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Data, Data Everywhere - open, linked, interoperable?

Mason, Jon (). Data, Data Everywhere - open, linked, interoperable?. In: Open Forum Initiatives 2015, Mont-Saint-Aignan, France, 26 June 2015.

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Author Mason, Jon
Title Data, Data Everywhere - open, linked, interoperable?
Conference Name Open Forum Initiatives 2015
Conference Location Mont-Saint-Aignan, France
Conference Dates 26 June 2015
Conference Publication Title Proceedings, Initiatives 2015 - Standards for Digital Learning Resources: publishing, referencing, delivery, tracking
Start Page 15
End Page 17
Total Pages 3
Field of Research EDUCATION
Abstract The focus of standards development in the domain of information technology for learning, education, and training (ITLET) has shifted considerably since it first gained global attention in the 1990s. While the field has benefited from and endured disruption it has achieved sufficient buy-in from stakeholders for its core aim: interoperability of systems and learning content. This has been achieved in the midst of a range of diverse trends with regards to technological innovation, pedagogical practice, political imperatives, and socio-cultural sensibility. Among these trends has been the ‘open agenda’ – a movement with deep roots that has hitherto been focused upon access, intellectual property, benefit to the public domain, data sharing, and technical interoperability. Openness has generally been perceived as beneficial for the common good – although events in recent years provide potent evidence that it can be politically divisive when confidential information is leaked and governments legislate that their intelligence agencies have access to sufficient data to keep us safe. What implications does this have for ITLET? Apart from new capabilities the proliferation of data now associated with digital technology innovation brings with it a key development: data that has traditionally been distinct from a learning resource is fast becoming a learning resource in itself as ‘learning analytics’ is deployed. With new capabilities of e-learning systems there is a new imperative emerging: systems governance. Many of the issues associated with learning analytics – privacy, ownership, ethical, and business related – can all be understood as facets of governance. So, for the standards communities engaged in ITLET, interoperability must also be considered through the lens of governance. How can this be achieved? It is proposed in this short paper that in order to properly scope what is required that questioning be embraced in a rigorous and strategic manner.

Making sense of the emergent patterns of order and disorder in all this change is what we are compelled to do – but, are we asking the right questions about information technology standards when we do this? Is it fair to assume that systems interoperability is necessarily the primary goal for ITLET? Is systems governance just a policy issue? What do we need to consider in the development and deployment of data standards? What needs to be considered in the development of open protocols?
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