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Metadata Standards Leaders IEEE LTSC LOM and DCMI Begin Designing Future Metadata Architecture for Web-based Learning, Education and Training

http://dublincore.org/ -- 06 December 2000 - The Learning Technology Standards Committee Learning Objects Metadata (LTSC-LOM) Working Group of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) today announced their joint commitment to develop interoperable metadata for learning, education and training. The joint Memorandum of Understanding is signed by officers representing the LOM Working Group and DCMI. The document, regarding the IEEE standard P1484.12, is co-signed by representatives of concurring projects: ARIADNE (Alliance of Remote Instructional Authoring and Distribution Networks for Europe), EdNA (Education Network Australia), GEM (Gateway to Educational Materials), and the IMS Global Learning Consortium.

"No matter how many search engines or information retrieval systems we use today finding a needle in the data-haystack can be a fruitless effort. This enormous problem will not be solved overnight, but LOM and DCMI are building the path that will make information retrieval and exchange a much more rewarding process," said Stuart Weibel, Director of DCMI.

Both LOM and DCMI have been leaders in the formation of metadata specification for the Web. The overlapping constituency has led to the need for increased collaboration and a charge to build a single architecture that promotes creation, interchange and use of metadata. Both organizations seek to increase the use of metadata or "data about data."

Collaboration will focus on learning, education and training. The principal goal underpinning the MOU is to establish a coordinated discussion between the two groups. The agreement sets out to ensure semantic elements meet the needs of the users and metadata elements can easily work with other descriptions and be refined for specific encoding standards when necessary.

"This is all about critical mass - and building momentum toward interoperable metadata," said Prof. Erik Duval, Chair of the CEN ISSS Learning Technologies Workshop and technical editor of IEEE-LTSC-LOM. "Having a common approach to educational metadata is crucial to further speed up adoption of metadata technologies. That in turn is the first, crucial step on the long road to open learning infrastructures."

"This agreement signals a clear way forward for how education and training practitioners engaged in developing metadata can best support e-learning. This milestone positions educational metadata for the long-term and ensures that it can evolve with the ever-changing landscape of digital and global information."
-- Jon Mason and Stuart Sutton, co-chairs, DC-Education Working Group.

"ARIADNE's constituents deal with Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for education and training and, by nature, will need to rely on some kind of library services. They have much to gain from using a common, stable and compatible indexation system, endorsed by recognized authorities in the field of metadata."
-- Eddy Forte, Chairman of the ARIADNE Foundation for the European Knowledge Pool

"Ready access to comprehensive repositories of metadata is increasingly noted as the critical factor at the inflection point of the next generation of learning and knowledge creation. However, this will require that metadata be highly interoperable and reusable worldwide. This agreement marks a major step toward realizing this vision."
-- Wayne Hodgins, Chair of the IEEE LTSC LOM Working Group

"Convergence between Dublin Core and IEEE-LTSC-LOM signifies that a core set of specifications and accredited standards is emerging to support an interoperable infrastructure for world-wide e-learning. The IMS Global Learning Consortium is pleased to have contributed, with ARIADNE, to the creation of the candidate Learning Objects Metadata standard and to the collaborative effort which has produced in this agreement."
-- E.C.T. Walker, CEO of IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc.

The metadata for the press release can be found at:

The IEEE LTSC LOM (Learning Object Metadata) working group will specify the syntax and semantics of metadata needed to describe technology-supported learning, including computer-based training systems, interactive learning environments, intelligent computer-aided instruction systems, distance learning systems, and collaborative learning environments. More information is available at: http://ltsc.ieee.org/wg12/
The IEEE LTSC (Learning Technology Standards Committee) develops technical standards in approximately 20 areas of information technology for learning, education, and training. Further information can be found at: http://ltsc.ieee.org/
The IEEE is a leading authority in technical areas ranging from computer engineering, biomedical technology and telecommunications, to electric power, aerospace and consumer electronics, among others. Further information on IEEE can be found at: http://www.ieee.org/

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative is an open forum engaged in the development of interoperable online metadata standards that support a broad range of purposes and business models. Its primary offering, the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, is the de facto worldwide standard for the description of information resources across disciplines and languages. DCMI's activities include consensus-driven working groups, global workshops, conferences, standards liaison, and educational efforts to promote widespread acceptance of metadata standards and practices. Further information on DCMI, the Dublin Core family of specifications and various online metadata solutions can be found at http://dublincore.org/

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