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Interest in extending schema.org to cover (online) courses?

From: Aaron Bradley <aaranged@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2012 17:17:17 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <1335572237.27248.YahooMailNeo@web161005.mail.bf1.yahoo.com>
To: Public Vocabs <public-vocabs@w3.org>
One of the web properties I work on offers online courses (a class delivered 100% online), short courses (a class formally presented at a brick-and-mortar location) and webcasts (live or recorded classes provided by video).  Most online and short sources are accredited (they count toward certificates or diplomas awarded either by accredited educational institutions like a university, or by a professional organization).

To this end I've been working on marking up these offerings with schema.org microdata - insofar as this is possible.  While the short courses *might* be suitable candidates for the EducationEvent type, and while the webcasts *might* in future be addressable as an learning resource in the event that the LMRI [1] becomes a published standard, there's no type (with attendant properties and defined values) that really addresses an online course.

As I've been mulling over and doing some preliminary work on an extension that would describe an online course, three things struck me.

First, that an "online course" is just a more specific type of an obvious parent not currently addressed by any type - a "course" (i.e. a discreet program of instruction).

Second, that being able to assign metadata to courses might be a tremendously useful thing for both students and educational institutions.  There are probably millions of courses listed on the web.

Third, that there may well have been work done on in this realm already.  However - while I've not done an exhaustive search - most ontologies and vocabularies I have encountered (like the LRMI initiative) seem to be focused on learning resources rather than learning programs (differing in that, among other things, the latter most often has a temporal component).

So ... reaching out to see what level of interest there might be in such an extension, whether or not anyone on the list has worked on a course vocabulary already (or knows of such work), and to welcome any would-be collaborators.

I should note here that my aim here is schema.org-centric.  That is, my goal is to create the required type(s) and properties for schema.org microdata, rather than general metadata for courses of which schema.org would only be one application.  I'm aiming to reuse as much of what is already available as possible (and much is covered off with existing types and properties), and limit the additions to only what's necessary.

Below are a couple of examples from the wild of the sort of resources I'd be targeting.

Aaron Bradley


Courses taken in-person

Example - A course offered by the University of Glasgow

Courses taken online

Example - A course offered by the University of Texas at Austin


[1] http://www.lrmi.net/ 

Received on Saturday, 28 April 2012 00:17:49 UTC

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