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Events Newsflash June 2010 #2

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Learning Forum London — ePortfolio 2010, Internet of Subjects Forum, SE@M 2010 Call for proposals, ASPECT Webinars


 Events Newsflash June 2010 #2





ePortfolio vs Personal Learning Space

Learning Forum London 5-7 July 2010 programme

Internet of Subjects: the 7 rules of IoS

Partner Events

ASPECT Webinars 22 June 2010: Conformance Testing (Making Sense of Learning Technology Standards)

AAEEBL Boston (USA) 19 – 22 July 2010

World of Learning, Birmingham (UK) 28-29 September 2010

SE@M 2010, Barcelona (Spain) 27-28 September, call for papers deadline extended


ePortfolio vs Personal Learning Space




In an Interview with Rob Arntsen (see below), the CEO of MyKnowledgeMap  suggests that we should move away from the ePortfolio, a term that "is perhaps too general" and "has been driven by institutions to primarily address institutional interest. [...] We need to see the concept that allows the “bridge” between an individual in control of their own learning space and the institution’s valid need for some form of consistent method of interlocking with their students learning processes."

Rob Arntsen certainly has a valid point on which we should reflect further: despite the vision of people like Helen Barrett promoting the idea of the ePortfolio as the learner's authentic voice, it is not uncommon to have it filtered through institutional interests. Occasionaly, this can make learners' voices sound more like those of an institution's ventriloquist than their own...

So, how could we interlock institution's legitimate needs with those, just as legitimate, of learners? How can we create a system where both parties can be fully empowered?

We would like to suggest a possible solution:

  1. Dissociate data from services —free data from services and applications silos!
  2. Give learners full control over their data and decide what services, organisations and people can access —let users define their own policies regarding their data
  3. Let institutions define the services they need to provide to feed-in/out learners' data

This sounds a bit technical, but translated into applications and services this would mean that:

  1. Learners would be free to create their own personal learning spaces, using the tools and services of their choice to support their learning --with the support and advice of peers and professionals.
  2. Teachers would be free to select the tools and services of their choice to support learners and their own continuing professional development
  3. Institutions would be free to define their own services and requirements without imposing a specific system or technology onto learners or teachers.

In doing so, we could create a learning architecture that would be at the same time: learner-centric, teacher-centric and institution-centric, or more exactly, learning-centric. Different learners at the same institution could choose different ePortfolio services, while teachers and the institution would have their own-defined views to interact with their learners, peers and other institutions. This could also contribute to the foundations of an architecture for learning organisations, something schools and universities might want to become...

Is it possible? Is it difficult? How can we make it happen?

It is possible and we can make it happen now!

Relevant technical standards and technologies already exist. A number of initiatives, like Kantara working group on user access control, Higgins, TrustFabric and more recently Diaspora* demonstrate that there is a need and that many believe that it can be satisfied now. The TAS3 partnership, a large scale European research project, has defined a new reference architecture than can serve as a foundation to create the technologies and services that will satisfy the needs for a more person-centric and more trustworthy Internet. This reference architecture will contribute to the emergence of the Internet of Subjects where people and organisations will be able interact on a more equal footing.

A new generation of learning technologies will emerge, and the personal learning space called for by Rob Arntsen should play a key role in establishing the Internet of (learning) Subjects.

We look forward to exploring these issues, and many more, with you at the Savoy Place, London 5-7 July 2010.

The EIfEL Team

* In a few weeks, Diaspora secured nearly $200,000 in pledges to create a distributed open-source social network, cutting out intermediaries like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to share directly personal data, retaining personal ownership and control of personal data. TrustFabric pretends that they have already developed the technology Diaspora wants to create and TAS3 claims, with reason, to have the required architecture reference model.


Interview with Rob Arntsen, keynote speaker at Learning Forum London, 5-7 July 2010










My Knowledge Map

Platinum Sponsor





Learning Forum London

Rob formed MyKnowledgeMap in March 2000 after working at IBM for 22 years. During his time at IBM he held a number of senior management positions, including UK Manager of New Markets, Northern Region Manager for General Business Division, and Learning Technologies Solutions Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Rob was appointed as a member of the government's National Advisory Council for Continuous Education and Lifelong Learning, Technology Working Group and served as a member of the Working Group on Widening Participation by the Council for Industry and Higher Education. He was a member of the original IPPR group that produced the proposal for the University for Industry.

EIfEL: Rob, could you describe MyKnowledgeMap's vision of ePortfolios?

