Visualizing IMS LD level B
Last week, I attended the JISC CETIS Design Bash, which took place in conjunction with the LAMS conference. During the design bash, Dai Griffiths and I sat together to discuss visualizations for IMS Learning Design. Dai is currently working on concepts for the new Reload Learning Design Editor, namely, the ReCourse Author. ReCourse now features a visualizer (see figure on the right; screenshot taken from ReCourse site) that graphically depicts the structure of an imsmanifest including roles, activities, environments etc. In this regard, Dai and I discussed how we could visualize IMS LD level B properties and also conditions. The idea behind this is that the learning designer can more quickly grasp what property is being used where, i.e. where data is being stored, viewed and monitored while the unit of learning is running. If a visualization were available, it would be easier to keep track of properties and their use during the design phase.
The problem we ran into is that the list of properties in an imsmanifest quickly grows lengthy. Thus, visualizations of properties are numerous and may be distracting if there are too many. Another question that arose was whether some associated concepts of properties should be displayed as well, such as the property group that a property may be a part of, or the resource (xml file) in which the property is made available to the user, either to be viewed or to be changed. We definitely saw a need for visualizing the connection between the property being viewed or changed, and the activity or condition where this takes place. Dai will further ponder these issues and work with Phil Beauvoir, the main ReCourse developer, to integrate outcomes in a new version of ReCourse.
2009/07/21 add-on: Dai Griffiths has also reflected this experience at cloudworks.