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OpenGLM -- An Authoring and Sharing Tool for Learning Designs and Teaching Methods

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Michael Derntl
31 October 2012

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Davinia HL
8:33pm 9 December 2012

This chapter describes OpenGLM, emphasising the enhancements performed to the original GLM, a graphical IMS Learning Design authoring tool (IMS LD levels A and B). The enhancements include the search /import / export of standardised learning outcome definitions (adopting IEEE RCD, the EQF), resources, and IMS LD units of learning. All of these elements and units are shared via the Open ICOPER Content Space (OICS).

The chapter reads very well. The significance of the modelling tool was clear in previous publications, and the enhancements represent an important added value in the direction of providing more integrated approaches in learning design towards broader adoption and impact. Overall, the relevance of the chapter to the book is very high.

However, I feel that the chapter is too descriptive and that more discussion is needed to increase the interest and value of the chapter. I'm missing summarised discussions about related work, to what extent it has been used by learning designers / teachers, perception of usefulness around the enhancements, etc. I understand that this type of information may be available in the reports and papers referred to in the last paragraph of the Conclusion section, but my view is that authors would appreciate some discussion for a more self-contained chapter.

Other minor comments are:
* The term orchestration is being used in TEL with a broader meaning than the one used in the chapter. Is "activity orchestration" used in this chapter as a synonym of "activity flow"?
* Of course, it's up to the author of the chapter, but I think that it would be nice to reference a paper on the Reload LD Editor to recognise authors' credit with a citation (beyond mentioning University of Bolton in the text). I'm not sure if the following is the best reference for this: D. Griffiths, P. Beauvoir, O. Liber, M. B. Baxendale (2009) From Reload to ReCourse: learning from IMS Learning Design implementations. In Distance Education 30 (2).
* Relate the chapter with other chapters in this section of the book, possibly in the Introduction.

Andrew Brasher
5:41pm 31 December 2012 (Edited 7:53am 3 January 2013)

The chapter succinctly describes what OpenGLM does, but not why the functionality of OpenGLM has been implemented in the way that it has.. There is a need for more information about the rationale for implementation, and about the design decisions taken during the development of OpenGLM. That said, OpenGLM looks to be an interesting tool.


Here are some examples where an explanation would be interesting.

On page 2 the chapter states that OpenGLM supports IMS LD levels A and B. Why not C? What restrictions do A and B impose on the learning designer?

On page 3, the idea that activity-roles are colour coded is interesting, why was this approach taken?

On page5, it states that OpenGLM adopted the IEEE Reusable Competency Definition, and uses the proficiency level descriptor from the European Qualifications Framework. Why were these chosen? What benefits do use of these specifications provide to the end user?

The title of the chapter indicates that integrating OERs would be discussed. One aspect that is not mentioned at all is that of the licence pertaining to resources found through the searches shown in figure 8. For example, can one search for resources licenced under CCBYNC or other particular licences? If such functionality is not included, it would be useful to know why not.


There is one other theme I would encourage the author to include, and that is some data about usage of the OpenGLM. For example, on page 7, the chapter states “By supporting this kind of online repository-based sharing, learning design communities of practice at individual and organisational level are provided with a powerful toolkit to manage their shared units of learning”. If at all possible, it would be great to see some qualitative or quantitative data about users experience with the OpenGLM, to illustrate to what extent it supports communities sharing units of learning.


Michael Derntl
10:28am 11 January 2013

(Just copy&pasting Dai's comments, sent through email)

The description of the interface of OpenGLM and the technical systems which support it is not of
interest in itself to the readers of this book, as I conceive of them. On the other hand I believe that they
will be interested in the way in which your design and implementation resolve the pedagogic goals
which you have in creating the application. I can see that you are aware of this, as you include some
details of pedagogic motivation in your text. In my view, the paper would benefit from making this
explicit in the discussion.
I suggest that you
a) Start your introduction with your second paragraph (perhaps including the first sentence of the first
paragraph). Following this paragraph I would like to see a operationalised list of the areas in which
OpenGLM enables it to reduce “the complexity of the IMS LD specification to a degree where teaching
practitioners are enabled to build IMS LD ...”. The reader needs to be able to understand what the
challenges are in order to be able to make sense of your contribution.
You can then include some or all of the technical information from the first paragraph.
b) As you discuss the design concepts and features, make reference to the challenges and contribution.
Imagine that you are writing for a reader who is interested in the design of learning activities, but does
not know anything about IMS LD. I believe that your paper can be valuable to them, but they need an
indication of how the problems of designing an IMS LD application involve making decisions about
the representation and management of learning activities which are generic. A table may help to clarify
this at some point.
- 'unit of learning' is at least once written as 'unit-of-learning'. This should be standardised (not only in
your paper, but also I think in the book as a whole)
- You say “OpenGLM will issue a user-friendly message”. I would suggest that it is up to the user to
decide if a message is friendly or not, and I recommend that you say “will issue an error message with
simple non-technical explanations”, or something similar.

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