We believe that the term is perhaps too general and becoming overtaken by events as the learning technology market evolves. On one hand I prefer the concept of a person’s individual learning space, such that the individual is in control of what they identify as their tailored learning space, which embraces their social networking space and which allows them to showcase and to grant access selectively.

On the other hand, for obvious reasons, the historic trend behind e-portfolio development has been driven by institutions to primarily address institutional interest in delivering a solution in this area. That requirement is still valid, and so we need to see the concept that allows the “bridge” between an individual in control of their own learning space and the institution’s valid need for some form of consistent method of interlocking with their students learning processes. This is why we are developing Learning Slate, which is an open source development, initially with Hull University and JISC.

EIfEL: Did you notice any interesting change in the ePortfolio market over the last year? 

The changes we have seen in the e-portfolio market are many and varied. There has been the growth in use of significant open source solutions such as Mahara, the merging of reflective style portfolios with competency orientated assessment, and the linkage with assessment. I also am starting to get the feel that this space is becoming more important than the traditional LMS/VLE product and may perhaps take centre stage at some point. Generally we are seeing more interest in video content and e-book content alongside other content, and indeed the close integration of video and e-books within e-learning and assessment objects.

Perhaps the most dramatic and rapid change has been the very strong interest in mobile phones, especially smart phones and related technology. I suspect this will continue to evolve quickly with the advent of the i-pad and similar devices. This is why we are developing significant new solutions in this area that will offer open APIs to support any e-portfolio system, and support multiple smartphone operating systems. We will launch this product at the Handheld Learning event 9-11 January 2011, and hopefully preview the product at ALT-C in September. Our initial implementation will be in the higher education health area, to support student doctors.

EIfEL: While ePortfolios are digital presentations of evidence (of learning and competencies), still very few provide the opportunity to link collected evidence to any kind of competency model, like occupational standards. Why is that so, especially now that education aims at being 'outcome based' and 'competency based'.

This is an interesting question. On one hand I think that the method of matching evidence to competencies has been achieved for some years by specialist e-portfolio systems that focus on either CPD or formal competency based qualifications like NVQs. I think part of this market will see a decline in terms of changes in UK government focus around NVQs, but the CPD demand continues to increase, and the NVQ demand will probably take a new form over time. More generally I think the interest in linking evidence to competencies is growing in all sorts of new areas and we are now involved in a wide range of activities that offer cross over. Our work on national skill passport system for the Nuclear and Process industry academies is one example, and our work with some of the major professional institutes such as CIPD and CMI is another.

If HE is pushed to develop closer links with employers over the next few years, and if work based delivery of qualifications generally starts to become more important to institutions, then I believe that we will see much more demand (driven by employers and employer’s national trade bodies) to match competencies with evidence. This is what we achieved with the ALPS project for health and social care students when out on practice.

EIfEL: What are the main threats and opportunities for ePortfolios.

The main threat is that they will metamorphose into wider concepts. In terms of opportunities there is the scope for much richer function and interconnectivity between personal and individual systems, and the normal evolutionary process of adapting to new technologies and they come on stream. They specifically need to be able to blend into other infrastructures (eg. for content distribution) so that people are not presented with an overwhelming variety of different systems for learning and everyday use. And the individual must increasingly be in control of personalizing their own space.

EIfEL: Thank you Rob, and we all look forward to hearing your keynote address at Learning Forum London.

For a complete view of the actual programme:


If you would like to submit a contribution, this is still possible. All information for submitting is accessible at: There is also space available for exhibiting.


Internet of Subjects: the 7 rules of IoS

London 5 July 2010

  Internet of Subjects Forum London





Recently,  IoS partners have decided to define the IoS framework by a limited set of principles that are precise enough to have an impact when being implemented, but large enough to leave space for multiple technical solutions and architectures to be designed.

In their current state the 7 IoS principles are.

  1. Self control (user control, self determination, user-defined policies): I manage my self-identity. You can access my data under my conditions, my policies.
  2. Searchability (findability, identification to): I am, therefore you can find me and I can find you. And I can hide.
  3. Instant Social Networking (Massive, meaningful, anonymous & mutual interaction): We can engage in collective actions even if we don't know each other.
  4. Ubiquity (unification of distributed data): I can move my data seamlessly over the Internet to the hosts I trust.
  5. Symmetry (equality, peerness): we are equal, individuals and organisations: I am also an identity provider, a credentials provider, a service provider.
  6. Uniqueness (minimal replication of raw data): Do not copy my data when a simple pointer to it can do the job —changes are easier to manage as well as enforcement of policies and reputation control.
  7. Accountability (reputation, responsibility for one's own actions, even anonymous): I act responsibly as I know that what I do to others will impact my reputation and my ability to interact with others.

