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The Learning Object Metadata standard

by dray last modified 2007-04-08 09:03

This standard will specify the syntax and semantics of Learning Object Metadata, defined as the attributes required to fully/adequately describe a Learning Object. Learning Objects are defined here as any entity, digital or non-digital, which can be used, re-used or referenced during technology supported learning.

Examples of technology supported learning include:
  • computer-based training systems,
  • interactive learning environments,
  • intelligent computer-aided instruction systems,
  • distance learning systems,
  • collaborative learning environments.
Examples of Learning Objects include
  • multimedia content,
  • instructional content,
  • learning objectives,
  • instructional software and software tools,
  • persons, organizations, or events referenced during technology supported learning.
The Learning Object Metadata standards will focus on the minimal set of attributes needed to allow these Learning Objects to be managed, located, and evaluated. The standards will accommodate the ability for locally extending the basic fields and entity types, and the fields can have a status of obligatory (must be present) or optional (maybe absent). Relevant attributes of Learning Objects to be described include type of object, author, owner, terms of distribution, and format. Where applicable, Learning Object Metadata may also include pedagogical attributes such as; teaching or interaction style, grade level, mastery level, and prerequisites. It is possible for any given Learning Object to have more than one set of Learning Object Metadata. The standard will support security,privacy, commerce, and evaluation, but only to the extent that metadata fields will be provided for specifying descriptive tokens related to these areas; the standard will NOT concern itself with how these features are implemented. We expect these standards will conform to, integrate with,or reference existing open standards and existing work in related areas.For example core Attributes of Learning Objects will be coordinated with or may simply defer to, the efforts to standardize content objects in general.

Purpose of Proposed Project

  • To enable learners or instructors to search, evaluate, acquire, and utilize Learning Objects.
  • To enable the sharing and exchange of Learning Objects across any technology supported learning systems.
  • To enable the development of learning objects in units that can be combined and decomposed in meaningful ways.
  • To enable computer agents to automatically and dynamically compose personalized lessons for an individual learner.
  • To compliment the direct work on standards that are focused on enabling multiple Learning Objects to work together within a open distributed learning environment.
  • To enable, where desired, the documentation and recognition of the completion of existing or new learning & performance objectives associated with Learning Objects.
  • To enable a strong and growing economy for Learning Objects that supports and sustains all forms of distribution; non-profit, not-for-profit and for profit.
  • To enable education, training and learning organizations, both government,public and private, to express educational content and performance standards in a standardized format that is independent of the content itself.
  • To provide researchers with standards that support the collection and sharing of comparable data concerning the applicability and effectiveness of Learning Objects.
  • To define a standard that is simple yet extensible to multiple domains and jurisdictions so as to be most easily and broadly adopted and applied.
  • To support necessary security and authentication for the distribution and use of Learning Objects.
Copyright 2004-2007, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource. dray. (2005, March 20). The Learning Object Metadata standard. Retrieved February 11, 2009, from IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Creative Commons License