Open Linked Education Data Community Group
The education industry is quickly evolving thanks to maturing technologies and the ubiquity of mobile devices. Open Education Resources, Massive Online Open Courses, and cloud services are changing not only the way we deliver educational resources, they are also challenging some of our fundamental pedagogical assumptions.
As Education re-directs its focus to digital products, programs, and services, the shift from traditional print is a significant one. Publishers and institutions must now be prepared to deliver information via internet protocols and must quickly come to grips with the screen as a main point of entry for educational resources.
Pearson Education publishing has initiated an Open Linked Education Community Group which was officially launched on April 23, 2013 at the W3C Open Data on the Web conference in London. Metadata is essential in participating with the global knowledge network and with the belief that our semantic collective is far more powerful than any individual or single organization’s effort, this group plans to provide a means to share education-ready vocabularies.
Descriptive metadata in educational resources is a vitally important component in an overall education ontology. The Open Linked Education Data Community Group plan to create a curated “Subject” vocabulary that will be offered as a community service to the education sector. Working from John Seely Brown and John Hagel’s theory in The Power of Pull, we hope to explore “how a small move, smartly done, can set big things in motion” for education.
Converging and curating vocabularies from multiple sources, maintaining persistent IDs, harmonizing editorial interpretations, providing methods for disambiguation, and releasing these as a subset of DBpedia for educational purposes is unprecedented and will not be without challenge. Many agree, however, with the logical approach of combining, curating and disseminating shared vocabulary terms that will enable (and accelerate) domain-specific search technologies.
Educational resources will rely on metadata describing the subject, topic, or discipline as a point of entry in search queries. As a starting point, this Community Group will limit scope to Subject vocabularies. While acknowledging that this alone is ambitious, the opportunity to realize the obvious benefits of cross-referencing multiple sources of information that elevate pedagogy is a compelling one.
Recent developments in education metadata standards have surprisingly limited resource descriptors for “aboutness”. The release of shareable vocabularies that can be used for tagging learning resources with subject terms as Open Linked Data will prove an important contribution.
The Community Group will work iteratively with reviews and adjustments throughout.
• The first curated subset of Subject Terms as Open Linked Data is released • Ability to query this subset via SPARQL endpoints • Institutions and teachers can easily download the subset to use locally • Provided tutorials for downloading and using open apps (Google Refine) are easy to follow and readily used • Links to other relevant data sets provide enriched educational information • Open Linked Education Data community group continues to maintain, curate, and provide editorial context for education data
Membership to date (June 26, 2013)
Co-Chairs: Madi Solomon, Pearson plc Chris Sizemore, BBC Online Learning
39 Individuals are participating. The following institutions, organizations, and affiliates are represented:
• BBC Online Learning • UK Dept. of Education • Institut National de Recherche en Infromatique et en Automatique (National Institute for Research for Computer Science and Control (INRIA), France • Institut Telecom • Universitat de Leida, Computer Science and Engineering Department, Spain • University of Nice • Pearson Future Technologies • Pearson Education • Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) • National Technical University of Athens • Nvish.com • Otto-von-Guericke-Universität • Apollo Group, Inc. • Open University • Open Knowledge Foundation • Navila Sohrabi, individual
• Converge and harmonise multiple subject vocabularies in triple store using W3C semantic standards.
• Create a curated subset of Wikipedia (DBpedia)
• Create a website presence with API’s for reconciling with Google Refine. Provide tutorials on how instructors, teachers, and institutions can use Google Refine to access the datasets
• Build relations and bridges to at least 3-5 existing open linked datasets
• Provide SPARQL endpoints for the data
• Prepare for 5-Star linked data (RDF/XML/JSON/schema.org)
• Recommendations moving forward
Deliverables and ETA
Share prototype with sample datasets and example queries on Wiki :
Convergence and harmonization of multiple subject vocabularies end of August
Curated Wikipedia subset available 17 September
Website presence: 27 September
SPARQL endpoints available: 4 October
Recommendations for next steps: 11 October
Dependencies and Liaisons
W3C Groups Pearson technical teams & hosting
A W3C Community Group is an open forum, without fees, where Web developers and other stakeholders develop specifications, hold discussions, develop test suites, and connect with W3C's international community of Web experts.
The Open Linked Education Data Community Group is open to all interested parties regardless of W3C membership.
TBD – Wiki to be developed Distributed mailing lists W3C Community Group web page announcements
This group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. When the Co-Chairs observes dissent, after due consideration of different opinions, the Co-Chairs will record a decision, possibly conduct a formal vote, and move on.
The Open Linked Education Data will not be submitting any specifications and there are no obligations to comply with patent disclosures.