These rules do not make any explicit reference to interoperability, as it is the inherent property of a user-centric architecture to be interoperable: it is the individual that acts as the interoperability agent for the whole system. Individuals define the policies regarding their personal data and the trust infrastructure insures that those policies are being enforced. One important challenge will be the ability to provide and maintain a unified user experience whilst the number of heterogeneous actors joining IoS grows.

If you are willing to discuss, challenge or improve those rules you are welcome to join us at IoS Forum London, or join IoS.

More on IoS Forum London:

This is an open space conference, so participants are welcome to submit  a contribution and organise their own sessions. In order to contribute, participants are invited to submit an abstract via the conference management tool:

When submitting, please use The Internet of Subjects as track as well as topic.

There are many conferences on the Internet of Objects, this is the only one dedicated entirely to the Internet of Subjects.

The conference is sponsored by the TAS3 partnership


Partner events





ASPECT Webinars: making sense of learning technology standards

A series of webinars is proposed by the ASPECT partnership to promote the adoption of learning technology standards by publishers, authors, educational institutions. Although technical, these workshops are accessible to non-technical people as the objective is to understand the benefits of standards.

All webinars run at 12 am CET (11 am GMT), on the second and 4th Tuesday of each month. Duration is 1 hour, and participants can join 30 minutes in advance on the Elluminate Live! platform.

Next webinar:

  • 22 Jun. 2010   Conformance Testing, Ingo Dahn, University of Koblenz, Germany    link

NB1: links are active 30 minutes before the start of the webinar.

NB2: webinars are recorded, and the links to the recordings are accessible in the programme.

The complete programme of future and past webinars is accessible at:

AAEEBL, Boston July 19 – 22, 2010

The worldwide Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence­Based Learning ( is holding the first major international conference focused on electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) to be held in the United States. The conference is in Boston on July 19 – 22, 2010, at the Seaport Hotel and Seaport World Trade Center, a world‐class conference venue.  All major ePortfolio projects and initiatives around the world will be represented at the conference. EIfEL and IoS will be present.

Deadline for early‐bird discount is June 18; register at Home site for the conference: (link to hotel reservations is at this site as well).


World of Learning, Birmingham (UK) 28-29 September 2010

Now in its 18th year, the World of Learning Conference & Exhibition will once again attract thousands of learning and development professionals to the NEC in Birmingham on Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 September 2010.

The premier event for business learning, the World of Learning will feature an exhibition with more than 100 local and international exhibitors, and a major conference that boasts first-class speakers from all over the world.

The exhibition will include companies from all sectors of the learning and development industry, from e-learning and HR and learning management solutions, to social media and instructor-led training. Major organisations exhibiting include Blue Beetle, e2train, Thales Training & Consultancy, Centre for High Performance Development, Kaplan IT Learning, Impact International, Huthwaite International, etc.venues, Results Driven Group, LearningGuide Solutions and Assima (DACG).

To exhibit or to pre-register visit or call +44 (0)20 8394 5171
For more information on all aspects of the event please visit




Registered organisations include:
Atlas de la Diversidad
ISG Arcus
JES & Co.
Massey University
Multimedia Design
Stockholm University
Turtle Rattle Learning
Univ. Plovdiv
Vivid Interactive

SE@M'10 27-28 September, Barcelona

Fourth International Workshop on Search and Exchange of e-le@rning Materials

2nd CALL FOR PAPERS - Submission Deadline: 30 JUNE 2010 (extended)


Over the last fifteen years, considerable effort has been spent on the development of standards and specifications in order to improve the interoperability of e-learning systems, repositories, and content. These efforts have led to significant improvements in the arena of technical interoperability enabling the emergence and expansion of successful federations and alliances of learning object repositories such as the LRE, ARIADNE, GLOBE, etc. Building blocks for this success have been the creation, evolution and adoption of standards such as the IEEE Learning Object Metadata (LOM), the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), and the Simple Query Interface (SQI). More recent developments in this field include the definition of a Simple Publishing Interface (SPI) and the ongoing work within the IMS Global Learning Consortium on the Learning Object Discovery & Exchange (LODE) specification to facilitate the discovery and retrieval of learning objects stored across more than one collection. The development of best practices (for example by projects like ASPECT and ICOPER), enabling more efficient use of these standards and specifications, has also proven instrumental in the successes of current learning content retrieval infrastructures.

