MACE: INTEGRATED ACCESS TO ARCHITECTURAL CONTENT DURING LEARNING

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15 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

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MACE
:
INTEGRATED ACCESS TO

ARCHITECTURAL CONTEN
T
DURING LEARNING

Stefan Boeykens, Herman Neuckermans, Miguel Penalver

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (
KUL
)

Leuven / Belgium

{stefan.boeykens, herman.neuckermans,
miguel.penalver}@asro.kuleuven.be

Massimiliano

Condotta

Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia (IUAV)

Venice / Italy

condotta@iuav.it

Abstract

Finding the right information has never been an easy task. Before the Web, information resources
were hard to locate and reach. In present times, ho
wever, digital contents about all fields of life are just
a few clicks away, yet their discovery through the increasingly complex
maze

of available on
-
line
resources can be a very time
-
consuming effort.

Traditional general
-
purpose search engines look at th
ese resources as conceptually independent Web
documents. Indexing as many as they can reach, they store the
limited

information about them that
enables
a
basic keyword search.

The
MACE

project [1]

sets out to demonstrate the benefit of describing already e
xisting contents about
the specific domain of Architecture, Building Technology and Cons
truction with semantically well
defined metadata (information about those contents), in order to make them more accessible, usable
and exploitable, especially during le
arning activities. It does this by providing unique search services
over different types of metadata both, harvested from the on
-
line sites hosting the contents, and
created within the MACE infrastructure.

Keywords
-


metadata, architecture, building technology, const
ruction, search, learning.

1

THE
REASON

-

ON
-
LINE RESOURCES IN AR
CHITECTURE
1

T
he knowledge
-
driven society and economy the world walks towards demands higher investment in
human
resources, and this is driving lifelong l
earning (LLL) to become increasingly imp
ortant

[2].
In
fact, knowledge grows so fast that academic teaching, unable to cope with this knowledge boom in a
comprehensive way, is evolving into teaching of principles, methods and attitudes, into a state of mind
allowing LLL. Subjects for LLL are pro
duced by universities, by practice and by industry and
disseminated via conferences, short courses and more and more via e
-
learning formulas.

The digital world has changed our teaching and learning practices. Teaching is less and less bound to
a physical
location. Contents created by teachers and students can be shared with many instantly,
enabling continuous interaction and personal enrichment.

Many teachers have built their own digital
teaching environment with their own contents, which they share with c
olleagues, reversely profiting
from others’ work. Class material made available on
-
line is useful for students to look at with more
attention after the lesson, and even the lectures can be recorded and shared, which combined with the
class material allows
following of the lessons without attending.

In the same way, s
tudents can easily
present their work to peers and thus explore each other’s solutions, being reviewed assignments of
extraordinary educational value, as they enable learning from others’ mistak
es.

In Architecture we can learn so much from the authentic design efforts embedded in the built
environment surrounding us. We learn from previous experiences. Personal “learning by doing”
(Donald Schön) prevails over learning from others’ experience, but

sure enough the latter is the best
substitute for the former. Students of Architecture should visit places and actively try to understand the
genius loci, and in doing so, learn from others’ experiences. They
should

become familiar with so



1

By Archi tecture we always mean

the broader domain of
Architecture, Building
Technology

and Construction

many places, bu
t cannot physically visit them all, and therefore we need the help of digital
representations as the best substitute for the experience in situ; hopefully, these virtual visits will
trigger real visits later on. Turning cases into knowledge, into assimilat
ed information, is essential for
creative behavior and expected from architects, for creativity is putting the elements of someone’s
experience into new combinations in the pre
-
conscious; it is this that makes databases containing
cases so vital for archit
ectural education.

On the other hand
, every building is a model, a prototype, and any information is valuable that can
contribute to better understand previous works and hence avoid committed mistakes in terms of
comfort, light, ventilation, noise or energ
y consumption.
D
isseminating experiences around the world
surely supports architects in building a better practical environment.

