Institutional Web Management Conference

Learning Technology Standards Briefing Session

L. Campbell and N. Sclater


Discussion and Comments


Discussion topics:


Have learning technology interoperability standards and specifications impacted on your current practice?


How do you envisage learning technology interoperability standards and specifications will affect future practice?



Group 1


One delegate reported loosing data when upgrading from version 2 to version 3 of WebCT.


Group 2


Some delegates had experience of using specifications (IMS Enterprise) to manipulate users information but not content.  These delegates had written their own implementations of the Enterprise specification to work with WebCT.


Group 3


The only specification delegates had experience of implementing was Dublin Core metadata.


Comments and questions


It’s not clear how standards can be used to facilitate the practical exchange and management of content.


A big concern is whether or not existing systems conform to the standards and specifications.


Need to know how compliant the vendors are.


It would be very useful to be able to move content between systems.


WebCT & Blackboard dominate the UK FE/HE market, there are concerns that it is not really in their interests to be interoperable and standard complaint.


How does OKI relate to learning technology standards and specifications?


An important aspect of the specifications is that they make you think more.


There is considerable interest in the potential for learning technology standards and specifications to link external systems.


The IMS Enterprise specification is perceived to be very useful.


There is a “feel good factor” if products adhere to standards.


Some tool developers appear to be working in collaboration with the major vendors and bypassing the specifications altogether. 


Can any vles deal with adaptive content?


Need to work with standards in a very pragmatic way.  Developers have to be realistic about what can be achieved.