Friday, March 17, 2006

Topic Maps in a Learning Environment

A new free tool for educators from Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina is the Topic Maps for e-Learning (TM4L).
Towards Reusable and Shareable Courseware: Topic Maps-based Digital Libraries Digital course libraries are educational Web applications that contain instructional materials to assist students' learning in a specific discipline. They play a vital role in out-of-class learning, especially in project-based and problem-based learning, as well as in lifelong learning. Digital course libraries are expected, on one side, to provide learners with powerful and intuitive search tools that allow them to efficiently access learning resources, and on another, to support instructors with powerful authoring tools for efficient creation and updating of instructional materials....

We address the problems of findability, reusability, and shareability of learning materials in digital course libraries by suggesting the use of Semantic Web technologies in creating them.... Further on, we propose that the implementation of such libraries is based on the ISO XTM standard - XML Topic Maps. Topic Maps (TM) are an emerging Semantic Web technology, that can be used as a means to organize and retrieve information in e-learning repositories in a more efficient and meaningful way.

OK Topic mpas are a kind of metadata, how would we catalog these things? Or reuse the metadta as OPI-PMH, or MODS or whatever? Will RAD make this easier?

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