Architecture has always existed in and through the discourse on Architecture. All those
different
information resources belong
to that discourse, to the world of meta
-
Architecture, the Architecture
beyond building, what
,

in spite of not being actual Architecture, still belongs to
the domain

and is of
indisputable value to its unfolding and evolution.

Teachers, students and profess
ionals in Architecture,
are thus faced with a wealth of on
-
line educationally
-
purposed and informational resources (design
precedents, processes, procedures, techniques, legislations, tools, technologies, products, materials,
school profiles…) in variant d
egrees useful for the tasks they are to complete.

However, residing in
many unconnected and heterogeneous repositories, relevant contents are often hard to find with
traditional search engines
capable of mere keyword search
.

The
MACE
initiative

[1]

aims to

demonstrate
that

describing already existing contents about
Architecture with
rich and unified

metadata make
s

it possible to create sophisticated services
accessing, using and exploiting those contents.
This document describes the achievements of the
MACE

project in terms of conceptual and technological tools developed to provide

straight, intuitive
and

integrated access to architectural contents during the learning practice.

2

THE METHOD

2.1

Structuring the content


T
he MACE domain classification

Although qual
ity is an essential aspect of e
-
learning, it also happens to be a very subjective theme,
either in the criteria selected to define it or in the importance given to each criterion

[3]
. As MACE is, in
principle, a platform designed to facilitate access to al
ready existing contents, it is there that we focus
our quality efforts as a tool supporting e
-
learning; contents remain located at and the ownership of the
providers at all times, so it is also on them that lies the responsibility for their quality. From t
his
perspective, any content from the domain of Architecture that can be of any use in a learnin
g situation
is welcome in MACE.

An inventory of about 400 on
-
line sites
offering architectural content
has been collected

as reference

in the scope of the MACE
project. They have been analyzed and catalogued based upon common
characteristics such as subject addressed, type of content and target users

[4]
.

Different sites offer
particular perspectives over their content by structuring it in specific ways through a

pertinent
description of their constituent resources. But rich overarching services require a common view of the
available contents, so a new knowledge organization system had to be developed where current and
future individual structures would be represe
nted or easily accommodated.

In order to be operational compliant matching the real needs of our user base, we analyzed the field of
Architecture and defined user profiles with an unprecedented detail. After identification of the
stakeholders (students, t
eachers, schools of Architecture and profe
s
sional architects), the main use
cases and best practices were described, with specification of the tasks performed and their
information requirements. In design, though, we have a cognitive involvement in additio
n to actions, so
we also reviewed the field of design studies extensively and combined it with our personal experience
as teachers and researchers. Design is an ill
-
defined problem: at each step we choose not only the
move, but also the rules. Every choice

in the design raises a lot of alternatives and relevance of points;
so we don’t only design the object (e.g. a building) but also the design space. We state what is
relevant, and this is the creative side of the design.

Considering that the new classifica
tion would be mainly used by a search engine to interconnect
contents and give users the opportunity to access them in multiple ways, including an Architecture
-
friendly intuitive navigation system to browse through the concepts in a non
-
passive way, we nee
ded
to accommodate for a number of task
-
specific classes. In order to support such system, we had to
develop our own rules and criterion to organize and classify all the aspects of the architectural domain.
This was a difficult task that must be tackled ve
ry carefully in order to properly organize the complex
concepts involved in architectural design. An architectural project is a synthesis work where different
knowledge fields merge, involving technical issue (functionality goals, constructive problems, li
ving
wellness requirements) as well as poetical and artistic matters (ideas of the designer, meaning of the
project, its cultural and social message).

To find current strategies to approach organization of such an heterogeneous subject, we separated
the va
rious interconnected aspects and reordered them on the basis of two end user activities:
documentation and problem solving (done by a researcher, architect or engineer aiming to deep in a
particular matter or looking for documentation to solve his/her tech
nical problem), and the design
conception activity (by the professional or student designer influenced and inspired by theories,
personal ideas or the project queues). To support the documentation activity, the classification system
needed to be based on a
ll the aspects that refer to objective data, not influenced by architectural
trends or personal concepts. The main challenge in this

case was to develop a complete

standardized
taxonomy.

