Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Educational Content Authoring Tools

Dr Lachlan Blackhall will present a free seminar on "Educational Content Authoring Tools" 1pm, 23 February 2011, at the Australian National University in Canberra. This is part of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, "Education Innovation Series" (check the CECS Seminars List for others in the series).

Educational Content Authoring Tools

Dr Lachlan Blackhall (CECS, ANU )


DATE: 2011-02-23
TIME: 13:00:00 - 14:00:00
LOCATION: CSIT Seminar Room, N101, Computer Science and Information Technology Building, The Australian National University

The authoring, storage, delivery and reuse of educational content is rapidly becoming a significant problem in the tertiary education sector where significant content is generated for the plethora of courses delivered each year. Effectively being able to manage this authoring process (authoring, storage, delivery and reuse) will offer significant advantages for the tertiary education sector. The challenges being faced in the content authoring process in tertiary education sector can be summarised as follows:
  • Little or no archiving of content (each lecturer redevelops content).
  • Tools used are content developer specific.
  • Content types supported depend on the platform used by each developer. Important standards are not necessarily supported (i.e. WCAG, SCORM, etca).
  • Content is typically recreated for each delivery mode (i.e. PDF, PowerPoint slides, lecture notes, etca).
  • Content cannot be updated easily.
  • This report focuses on the specific requirements of the authoring, storage, and re-use, and delivery of education resources of a variety of types. The report is limited to the authoring tools that exist either as standalone systems or as authoring tools within a variety Learning Management Systems (LMS), both open source and commercial.

    Of all the content authoring tools AContent conforms to the most useful standards whilst offering a simple and effective authoring tool. The tool itself is uncluttered, offers the ability to include all the necessary content types and conforms to the important accessibility standards developed by the W3C. It creates modules that are compatible with most existing LMS through the use of standards based export mechanisms. Importantly AContent allows the creation of metadata that describes the content being developed.

    Lachlan Blackhall was born and grew up in Sydney, Australia. He received a Bachelor of Engineering (Aerospace) and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Sydney in 2007. He has previously worked for the Australian Centre for Field Robotics and as an electric propulsion engineer for Alta Space in Pisa, Italy. He was a student in the Systems and Control Group in the Research School of Information Sciences and Engineering at the Australian National University where he pursued research on dynamical network theory, fault tolerance and diagnosis for networked systems and systematic complexity reduction. He recently submitted his PhD, and will soon take up a Post Doc position in Lund University, Sweden.

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