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 Dietz (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, LinkedUp, LinkedUniversities 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:
- 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.
- Identify common, best practices amongst those and document them (including concrete examples)
- 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.