More complicated was to identify rules supporting the design concepti
on activity. This, because
Architecture and the built environment is not only a technical production of concrete facts, but also a
sign featuring a message. Considering the architectural project as a sign we can read it and
understand it as we would do wit
h a text. So, we are able to extract and therefore index its meaning
and identify it in its metaphorical and symbolical content, in the concepts, project queues, and in the
project actions that lead us to the perception we have of the project and its expre
ssion, the perceptive
qualities of the building, form characteristics, texture or colors.

Taxonomies always represent a specific
view of the real world
, so intending to provide
multiple

perspectives

of a single topic
, w
e analyzed current standards for cate
gorizing information in the fields
of
Architecture
.

The selection
for this study
was made on the basis of their relevance and use in the
MACE user communities, and evaluated their applicability to
A
rchitecture educ
a
tion
. We tried to
incorporate as much as
possible from them
as sub
-
taxonomies and/or glossaries

complement
ed

with
our insight
s, but most of these existing systems do
not

relate well to each other.

Although not all the issues raised in this
comprehensive
study
have been

developed in the MACE
proje
ct, the strategy
intended

to draw the vastest possible picture of the
Architecture

education
scenario, of its information requirements and
available

standards
,

so that the project’s specification
s

could be defined with the max
imum possible awareness of the
ir

impact on the user base.

With the resultant MACE classification
we are able to decompose and classify all aspects of
the
Architecture domain. The taxonomy
includes six main

categories

of terms
: identification and context,
construction and technical desi
gn, and theories and concepts and conceptual design. These group 27
sub
-
categories (facets), each of which contains a number of hierarchical categories
that

in turn contain
a number of terms.

The classification
has been defined in a way to allow future ado
ption of diverse content resources, so
the information background involves as many cultural identities
.

However, and even though the

current
glossary
of terms

has been refined as much as possible, changes are
still
expected when the system
gets widely used

and with the embracing of new repositories
.
We also want to collect the social trends
in the Web communities for emerging new terms

that should be
incorporated i
n our clas
sification. For
this reason,
the MACE portal
allows

for
free
-
form

tagging, which ser
ves as observatory
on

currently
used
design terminology
,

and
enables cooperation between the expert, stable

taxonomy
and

the

social,
very dynamic
classification
, the former feeding from the latter
. Additionally, t
he

whole

domain
taxonomy is being translat
ed into the languages from all consortium par
t
ners (French, Italian, Spanish,
Dutch, and German),
and so will be

any added terms; t
he goal is to have multilingual search and
tagging in order to facilitate access to rel
e
vant materials in distributed multili
ngual repositories.

T
he living culture

is a highly dynamic subject,

difficult to model with a
formal schema like a taxonomy
;
adding new classes or terms introduces the semantic risk of
contradict
ing

or overlap
ping with

others
,
rendering
an un
sound
or

in
com
plete

structure.
A panel of experts is in charge of bringing into the
classification new terms either as new concepts or as synonyms of already existing terms.
To help
them in the process they

are using a well known
tool for knowledge representation (Proté


[5]
).


For students, browsing through the taxonomy is already a learning experience. Students know a lot,
but that knowledge, not being properly organized, is hard to apply in concrete tasks; so they are
essentially lost. Teachers work on this through t
he interaction during review of the students’ projects,
but it is an intensive task that will welcome a supporting tool. Also, today we are facing a culture of
immediacy and superficiality that is pervading society, and although most information is a click

of a
button away education still has to stimulate intelligent and structured thinking, insight and
understanding. Moreover, the interaction with this kind of hierarchy, which represents the same project
with perceptive qualities as well as technological c
onstruction aspects, provides students another very
important source of information: the link between the relevancies within project design (how to build
something of certain characteristics), which makes their expertise knowledge grow.

