Posts Tagged ‘ASPECT’

Learning About Content Standards at the ASPECT Summer School
July 7, 2010
ASPECT Summer School

Photographer: Kati Clements

Over 40 teachers from Belgium, Lithuania, Portugal and Romania came together to learn about the integration of digital learning resources into platforms (VLEs) and learning content packaging in a Summer School organised by the ASPECT project ( on 8 May 2010 in Lisbon.

The main aim of the ASPECT Summer School was to explore how learning content standards, such as SCORM and Common Cartridge, can be used by teachers, and how different types of “content packaging” can add value to the learning experience.

ASPECT is a 30-month Best Practice Network supported by the European Commission’s eContentplus Programme, involving 22 partners from 15 countries. The aim of ASPECT is to explore how the adoption of learning technology standards and specifications can be improved. The programme will run until February 2011 and is now in its final phase.

The Summer School in Portugal was the third and final session, in which ASPECT obtained feedback from teachers.

First, four national workshops organized in October 2009 focused on how teachers search for and discover resources contained in learning content repositories such as the Learning Resource Exchange (LRE) for schools and what their impressions are about the LRE portal as a resource for their daily work. After that an online workshop, organized in March 2010, analysed teachers’ search behaviours and their attitudes towards reusability and sharing of resources i.e., under what kind of conditions teachers would trust or share resources, in particular when it comes to tags, ratings, authors (content providers), etc.

The third session, organised in May 2010 in Lisbon, concentrated on the integration of resources into VLEs and content packaging. First the teachers were asked to create a normal lesson plan using the Moodle learning platform in a “traditional” way by combining different resources. Then they were asked to repeat the same task using resources that had been ‘packaged’ by ASPECT content developers using both the SCORM and Common Cartridge standards.

According to Kati Clements from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland (part of the ASPECT Consortium) many of the teachers were positively surprised by the possibilities offered by content packaging. Teachers with regular IT skills could take content that had been packaged using Common Cartridge, download it into Moodle and easily create a lesson plan from the unpackaged material.

ASPECT Summer School

Photographer: Kati Clements

Generally, ASPECT teachers reacted to SCORM resources in much the same way that they treated unpackaged content. For example, they did not see much difference between having a SCORM resource and a PowerPoint presentation. In comparison, the teachers were very enthusiastic about Common Cartridge content packaging. After importing a CC package into Moodle, the teachers could remove parts that they did not need, edit the content and change the order of different resources.

Dr. Agueda Gras-Velazquez, from European Schoolnet (part of the ASPECT Consortium) was delighted to see how teachers’ positive attitudes towards and interest in resource repositories, content packaging and, above all, the ASPECT project, had increased drastically since the first workshop: In the national workshops in October 2009 teachers had been sceptical about the uses and advantages of the LRE portal and content packaging. However, they left the Lisbon Summer School eager to know more about how to include Common Cartridge plug-ins in their own virtual learning environments (VLE) and were keen to use learning content packaging in the future.

For more information on the workshop and more initial results please see: and


ASPECT is a new 30-month Best Practice Network supported by the European Commission’s eContentPlus Programme that involves 22 partners from 15 countries, including 9 Ministries of Education (MoE), four commercial content developers and leading technology providers, including Cambridge University Press. Currently Cambridge University Press is working with ASPECT and its partners to develop best practice approaches to implementing standards for both educational content discovery and use.