Breaking Boundaries : Innovation in medical education

Chancellors Hotel and Conference Centre, Manchester 12 & 13 Feb 2003

Personal report by Rod Ward

As usual with these reports it is being written "on the fly", to be of interest to those who could not attend & is by no means an official or formal report. I aplogise for any typos or other errors.

Day 2 papers, parallel sessions etc.

The first session of the second day was "Interoperability issues - metadata, controlled vocabularies, current standards and specifications" by Lorna Campbell, Deputy Director, CETIS. She gave a description of the work of CETIS and currently emerging issues around Learning Object Economies. The technical drivers and barriers were explored with the case being made for standards and specifications, however these, although difficult can be solved - what is more difficult is the change to pedagogical and institutional practice and considerations about the sharing of resources. She highlighted some of the JISC funded projects (JORUM+, RELOAD, TOIA) working in this area, and issues around quality control and peer review (and whether this is appropriate for learning objects). Other areas considered included intellectual property rights (IPR) (see and pedagogical frameworks including the use of educational modelling language including the roles, activities and resources involved.

To make the talk really topical there was mention of the draft UK Common Metadata Framework (UKCMF) released yesterday. which recommends a minimum set of elements to be included.
Lorna Campbell
Lorna Campbell
The next session had been added after the programme was prepared and was a consideration of Authentication and Authorisation for VLE's, by Lynn Norris from Athens. She described the workings of Athens for UK HE, NHS and other users and how they control access to hundreds of online journals and other resources. She also considered alternative approaches including; IP authentication, smart cards and biometrics, X.509 certificates and Shibboleth, which Athens is being prepared for. She set out a vision for the future based around institutional LDAP services.
I then attended a workshop lead by Lorna Campbell which enabled delegates to question and discuss in more depth many of the issues raised in her earlier paper, including; organisational change, who enters the metadata?, granularity, patient permissions (a new group set up by LTSN01 on this), digital rights, privacy, copyright, learning design and learner information packages and the relationship to curriculum mapping.
After lunch several of us made our way to the train, missing some final sessions and concluding plenary.

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