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Application Profile

This is a community adopted adaptation of a single metadata standard.


An asset is any single level resource reduced to its smallest valid size. It can have either Pedagogical or Technical value.


Contextual Learning Activity Repository. A University of Southampton 'closed' Repository. Used by the project to store and catalogue online resources.


Content Re-Engineering Tool. This is a TELCERT customisation of the RELOAD systems that be used to content package resources with in-house metadata requirements.


This is the act of taking a resource, and breaking it down to its smallest valid component parts.

Domain Profile

This is community adopted base specifications and standards for organising metadata.


Joint Information Systems Committee. JISC is an independent advisory body that works with further and higher education by providing strategic guidance, advice and opportunities use to use ICT to support learning, teaching, research and administration.

Learning Object:

The L2O project defines a learning object as an interactive resource which allows a learner to learn and/or practice a learning point connected with a skill, or a subject area. The project believes that an activity with a pedagogic aim needs to be integrated with information regarding the learning point for the item in question to be classified as a learning object.

It is essential that the learning object should 'stand-alone'. In other words it must be completely deliverable as an independent item and not rely on a host server to provide links to required content. This is to ensure the learning object can be packaged in its entirety and deposited into a learning object repository.


UKLOMCORE (often abbreviated as LOM) is a standardised metadata format. Leaning Object Metadata has been adopted by many UK eLearning projects to assist in the cataloguing of resources.


Metadata essentially means 'data about data'. It can be either embedded or associated with files to allow extra information about the file to be passed to the reader.

Pedagogic Asset

A pedagogic asset is defined as a resource that has its own value for pedagogic purposes. The item will have an implicit value for learning (already recognised).

Any reduction in size of the asset would render it of no pedagogic value.

The asset can be a collection of very small resources (for example a collection of 3 x 1 minute lecture introductions). The individual resources do not have pedagogic value because they do not have enough content or sufficient length to be of use as an single pedagogic asset. But collectively they share a context as examples of lecture introductions.

A further example of a collection appropriately assigned as a single asset is where a complete lecture has been recorded, but for ease of technical presentation and delivery the audio has been stored as a number of individual audio files that can be played sequentially to recreate the full lecture. Each audio file has no individual pedagogic value, but as a collection they provide the full coherence of the original lecture) and therefore form the complete asset.

When considering assets with alternative versions (e.g. a video file and the transcript of the video content) each element should be regarded as a pedagogic asset in its own right.

A version of a pedagogic asset can be categorised and linked through the metadata and the database to other related element(s). For example a transcript of a lecture would be classified as a free-standing asset rather than categorised as an asset together with the original audio file of the lecture. (I.e. not as a collection of two items).

Each element has its own pedagogic value, and as such it should be possible to retrieve it individually. For this reason it requires describing as an individual asset.

There is a final caveat to both rules as outlined above. If the pedagogic asset in question is a multimedia resource of very short length - e.g. a 30 second video file with associated transcript and translation, it is reasonable to catalogue all three versions of the material together as a single collection resource. This is because individually each resource is so tied to the learning point in question it can be deemed that there is little possibility of individual reuse.

This indicates that there is no 'hard and fast rule' to establish the perfect size of assets / collections. The cataloguer must decide appropriately during the cataloguing process.

It is also important to note that the project does not define any task as an individual resource. This is because without the tasks there is no learning object, and as such tasks make up the defining feature of a learning object and should not be treated as separate entities.


The project defines this as the taking of existing online learning material and modifying aspects of it to suit a particular purpose or learning environment (e.g. to constrain the size of some material).


The project defines this as the taking of an existing Learning Object or generic template and producing a different version of the same material.


The project defines this as the converting of existing learning material (e.g. paper based) in to a learning object for online delivery.


This is the RDN/LTSN LOM application profile. This is becoming a widely adopted profile for the LOM metadata.


This is the defining structure of a meta data standard. Written in XML as an XSD file, it is used to valid an instance of XML for well formedness.

Technical Assets

A technical asset is any asset that is required for a learning object to function correctly. At a simple level this could consist of images used only to offer some visual styling to the learning object. A technical asset could also a Flash video player included in the learning object, or a media player used to replay any associated audio content.

These files have no pedagogic value but are required in order for the learning object to be used correctly.


TELCERT is a research and innovation project under the European Union's 6th Framework programme. Their aim is to help transform the adoption of standards-based e-Learning products and services.


Stands for Extensible Markup Language, it's a language used (amongst other things) to display metadata. University of Southampton eLanguages, Centre for Language Study, Modern Languages,
School of Humanities, University of Southampton

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