1 Research Center for Didactics and Technology in Teacher Education / Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (PORTUGAL)
2 INESC TEC (Formerly INESC Porto) / Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (PORTUGAL)
3 Universidade de Coimbra (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 5149-5158
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Educational Modelling Languages are conceptual and technical tools that allow enhancing e-learning through the representation of educational processes and their transformation into operable products to Learning Management Systems (LMS). Through visual notations it’s possible to do reviews and adjustments of represented learning objects (LO).
IMS-LD is a LO specification language. One of its major strengths is the interoperability of specification products. Its use by non-technical users isn’t a simple task, and limitations are pointed out. Intermediate software have been developed to facilitate the specification, authoring tools called graphic editors as Reload LD Editor, GLM, Collage and CADMOS, among others.
Graphic editors can be used as educational planning tools in the context of e-learning. Planning a LO is drawing a structure of tasks, describing all aspects that frame the learning activities that can be generated to achieve the outlined goals (e.g. participants, tasks, resources, targets and risks to be considered). Despite being a complex activity, it’s essential for teachers.
In this work we focused on CADMOS, because it’s devoted to create specifications for Moodle, one of the most used LMS by teachers. The main goal is study CADMOS, trying to identify its potentialities and limitations as planning tool capable of represent all aspects of a LO.
Therefore the research questions are: Is it possible specify all aspects that characterize the LO using CADMOS? Do the limitations in specification influence the automatic operationalization of the LO in LMS?
Tests done with CADMOS were divided in two parts: 1)Specification of a LO, consisting of a task module on a specific theme, that took place in LMS Moodle of a Portuguese higher education institution, as part of a course in a program of Computer Engineering. 2)Specification result has been converted into an interoperable data packet, which was imported to the LMS. After the automatic creation of the LO were analysed the similarities with the original LO.
Results showed that there were differences between the two LO. A primitive structure of LO is created in LMS, but extra work performed by the teacher is required to complete the configuration of the activities. Additional points were found: a)When specifying there isn’t the possibility to configure all required aspects of a Moodle activity (e.g. wiki). Teacher has to do it manually directly in the LMS. b)Limitations in the automation process of operationalization of the LO in LMS, related to the specification process were found. Is necessary consider the representation structure adopted in LO specification with CADMOS. It offers different functions to do it, which are used or not depending on the way user conceives the LO. This leads to different representations in LMS.
As planning tool CADMOS can be useful and has advantages, as the possibility of having different views of the process (conceptual model/flow model), and chance to save, change, reuse and share several times a specification product. Its major weakness is in automatic creation of the LO in LMS. Thus, we believe that CADMOS and other graphic editors are likely to be important planning tools for teachers. However, more tests with different LO and improvements are needed to achieve faithful automating creation of LO in LMS, allowing teachers to be focused on central aspects of teaching.
Educational planning, IMS-LD, Authoring tools, e-learning, Moodle, CADMOS