This chapter presents the IMS Learning Design Specification and explains how it can be used to enhance the effectiveness of e-Learning scenarios. It shows how to assemble a learning design using elements of the learning process and chunks of content known as learning objects. The chapter proposes several learning design services that can potentially improve the pedagogical expressiveness of the current Learning Design Specification. It also discusses the possibility of storing learning designs in a repository and adapting and personalizing learning designs according to the instructional needs of individual learners. It is hoped that researchers and practitioners will understand how it is possible to go beyond learning objects and create learning designs that more accurately reflect the actual learning process of students and thus appreciate the value in extending the learning design specification to improve pedagogical effectiveness.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Learning Design: A learning design is a formal description of the individuals who participate in a learning process, the resources and environments used to achieve certain learning objectives, and the sequence(s) of learning activities that should take place.
Web Service: A service provided by a software program on the Web. Client software on the Web (e.g., a Web application) requests a service by specifying its location on the Web and submits any information necessary to perform the service. The Web service performs the service by executing an algorithm and returning the results to the client.
XML (Extensible Markup Language): A general purpose markup language that is capable of describing many different kinds of data. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the sharing of data across different systems, particularly systems connected via the Internet.
Learning Object: An independent, self-standing digital learning resource that facilitates one or more learning objectives and which may be reused in multiple instructional contexts.
Learning Design Repository: A collection of learning designs that is accessible to users via a network without prior knowledge of the structure of the collection.
Learning Design Player: A learning design player is a software product that runs at a Web server and executes a learning design. During execution of the learning design, the software generates screens for, and captures information from, the different individuals who are participating in the learning process.
Metadata: Data that is used to describe another set of data in a collection to facilitate cataloguing, search, and discovery of the data in that collection. For example, metadata can be used to describe the books in a library or the learning objects in a repository.
Learning Service: A Web service that provides a pedagogical function to support a learning process, for example, generating an assessment item such as a quiz.