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Normetic 2.0: a reference framework to migrate from LOM to MLR

In November 2015, a new version of the Canadian Normetic 2.0 application profile for educational metadata has just been published by the "Groupe de travail québécois sur les normes et standards en TI pour l’apprentissage, l’éducation et la formation" (GTN- Quebec). This approach is part of an ongoing process of updating and adapting norms and standards to their technological and industrial environments.

Working since 2004 on the basis of the application profile Normetic (latest version 1.2) based on the standard IEEE1484.12.1-2002 - Learning Object Metadata (LOM) (Metadata for learning objects), GTN – Quebec considered appropriate to update its application profile by redefining it on the basis of the general framework of MLR, the new international standard: ISO / IEC 19788, Information technology-Learning, education and training - Metadata for learning resources. Normetic 2.0 is specifically an extension to the basic application profile defined in Part 3 of the MLR standard (ISO / IEC 19788-3 - Basic application profile). Therefore, any recording medium according to the MLR Normetic 2.0 profile is automatically conform to the basic MLR application profile.

Let’s quote that an application profile as defined in the document Normetic 2.0 "is a structured collection of data elements of specifications chosen to meet the specific needs of a community or group of communities. An application profile imposes constraints on the description of learning resources using data elements. The instances of an application profile can be found in MLR records independently or together in one set and describing several learning resources".

This pioneer initiative of GTN Quebec is not particularly surprising when we know that the Normetic 2.0 editor is none other than Gilles Gauthier, editor (main or co-editor) for multipart International Standard ISO/IEC 19788 Information technology - Learning, education and training - Metadata for learning resources (parts 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 11). He was the coordinator (convener) of Working Group 4 of ISO/IEC JTC1 SC36 (from 2005 to 2011) and responsible for the development of ISO/IEC 19788 (MLR).

In view of this first initiative of migrating from LOM to MLR as schema source for defining an educational metadata application profile that is suitable for a community of practice, the question for many stakeholders in France (and the Francophonie wher I operate as consultant) is to know when and how to initiate such a process to migrate as quick as possible from, and towards an application profile as an extension to the MLR basic application profile as defined in Part 3 of MLR standard. France will find itself stuck with an original nomenclature that lacked anticipation of a possible change to another source schema than LOM. Migration of LOM to MLR as a source schema will force France to abandon the root "Lom" in the nomenclature of future versions of its application profiles, and, unlike Quebec which was more predictive by remaining from the beginning on a versioning logic of its original profile.

Francophonie is preparing to adopt the application profile for the portal Francophonic portal of free access educational resources. It would benefit considerably from thinking about an appropriate application profile, with a francophonic label, which would be based on the principles and interoperability specifications of the international standard ISO/IEC 19788 (MLR) and its basic application profile (ISO/IEC 19788-3 – Basic application profile). Francophonie is a semantic and pedagogical field rooted in the principles of cultural and linguistic diversity. The provision of an application profile based on the MLR scheme would give it much room to be transverse, convergent and interoperable for educational services and uses throughout the international Francophonic context.