Given the significant improvements in the technical infrastructures allowing for the exchange of learning objects and metadata, attention of domain experts is now increasingly turning to the development and implementation of solutions to enhance semantic interoperability. There is also a need to better optimize techniques for the management of controlled vocabularies and to guarantee interoperability between different application profiles. A series of other issues are yet to be resolved including best-practices and tools for access control to learning resources and issues of privacy and data protection in the context of e-learning.

To further developments in this field, the main goal of this international workshop is to offer a forum where researchers and practitioners can discuss theoretical aspects, open issues, and innovative approaches and share the latest advances in the state of the art and practices for exchanging and describing learning content. This year's workshop will include presentations of both long and short refereed papers as well as panel discussions, keynotes and demonstrations.

TOPICS OF INTEREST (include, but are not limited to)

* Infrastructures for learning resource discovery and exchange
- Interoperable content and metadata repositories
- Protocols for exposing content
- Federations of learning resources
- Service registries

* Metadata Management
- Standards, application profiles and application profile registries
- Metadata conformance, testing and validation services
- Automatic metadata generation versus human indexing
- Controlled vocabularies, translations, crosswalks and controlled vocabulary management and tools
- Protocols and techniques for metadata exchange
- Infrastructure for mass metadata processing
- Techniques for achieving metadata interoperability
- Inclusion of other types of content (library, cultural heritage)

* Discovering content
- User profiling for more accurate resource discovery
- Retrieval of learning resources (searching, browsing)
- Interoperable query languages
- Enhanced search mechanism (sorting, ranking)
- Recommendation systems

* Access Control vs. Open
- Data protection
- Privacy in eLearning contexts
- Copyright vs. Creative Commons
- Guaranteeing ‘openness’ of open content
- Intellectual property and metadata

* Exchanging content
- Standards for reusable content (SCORM, Common Cartridge, QTI, etc.)
- Resource identification
- Reliable auditing (tracking, reporting)
- Use tracking


Authors are invited to submit original unpublished research as full papers (max. 10 pages) or work-in-progress as short papers (max. 5 pages). All submitted papers will be peer-reviewed by three members of the program committee for originality, significance, clarity and quality. Accepted papers will be published online as part of the CEUR Workshop proceedings series. is a recognized ISSN publication series, ISSN 1613-0073.

Authors should use the Springer LNCS format ( For camera-ready format instructions, please see “For Authors” instructions at:
Submissions, and questions, should be sent to
Those interested in demonstrating their work during the workshop are also invited to contact the organizers at


* 30 June 2010: Paper Submission deadline
* 30 July 2010: Notification of acceptance
* 10 August 2010: Camera Ready Submission
* 27-28 September 2010: Workshop


The workshop will take place at Hotel Catalonia Plaza, Barcelona, the same venue as EC-TEL 2010 (


Registration fee is 60 euros to cover for the costs of coffee breaks and lunch.
Online registration at:


David Massart, European Schoolnet, Belgium
Elena Shulman, European Schoolnet, Belgium
Serge Ravet, EIfEL, France


  • Luis Anido, University of Vigo, Spain
  • Vladimir Batagelj, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Jean-Noel Colin, University of Namur, Belgium
  • Ingo Dahn, University of Koblenz, Germany
  • Erik Duval, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • Joris Klerkx, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • Manuel Kolp, Universite catholique de Louvain, Belgium
  • Robert Kristoefl, BMUKK, Austria
  • Eugenijus Kurilovas, ITC, Centre of Information Technologies of Education, Lithuania
  • Tien-Dung Le, European Schoolnet, Belgium
  • Nikos Manouselis, Greek Research & Technology Network, Greece
  • Jon Mason, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
  • Tomasz Orzechowski, AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland
  • Fredrik Paulsson, Umea University, Sweden
  • Jan Pawlowski, JYU, Finland
  • Alain Pirotte, Universite catholique de Louvain, Belgium
  • Daniel Rehak, ADL, USA
  • Griff Richards, Athabasca University, Canada
  • Bernd Simon, WU-Wien, Austria
  • Stefaan Ternier, Open Universiteit, The Netherlands
  • Frans Van Assche, Ariadne Foundation, Belgium
  • Riina Vuorikari, European Schoolnet, Belgium
  • Tsuneo Yamada, Open University, Japan



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