Saturday, July 5, 2008

ICALT - Day 3

Today I was principally concerned with the workshop I was to present at - Crafting didactic materials based on IMS LD: From Requirements to Evaluation. There were to be six presentations in this workshop, but thanks to the one of the organisers I was able to give a quick outline of my phd work at the end.

Shelia MacNeill from CETIS outlined interoperability between LD and the rest of the course development scene. She also outlined four levels of granularity that must be addressed - LOs, ??, Activity and Course. Then work on the sucessor to Reload, Recourse was outlined by David Griffiths from the University of Bolton. It is interesting to note that that team has now moved to use GMF a technology we use extensively in our project. He also mentioned services in LD and how badly they are defined. David showed how widgets could be used as learning services, from a central widget server.

Davinia Hernández-Leo outlined a way of raising the level of abraction when using complicated specifications such as LD, using educational patterns. I am not very sure how this works exactly, but will have to look into this in more detail as the idea facinates me. Carmen Padron then outlined how evaluation cycles can be done on LD courseware and how this can be specified on the courseware using the runtime adaptation approach developed by Telmo Zarraonandía, the co-author of the workshop paper. This lead nicely on to Abelardo Pardo' s paper on how he has devised a way for the manipulation of LD design during delivery time by manipulating property values. He states he is uncomfortable with the theatre analogy used in LD, as a script does not allow for the reactionary changes needed in courseware. If you originally design your courseware to consider the manipulation of property values at delivery time this is a very powerful tool. Finally Jekaterina Bule from the Latvia outlined the evaluation of eLearning in Riga.

After the workshop I attended an interesting session entitled "Content Authoring Technologies III". Two speakers particularly took my attention due to my PhD work on modeling courseware, firstly by Ivan Martinez-Ortiz, who described the work he is dong in developing an EML authoring notation. He discussed Flow oriented authoring notation, there was some discussion afterwards about the suitability of this type of concrete notation due to the variability in courseware at delivery time. Other concerns were that this notation was too geared towards computer scientists, but Ivan is looking at testing his notation with non-computer science users, and I think his results from this will be very interesting.

Dirk Frosch-Wilke then presented his paper entitled, "Evolutionary Design of Collaborative Learning Processes through Reflective Petri Nets". This paper showed an approach based on coloured petrinets could be used to provide a snapshot of a learning process. To do this there was two levels a metalevel PN and a base level PN - sort of similar to metamodeling I think. Petri Nets mean verification can be carried out on the courseware, I asked does this mean a sort of model checking approach to the courseware but I was wrong here. This approach is used a lot in business process analysis, I think the use of petri nets and how they are used by Dirk and his team is something I want to get my head around - very interesting work.

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