Systematising Learning and Research Information.
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2002(7)
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This paper considers the ways in which information of relevance to the learning and research communities is organised and used. It contends that there is considerable overlap between the different types of online resources and information currently available within education. It describes some of the structured environments and data stores that have emerged in recent years, along with standards which are attempting to define the properties of discrete learning objects, through the specification of Learning Object Metadata (LOM). The paper contends that current developments of structured learning environments such as Managed and Virtual Learning Environments (MLEs and VLEs) are occurring on the whole in parallel to resource data stores, such as information gateways and portals. This discrepancy has arisen in part because these developments have occurred independently of one another and in part because there has to date been no rigorous definition of the underlying theoretical models. Furthermore, it argues that these predefined structured environments are unlikely to be sufficient to meet the information needs of users in different contexts. The paper goes on to describe an information toolkit, which provides a way of systematising information handling in learning and research, which helps users articulate information plans within specific contexts. The paper concludes with a description of two case studies which illustrate how this toolkit can be used.
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