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ASPECT Newsletter 2

Issue 2 – June 2010

We are now in the final year of the ASPECT project and in a phase where we can report on the results of our work on developing best practices related to learning content standards. What has been particularly exciting over the last six months is to see how the ASPECT focus group of teachers has responded to working with standards such as SCORM and Common Cartridge.

This second issue of the ASPECT newsletter particularly focuses on how teachers have been working with content packaging and the project can probably claim something of a 'world first' in providing direct feedback from teachers on the new Common Cartridge specification! There will be more detailed information on this when the complete ASPECT validation report is published in November.

But don't wait until then. Below you will also find information on the latest ASPECT workshops and webinars.

David Massart
ASPECT Project Manager

Teachers and content packaging standards. Initial conclusions from the ASPECT evaluation
The ASPECT project has organised three teacher workshops for a group of 40 mathematics and science teachers from Belgium (Flanders), Lithuania, Romania and Portugal. All three workshops have combined straight-forward assignments with more free-browsing activities in order to obtain first-hand, direct feedback from the teachers.

First, four national workshops organized in October 2009 focused on how teachers search for and discover resources contained in learning content repositories such as the Learning Resource Exchange for schools and what are their impressions about the LRE portal as a resource for their daily work. Next, an online workshop, organized in March 2010, analysed teachers’ search behaviours and their attitudes towards reusability and sharing of resources, i.e. under what kind of conditions would teachers trust or share resources, in particular when it comes to tags, ratings, authors (content providers), etc.

The third session, organised in May 2010 in Lisbon, concentrated on the integration of resources into learning platforms (VLEs) and content packaging. Here teachers were initially asked to create a normal lesson plan using the Moodle learning platform in a “traditional” way by combining different resources. Then they were asked to repeat the same task using resources that had been ‘packaged’ by ASPECT content developers using both the SCORM and Common Cartridge standards. Finally, teachers had also to think also about the use of digital credits to buy or access digital online resources.

Commenting on the reactions of teachers in the most recent workshop, Agueda Gras-Velazquez, the coordinator of the ASPECT school pilots, said:

"Before the Lisbon workshop, I had anticipated that some teachers might be enthusiastic about Common Cartridge. However, while I thought teachers would appreciate the possibility of importing a cartridge into Moodle and then moving and/or changing some parts of the resource, I was unprepared for the high level of positive reaction that we witnessed."

Read the full article written by Agueda Gras-Velazquez, European Schoolnet, at the ASPECT website

ASPECT Webinars: making sense of learning technology standards
A series of webinars is now available from the ASPECT project to promote the adoption of learning technology standards by publishers, content/tools' developers and educational institutions. Although technical, these workshops are accessible to non-technical people as the objective is to understand the benefits of standards. All webinars run at 12 am CET (11 am GMT), on the second and 4th Tuesday of each month. Duration is 1 hour, and participants can join 30 minutes in advance on the Elluminate Live! platform.

Next webinars:
- 8 June 2010 - Content Packaging, by Lars Ingesman, UNI-C, Denmark
- 22 June 2010 - Conformance Testing, by Ingo Dahn, University of Koblenz, Germany

Read more here:

ASPECT LRE Technical & Semantic Interoperability Workshop in Brussels
15-16 June 2010, Brussels, Belgium

The European Schoolnet Learning Resource Exchange and the ASPECT Best Practice Network are inviting all interested parties to a two-day workshop at the EUN Office in Brussels on 15 and 16 June 2010.

The ASPECT LRE Technical & Semantic Interoperability Workshop will be conducted in two parts. During the first part, each participant will present their repository infrastructure and the metadata scheme used to describe their digital resource collections. Each presentation will be followed by a discussion focusing on the interoperability problems that, according to the other participants, need to be addressed in order for them to access the presented collection. During the second part of the workshop, interoperability tools and techniques will be presented, demonstrated, and possibly tested as an introduction to a discussion aimed at elaborating a plan for actually connecting the participating repositories’ infrastructures.

The workshop is intended for developers, repository administrators, and technical and semantic interoperability specialists of the represented organizations. There is a limited number of seats for this event and thus registration will be on a first come, first served basis.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Dr. Elena Shulman ().

SE@M’10 - Fourth International
Workshop on Search and Exchange of e-le@rning Materials
27-28 September 2010, Barcelona, Spain

The main goal of this international workshop is to offer a forum where researchers and practitioners can discuss theoretical aspects, open issues, and innovative approaches and share the latest advances in the state of the art and practices for exchanging and describing learning content. This year's workshop will include presentations of both long and short refereed papers as well as panel discussions, keynotes and demonstrations. The call for papers is open until 15 June. SE@M’10 is organized in coordination with EC-TEL 2010 which takes place from 28 September to 1 October 2010.

Read more here:

The ASPECT project is coordinated by European Schoolnet with support from the European Commission's eContentplus Programme

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