Community & Business Groups

Open Linked Education Community Group

As a burgeoning and emerging area, open linked data for education is currently experiencing momentum across several initiatives and organisations including Open Education, LinkedUp, LinkedUniversities or LinkedEducation., and the Open Knowledge Foundation, to name just a few. We believe that we are now at a time when these efforts should converge, with this 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 set the following set of goals for this group: 1. To collect from existing initiatives the practices currently used to share 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 modelled with these vocabularies (e.g.course catalogues, resources, university facilities, research results). Further statistical analysis can provide sound guidance on vocabulary usage within the educational Web of data. 2. To 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 modelling practices in application developments. While this 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. This group will not publish specifications.

Note: Community Groups are proposed and run by the community. Although W3C hosts these conversations, the groups do not necessarily represent the views of the W3C Membership or staff.

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Invitation to participate in COST Action on Linked Data for Education

Dear all,

We would like to invite you – all members of the W3C OpenEd Community Group – to participate in a COST Action Proposal on Linked Data in Education/Learning, i.e on a topic of particular relevance for this group. While COST networks are open to all individuals/organisations working in the area, we would see this as a particular opportunity, to support the activities of this W3C community group with some (limited) funds, for instance, to organise joint events or support research visits and exchanges.

This action proposal is led by one of our group members, Mari Carmen Suárez-Figueroa, and targets the current call (deadline is 24th March; see here). The main goal of this type of project is to create a long-term network on a focused topic. The provisional title is “Educational Linked Data for all (EduLD4All)” and the main objectives are summarized in the text copied below. Proposals for COST actions are reasonably lightweight, so you should not expect this to require major efforts on your part.

If successful, this action could become a good umbrella to facilitate group-related activities, collaborations and related initiatives.

We would be glad about seeing many members of this group participating. If you decide to be on board, Mari-Carmen will share the proposal document and would be looking forward to your feedback and comments. In order to avoid spamming the list, please feel free to contact Mari Carmen directly, rather than responding to this list.

Looking forward to receive your response.

Mari Carmen Suárez-Figueroa, Stefan Dietze, Mathieu d’Aquin

ProposalSummary

Educational Linked Data (EduLD) are becoming more and more useful for different levels and stakeholders in the educational community (teachers, students, families, and  management personnel) and for different purposes (e.g., to help teachers to find and create educational materials, to assist students and families in their educational decisions throughout their life, to improve management systems used in educative organizations). However, for such usages to reach their potential impact, a coordinate initiative is needed to ensure high quality data is available that covers the wide range of relevant area, and that applications are developed that demonstrates their benefits. This action will promote educational linked data creation and usage across the EU through the so-called EduLD Feedback Loop:

1. Evidence Stage – to gather requirements and critical aspects for educational linked data: which data are useful to have in the LD cloud? and which key applications would we need to use such data? The idea here is to involve different educational communities (universities, schools, colleges, educational companies, etc.) and different user and skill levels in educational organizations (teachers, technical people, management people, students, etc.)

2. Connection Stage – to obtain the current picture of existing datasets and applications and how they are related each other. The main objective here is to have a map/observatory that helps us to analyze the gap: what is missing with respect to the requirements gathered

3. Relevance Stage – to create a collection of datasets and applications that covers at some point the identified gap. The idea here is to prioritize the requirements and the gaps and to focus on a limited set of needs. in the previous stage and to build a map between datasets and applications (existing ones or news in both cases)

4. Outcome Stage – to propose and observe the use of both datasets and applications in diverse educational communities and by different levels in such communities

5. Testimonial Stage – to collect evidences of the efficacy and effectiveness of using Linked Data datasets and applications for different aims (to improve educational skills of students and professional skills of teachers, to help people to take right decisions in their educational life, etc.). These findings will be gather by means of practical evaluation (using questionnaires). The findings are measured and the feedback loop can start again.

In summary, the objective of this action is to gather a community around educational linked data, including education, linked data and technology enhance learning practitioner to effectively implement the EduLD feedback loop across dozens of organisations and initiatives in Europe.

 

Summary of group meeting and call to action

Dear all,

thanks to everyone for your contributions to today’s call. The replay is available at http://fm.ea-tel.eu/fm/b2bf4f-39546. We made a very good step forward in defining the scope of the group, identifying problem areas, collecting input and discussing future work directions. The key items which were discussed are represented in the wiki already at https://www.w3.org/community/opened/wiki/, while some more structured minutes will be made available in due course.

As documented in the wiki, one of the main goal of the group is to identify key pattern and best practices for representing educational Linked Data. On the way, we are collecting information about available vocabularies, datasets and modeling cases. Please feel free to amend/comment any of the sections or to get in touch with us if you have any further suggestions or input.

In fact, this is meant to be an open call to all group members to provide their input, either directly into the corresponding wiki sections or via email to us/the group.

Also, I am sorry to hear that some of you had difficulty to join. Unfortunately, most conferencing systems require at least Flash or some other pre-installed plugin, where FlashMeeting seemed the least intrusive and most suitable option, and also has the added benefit of being recorded and archived for future reference. While it seems most convenient to stick to a video conferencing system (as opposed to a good old phone-based conference call) as it also allows sharing of documents and URLs, we are happy about any alternative proposals for our next call of the OpenEd group.

We are looking forward to your input and suggestions.

Stefan, Mathieu & Madi

Access details for community call today, 10 February, 2 pm CET

As indicated earlier, we’d like to share the login details for our community call today at 2 pm CET. Since Google Hangout seems to be a tricky option when meeting in a larger group, we have opted to meet in FlashMeeting. You only need to connect via the following URL and to provide your user name. No registration required.

=> http://fm.ea-tel.eu/fm/b2bf4f-39546

As starting point for discussion and community work space, we have populated the wiki (https://www.w3.org/community/opened/wiki) with some initial content.

Looking forward to meet many of you in a short while during the call.

Stefan, Mathieu & Madi

OpenEd Community Group Call: 10 February, 2 pm CET

Thank you all very much for completing the poll and showing this great level of interest. The most suitable date seems to be next Tuesday, 10 February, 2 pm CET. Please mark the date in your calendar. We will meet via Google hangout and we’ll circulate the link at the day of the meeting. Unfortunately, it’s been impossible to find a slot which works for everyone but we hope to see as many of you during the call next week.

The goal for the call will be to introduce and discuss the overall vision for the group, introduce ourselves and collect input from all members and to identify suitable next steps. Some questions we would be interested to discuss during the call are, for instance:

  • What relevant datasets (Linked Data/non-Linked Data) and vocabularies have you been involved with?
  • What were the most critical challenges in reusing/publishing data?
  • What are the most critical gaps/issues with respect to current vocabularies and vocabulary reuse from your point of view?

We are looking forward to talking to you next week.

Best,

Stefan, Mathieu & Madi

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

=> http://doodle.com/3w44ufgabgx27tac

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.

http://www.myboe.org/portal/default/Resources/ResourceMain?action=2&view=main

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. learningregistry.org 

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: http://www.w3.org/community/opened/wiki/Main_Page

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.

madi

 

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
Pearson