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Toolkit and demonstrator projects share experience

Sarah Holyfield
Last modified 10 Jan, 2006
Published 26 Oct, 2005
A meeting took place of the Toolkit and Demonstrator projects funded under the Frameworks and Tools strand of the e-Learning Programme in London at the LSE on 5th Oct 2005.

The Toolkit projects are the result of the second call for ELF toolkit development projects and will ‘focus on the services identified in the Learning Domain Services layer of the e-Learning Framework’. The purpose of the Demonstrator projects is to trial (that is install, test, demonstrate and evaluate) the use of one or more of the e-Learning Framework (ELF) toolkits to integrate two or more existing e-learning applications or to enhance the functionality of an existing e-learning application The projects have been funded between the Spring and Autumn of 2005.

Each project at the meeting described progress, the human level problems and functions they were addressing, the technical approaches they were taking and what further work they would recommend.

The presentation slides will shortly be available on the JISC web site and the projects' website addresses are listed at the end of this newsitem.

A number of themes emerged during the day including the ‘research and development’ nature of this work, yet the need to implement the tools they produce in the real world of educational institutions, and several projects have working implementations. A report on this work will be appearing shortly on this site.

Some of the technical issues raised included concerns about IMS specifications such as their size, complexity and inflexibility; developing maps of related projects and specifications; and issues around the re-use of JISC toolkits such as general maintenance, development, distribution etc. Further development ideas included more toolkits, authoring tools (‘for regular mortals’), orchestrated services and GUI clients. Projects have developed web services and data models for various tasks and there is a need to feed these back into the community and specifications bodies.

Cultural and institutional issues are consistently raised by technical development projects and these were no exception. The sorts of issues that emerged included the recognition that work of this sort may not be of a high priority for an institution, so it can be dependent on the work of enthusiasts. The timescale of projects may not match the organisational realities of term times etc. There may be tensions between developers producing useful toolkits in a funded project, and those responsible for providing IT services in an institution who may not have the time or resources to implement these. Sustainability and skills is an issue in relation to staff turnover, however building communities of interest may help here.

There were many ideas for further work, and there will be a new call for projects in the near future which will be reported on this site. These projects and others will be meeting at the JISC-CETIS Conference 2005 – The e-Framework: Priorities and Challenges for 2006 in November.

A report on last year’s conference includes many materials on the projects underway at that time.

Project links

Phase 2 Toolkit projects

The second round of ELF toolkit projects are focussing on the services in the Learning Domain Services layer of the e-Learning Framework.

Resource List Toolkit

APIS Marking Services- Assessment + Marking QTI Strathclyde University

BeRT- Brockenhurst e-Registers Toolkit Brockenhurst College

SLED2 - Learning Design + QTI Open University

PyAssess - Assessment + Marking QTI- Cambridge University

SPAID: Storage and Packaging of Assessment Item - DataAssessment + Marking QTI Strathclyde University

Toolkit demonstrator projects

The demonstrator projects are aimed at testing the service definitions and first round toolkits in actual use within or between institutions.

ELF Search Service Demonstrator using APIS and ISIS (Assessment and Sequencing) Heriot-Watt University

BEWT- Bodington integrated with Enterprise Webservice Toolkit UHI Millennium Institute - Sweet .NET Demonstrator Brockenhurst College

DLD Demonstrating Learning Design - using SLeD (Learning Design) Open University

Making Tracks- using ISIS (Sequencing) - Hull University

JELFAD: Jisc E-Learning Framework Assessment Demonstrator - using APIS (Assessment) Kingston University (

DICE- using d+ (Resource Discovery) Staffordshire Unversity

SLeD Integration Demonstrator (SLiDe) Liverpool Hope University


Supported by JISC Supported by CETIS
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