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Re: Proposal / RFC: Thing > Intangible > Course[OfStudy?] Type (and OnlineCourse subtype)

From: Aaron Bradley <aaranged@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 15:09:04 -0800
Message-ID: <CAMbipBtN3qm=gx6kSjSR-YNF6zQv20mrGGjrYF12HKiAUdaQxA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@google.com>
Cc: Wes Turner <wes.turner@gmail.com>, "public-vocabs@w3.org" <public-vocabs@w3.org>
Thanks for raising this Wes, and I agree, Dan, that this is something long
overdue to tackle.

I made a preliminary stab at enumerating some of the issues surrounding
this in 2012:

And earlier exchanged some thoughts with Peter Pinch about the place of
LRMI in a course schema:

The lack of a course schema previously weighed heavily on me as one of the
sites I worked on, until a few months ago, was EduMine:

I think this is certainly a good candidate site as there you'll find three
different varieties of courses, which in aggregate cover off a number of
different scenarios:
- 100% online courses conducted by learners independently
- Courses conducted via live webcast
- Brick and mortar courses conducted in a classroom setting

You can see there my efforts at marking up a course using existing schemas,
which may provide some insights on what can be reused and needs to be
developed - I employed EducationEvent for those course types that had a
strict temporal dimension (that lack of a temporal dimension in
self-directed learning such as online courses is, in my opinion, one of the
reasons why - without debating it :) - modelling courses on events is

While I can no longer volunteer EduMine as a candidate site for markup, I
can certainly suggest it to them as a draft schema as developed (which
might be relatively easy for them as all their courses already have a
schema template baked in).

There's many other online course providers that one could turn to for
examples; I think the IEEE technical course catalog is a good example:

In terms of use cases, I can think of no better massively useful sites than
those offering massive open online courses (MOOCs) - e.g. facilitating
meaningful and useful search results for potential learners for such
queries as "history course online," and I think anyone who wished to
coordinate efforts at building out this schema collaboratively might find
willing collaborators among those responsible for these MOOCs.  Leading
providers include:

Finally, I think that the potential of such a schema would be squandered
without accounting for "traditional" brick-and-mortar courses from colleges
and universities (or other classes of schools).  Again, I see enormous
potential here for structured data providing enormous value to searchers
and other applied data users.  There are probably tens of thousands of
pages on thousands of sites that could be used here - any school with a
course catalog online.

On Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 2:32 PM, Dan Brickley <danbri@google.com> wrote:

> Thanks! I think we're long overdue to handle courses at schema.org,
> and there are probably some other proposals floating around in the
> public-vocabs or LRMI list archives. One thought I had is to model
> course-describing pages directly, rather than debate whether a course
> is a kind of intangible, an extended event, a sort of Service etc etc.
> Maybe a good way to make these choices more concrete would be to find
> a few candidate sites (ideally ones that would adopt the markup) and
> take a look at their structure...
> Dan
> On 19 February 2014 21:46, Wes Turner <wes.turner@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Objectives:
> >   Describe courses offered through EducationalOrganization s
> >   Support searches like "A course that covers linked data in the USA"
> >
> > Existing:
> >
> >   Thing > Organization > EducationalOrganization > CollegeOrUniversity
> >     http://schema.org/CollegeOrUniversity
> >
> >   LRMI:
> >     Types: "AlignmentObject"
> >        http://schema.org/AlignmentObject
> >
> >     Properties: http://www.lrmi.net/the-specification
> >       educationalRole, educationalAlignment, educationalUse
> >
> > Proposal:
> >   Thing > Intangible > Course[OfStudy?]
> >     PhysicalCourse (?)
> >     OnlineCourse
> >
> >
> > Next Steps:
> >   Gather feedback on appropriate properties
> >     Should 'subjects' or 'topicsCovered' be freetext and/or URIs?
> >
> >     Identify and work with LRMI expertise
> >       Is there a more intuitive way to describe a 'Course' with LRMI?
> >       What properties of Course would be good to have?
> >         educationalRole,
> >         educationalAlignment
> >
> >
> >   Write a Proposal:
> >     Someone else may be more qualified to craft a Schema.org proposal:
> >       http://www.w3.org/wiki/WebSchemas/SchemaDotOrgProposals
> >
> > --
> > Wes Turner
> > http://westurner.github.io/
> >
Received on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 23:09:31 UTC

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