Monday, July 24, 2006

Learning and training content specialization

I'm proud to announce that as of July 18th, the DITA TC has approved the creation of a DITA "Learning and training content specialization" subcommittee, as proposed by John Hunt. I'm looking forward to participating! Here are the details:

The subcommittee has the following statement of initial goals:
1.        Develop a general top-level design for structured, intent-based authoring of learning content with good learning architecture, following DITA principles and best practices. Such a design would build on past work on topic-based content, reusable learning objects, and the learning content types needed to support them. Some specifics of a DITA design for learning content include:
a.        learning types, including assessments and exercises
b.        a map domain for structuring and managing the learning types as reusable learning objects
c.        linking, relationships, and simple sequencing
d.        interactions
e.        style policies for learning content
f.        dynamic sequencing.

2.        Establish guidelines that promote best practices for applying standard DITA approaches to learning content, which include:
a.        separation of presentation and content (as much as possible)
b.        separation of content and context
c.        single sourcing, repurposing, and reuse.

3.        Develop support for processing DITA for general delivery as learning and training, including print and presentation delivery to support instructor-led training (ILT), web delivery for distance learning, and computer-based training delivery in general.
4.        Develop targeted support for processing DITA learning content for delivery with standards-based learning, specifically targeting SCORM and QTI. Specifically, extend DITA processing to support basic SCORM sequencing, interactions, and required SCORM LMS runtime behaviors. Leverage QTI behaviors to drive the interactions. Address the issue of "levels" from a simple implementation to full SCORM and beyond.
5.        Build on existing DITA infrastructure (editors, CMS, transforms) as much as possible so learning content developers do not have to start from scratch.

Proposed chair

John Hunt, IBM (though open to other nominations or co-chair)

Proposed initial work products for the subcommittee include the following:
Task 1: 1 month on review of structured designs for learning and how to apply DITA principles and best practices.
Task 2: 1 month on developing a top-level plan for map a DITA specialization for learning content, including identifying the learning types, map domains, content domains, and processing support needed to support the design.
Task 3: X months on developing DITA schemas and processing, and piloting and validating the top-level designs against sample content.
Task 4: 1 month on reviewing the pilot, writing and reviewing a progress report. Close this phase of the activity with a progress report to the TC, with recommended next steps.

Initial membership

The following TC members have expressed interest as initial members in this subcommittee:
1.        Bruce Esrig, Lucent (or other person from Lucent)
2.        Jennifer Linton, Comtech Services, Inc.
3.        Scott Hudson, Flatiron Solutions
4.        Christian Kravogel, SeicoDyne
5.        Erik Hennum, IBM
6.        John Hunt, IBM

In addition, several new members have expressed interest in joining the TC to participate in this SC.

If you are interested in participating, or would like to provide requirements/feedback, please contact one of us or leave me a comment.

The public page for the SC can also be found at:


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