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Learning Technology System Architecture (LTSA)

In recent years, learning environments are an issue fostered by many governmental agencies, academia and industries throughout Europe, America and Asia. The working group IEEE "1484 Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) " is launching an architecture to become standard for all learning technology systems /IEEE 1484, 1999/ IEEE 1484, 1999 - Learning Technology Systems Architecture (LTSA), Draft 5.

The following is the draft defintion being fostered by the IEEE LTSC for learning architectures.

The LTSA specification covers a wide range of systems, commonly known as learning technology, computer-based training, electronic performance support systems, computer assisted instruction, intelligent tutoring, education and training technology, metadata, etc.. The LTSA specification is pedagogically neutral, content-neutral, culturally neutral, and platform-neutral.

The LTSA specification:

  • (1) provides a framework for understanding existing and future systems,
  • (2) promotes interoperability and portability by identifying critical system interfaces,
  • (3) incorporates a technical horizon (applicability) of at least 5-10 years while remaining adaptable to new technologies and learning technology systems.

Figure LTSA
Figure Intro 2: Learning Technology Systems Architecture (LTSA) by IEEE 1484

Learner   The Learner Entity process is an abstraction of a human learner. The Learner Entity may represent a single learner, a group of learners learning individually, a group of learners learning collaboratively, a group of learners learning in different roles, and so on.

The Learner Entity receives a Multimedia presentation and their Behavior is observed. At this level of abstraction, the Multimedia presentation and observable Behavior are diagramed separately. However, actual implementations will usually combine these features into one or more human interface modules (e.g., windowing systems), session presentation modules (e.g., web browser), tutoring tools (e.g., specialized applications), experimentation and discovery laboratories, and so forth.

The Learning Preferences are negotiated with the Coach.

   
Evaluation   Evaluation (process): The processing of Behavior to produce Assessment and Performance information.

The Learner Entity's observable Behavior is an input to the Evaluation process. The Evaluation process produces Assessment information ("where the learner is at") and sends the Assessment information to the Coach. The Evaluation process creates Performance information that is stored in the Learner Records.

The Evaluation process uses the Interaction Context to provide context to the Learner Entity's Behavior to determine the appropriate Evaluation. For example, a Learner Entity is expected to select from a multiple choice question and the correct answer is "#2", but the Evaluation process has no context that the keystrokes "2" (or "#2" or "two") are the correct answer - the Learner Content provides the context ("the correct answer is #2") to correlate the correct Behavior (e.g., the keystroke "2").

   
Learner Records   Learner Records (data store): Storage and retrieval of Performance information of the past (history), present ("suspends", current Assessment), and future (objectives).

The Learner Entity's observable Behavior is an input to the Evaluation process. The Evaluation process produces Assessment information ("where the learner is at") and sends the Assessment information to the Coach. The Evaluation process creates Performance information that is stored in the Learner Records.

The Learner Records stores Performance information. Performance information can come from both the Evaluation process (e.g., grades on lessons) and the Coach (e.g., certifications). The Learner Records holds information about the past (e.g., historical Learner Records), but can also hold information about the present (e.g., current Assessments for suspending and resuming sessions) and the future (e.g., pedagogy, Learner, or employer objectives).

   
System Coach   Step #1: The Coach negotiates the Learning Preferences with the Learner Entity. A learning style, strategy, etc., is chosen by either the Learner Entity (one-way negotiation, i.e., an assertion or inquiry), the Coach (one-way negotiation, i.e., an assertion or inquiry), both the Learner Entity and Coach (two-way negotiation), or an external authority (e.g., parent, teacher, institution, courseware developer).

Steps #2 and #3: The Coach receives the current Assessment information from the Evaluation process and Performance information from the Learner Records to support the decision-making process for choosing future learning experiences.

Step #4: Based on the current Assessment information and historical Performance information, the Coach sends Queries to the Learning Resources to search for appropriate learning materials. The Learning Resources returns Catalog Info, i.e., a list of Locators that match the search query.

Step #5: The appropriate Locators (e.g., a lesson plan) are sent to the Delivery process.

   
Learning Resources   Learning Resources (data store): A database that represents "knowledge", information, and other resources uses in the learning experiences. The Learning Resources may be represented as presentations, tutorials, experiments, lessons, etc.

The Learning Resources stores "knowledge", presentations, tutorials, tutors, tools, experiments, laboratories, and other learning materials as resources for the learning experience. The Learning Resources may be searched by Queries. The matching information is returned as Catalog Info, i.e., a set of content tags that are, conceptually, "card catalog" entries (also known as "learning object metadata"). The Locators (conceptually, "call numbers" on the bindings of the "books in the digital library", e.g., URLs) are extracted from the catalog info. The Locators are used by the Delivery process to retrieve Learning Content. It is unspecified who initiates the transfer of Learning Content (e.g., the Learner Entity, the Coach, or the Delivery process). For example, a query on a topic in chemistry (specified as a Query) might return a set of Catalog Info that include a laboratory experiment simulating the behavior of solids, liquids, and gases, a presentation on Boyle's Law, a bibliography or related materials, a tutorial, a chemistry tutor (the tutor may be human or surrogate; geographical nearness is irrelevant), and an ontology (a conceptual model of the subject represented as generic Learning Content) for temperature.

   
Delivery   Delivery (process): Retrieves Learning Content from the Learning Resources based on the Locator. Transforms the Learning Content into a Multimedia presentation.

The Delivery process receives Locators from the Coach and retrieves Learning Content from the Learning Resources. The Delivery process transforms the Learning Content into a Multimedia presentation for the Learner Entity. The Delivery mechanisms can vary widely, e.g., presentation and questions, an intelligent tutoring system, video conferencing with a human tutor, transforming an ontology (a conceptual model of the subject represented as generic Learning Content) into a presentation, among many other possibilities. The Delivery process may be implemented with the Evaluation process to achieve the tight coupling necessary for responsive, interactive learning experiences.

   

Next GDPA Online Last Updated 01.Jan.2002 Updated by Webmaster Last Revised 01.Jan.2002 Revised by Webmaster