The scope of use of learning technologies, by both institutions of higher education and other educational institutions, is growing year by year. With the expansion of technological possibilities in general, and the incorporation of web-based tools in particular, many lecturers have begun to integrate these applications in order to demonstrate and enrich their study material. The types of applications include the development of interactive tools, educational software, simulations, 3D models and more. To benefit from these developments, a decision was made to establish a national learning objects database. The database will be accessible to all the institutions where teaching takes place, will include diverse and accessible learning objects, and will provide tools for searching and locating objects to be used in learning frameworks. Content developers' and users' evaluations of the learning objects will also be included in the database. These evaluations will assist users to integrate the relevant objects into their study programs and lesson plans.
The learning objects database will initially include the projects developed within the framework of the Second Call issued by the Budgeting and Planning Committee of the Council for Higher Education: "Implementation of Learning Technologies in Institutions of Higher Education". These and other materials will be accessible in the database following their cataloging, examination and peer review.
The Database Content
The learning objects database will include three main components:
- Decentralized databases containing objects on various levels, including complete courses and lessons, presentations, simulations, web sites, video/audio clips, blogs, wiki, exercises, assignments, etc.
- A central database that includes metadata concerning learning objects. This information will characterize the learning objects and will enable easy and efficient access to a large number of databases, portals and learning resources.
- Objects based on free submission by as many entities as possible (teachers and tutors from a variety of institutions), and will be subject to review and inspection.
The Bodies Responsible for the Project's Administration and Execution
The Steering Committee defines guiding principles for the establishment of the database, as well as the definition of the pedagogic needs of institutions of higher education. The Steering Committee's members comprise representatives of MEITAL's member institutions.
Technical Infrastructures Development Team
The team is responsible for:
· Locating and establishing a central technological platform
· Defining and developing tools for tagging and searching objects
· Creating templates and tools for users, which are adapted to internationally-accepted standards
· Creating search mechanisms for users
· Creating mechanisms for the management of learning objects in the database
Database Development Team
The team is responsible for:
· Establishing a database and a portal
· Defining the tagging method and a thesaurus for describing the learning objects
· Characterizing the system tools (updating, management, retrieval)
· Characterizing the fields and information items (search words, general)
· Designing the user interface
· Creating a mechanism for evaluating and creating metadata
· Developing tools for creating metadata by the object creator/experts
Prof. Mordechai Shacham – MEITAL Chairman
Moshe Gottlieb – IUCC Director General
Eli Shmueli – MEITAL Director
Rimon Levy – Israel Internet Association
Dr. Miri Sheinfeld – Israel Internet Association