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EmergingTechnologies10-31-06

EmergingTechnologies10-31-06

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12/24/2011

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This “data
about data” is
known as
metadata and
has a critical
role in many
emerging e-
learning
technologies.

Related terms

Folksonomies, pervasive computing, social
bookmarking

Description

At the same time that learning objects, repo-
sitories, search engines, and artificial intelli-
gence are being developed, so are ways to
describe data so that it can be used by
programs in a variety of ways. This “data
about data” is known as metadata and has a
critical role in many emerging e-learning
technologies. An ontology, in the context of
information technology, refers to the formal
description of the network of relationships
used to track how one item or word relates to
another. A taxonomy is a hierarchical listing of
topics or subject categories in a particular
area. All of the above are used to classify and
store data for later use by a program.

Data can be classified in a formal manner or
classified by individuals who place their own
tags into a database as they enter data. This
approach is sometimes called a folksonomy.
Computer algorithms are then used to group
similar or related tags into a tag cloud, which
is a visualization of the metadata used in
searches.

Selected Examples

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative is an
industry group that initially met in Dublin,
Ohio, to develop metadata standards.
http://dublincore.org/

The Ontologies for Education project is a
portal maintained by three universities to
disseminate information on ontologies.
http://iiscs.wssu.edu/o4e/viewhome.do?tm=
O4E.xtm

SIMILE seeks to enhance interoperability
among digital assets,
schemata/vocabularies/ ontologies,
metadata, and services. A key challenge
is that collections that are to interoperate
are often distributed across individual,
community, and institutional stores.
http://simile.mit.edu/

Cancore is a Canadian initiative to
develop metadata standards for e-
learning. It is based on and fully
compatible with the IEEE Learning Object
Metadata standard and the IMS Learning
Resource Meta-data specification.
http://www.cancore.ca/en/

Online Resources

CETIS – the Centre for Educational
Technology Interoperability Standards –
in the UK has published a list of “guides
to metadata” and the learning object
model (LOM).
http://metadata.cetis.ac.uk/guides/

The MIT Libraries has produced a
Metadata Reference Guide.
http://libraries.mit.edu/guides/subjects/
metadata/index.html

Educause lists resources on
“folksonomies,” the practice of social
bookmarking whereby users assign their
own freely chosen metadata to learning
objects.
http://www.educause.edu/content.asp?p
age_id=645&PARENT_ID=794&bhcp=1

The IMS Global Learning Consortium has
developed guidelines for using metadata
with learning objects.
http://www.imsglobal.org/metadata/mdv
1p3pd/imsmd_bestv1p3pd.html

Emerging e-Learning Technologies

Do Not Reproduce 159

Metadata, Ontologies and Taxonomies

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Data can be
classified in a
formal manner
or classified by
individuals who
place their own
tags into a
database as
they enter data.
This approach is
sometimes
called a
“folksonomy.”

160 © 2006, Brandon Hall Research

Metadata, Ontologies and Taxonomies

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Emerging e-Learning Technologies

Do Not Reproduce 161

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