson has agreed to host the first triple store in a secured database.  I will forward the URL as soon as it is established.  We won’t include the name of Pearson on the URL, not to worry
  • Chris and I would like to start out by attempting to converge and harmonize a few vocabulary sets.  We suggested merging subject vocabularies from the following:
  1. UK Dept. of Education
  2. Pearson Higher Education subject taxonomies
  3. Open Univeristy
  4. BBC Online Learning Curriculum-based subject terms
The challenges here will be significant: persistant IDs, retaining links to DBpedia or Freebase, identifying differing editorial interpretations, disambiguation, etc.
We will share our progress and will come to the group to help us with each step along the way.
Thank you again.  I look forward to working with you all.
Madi Solomon