2.2

Accessing the conte
nt


T
he MACE tools

We
had many

different repos
itories

and a taxonomy to structure

their content
. But we still fac
ed the
challenge to make this

network

of interconnected content
s visible

and tangible to users
, so that
they
could

really understand
it and
us
e
it
.
So, we needed to

make
explicit
meaningful connections between
resources, and
make them
accessible for every
body in a way that they would enjoy using the tools
.

In

traditional search engines,
we

type in a
collection of
word
s,

with no possibility to sp
ecify a semantic
context
,
and get back
a
big
unstructured
set with lots of unwanted
results

(semantic overhead); this is
particularly so with a
rchitectural terms like “architecture”, “construction” or “design”
, which are used in
various contexts and thus a
re ambiguous in their meaning
. If users then try to narrow down their
search by redefining the search terms or giving additional keywords, the list of results gets smaller
fast, with relevant items missing, too.

The multiple search results are then ranked
somehow, rarely
matching the users’ particular needs
.
As an example
, repos
itories

about Architecture
are
mainly
not
inter
connected, so a
ranking
algorithm

based on link analysis

of their constituent pages would not be
an appropriate solution
.

In MACE
, how
ever,

contents are described with

different types of

semantically well defined
metadata
:

-

Content and domain metadata. Describe the content from an architectural perspective.

-

Context metadata: physical (location) and technical (description
and
requirements)

context
characterizing the content.

-

Competence and learning process metadata: competences the content helps its user develop.

-

Usage related and social metadata: tracking of the users’ activity and activity ove
r the content, as
well as user

tags, comments
and ratings about contents, and user profiles.

To take advantage of all this structured information
, we need
ed

to provide users with tools enabl
ing
articulation of

precise
search requests
,

and modulat
ion of

the final results, so that they
could

dig into
th
em
, see the relationsh
ips and work with the material. Moreover, in ill
-
defined situations users don’t
know exactly what to search for
,
so it is difficult to articulate it in a keyword search and instead they
prefer a
browsing activity
through which they ca
n be

inspir
ed.

A s
imple
keyword
search
is combined with
different filters for restricting the search results

in a faceted
manner

(where the
metadata

comes from, language of the content,

the learning resource type, and
the domain and competence classificati
on terms assigned to that resource). This

make
s

different
aspects of the underlying data accessible in parallel. Selecting
a value for one of the properties
, and
thus filtering the result set, restricts the available values
for the remaining attributes to
only those
occurring in the results. Consequently, the user is vis
u
ally guided through an iterative refinement
process, effectively never encountering situations with zero r
e
sults.

Such

visualization can be very
helpful in communicating the idea of connect
ing contents via various types of metadata, and making
architectural knowledge available in a multifaceted fashion.


Fig.
1
.

Filtered keyword search

The MACE classification is browsed in an extra visualization, a structured tag clou
d, where
we

see the
hierarchy of terms

in the available languages, and the number of contents labeled with them (expected
search results before clicking)
.
Such
doma
in
-
specific interactive visualiz
ation can reduce cognitive
load and make the relevant inform
ation available in a pro
-
active way, providing optimal access and
fostering knowledge discovery.



Fig.
2
.

Classification browser

Contents can be classified in an unstructured manner as well via
user
-
assigned free
-
form tags

through
which it is also possible to search.


Fig.
3
.

Social search

In search results we
always
offer both
,

direct access to
the
content as well as a link to
its
detail page
to explorer
its
metadata, because
both scenarios might be interest
ing to users
in different
circumstances
.

The d
etail page for each content item
displays

sufficient

info
rmation for users to decide on the
relevance of the content in their search
. This info
rmation

is presented through compact interface
components (widgets
2
)
r
epresenting
various

perspectiv
es

on the content
:
concept
ual
, geographic,
social and educational.

But these components also allow for metadata contribution from users.
As automatic tagging still has
its qualitative limits, we need
ed

to provide convenient
, e
f
fective and uniform ways to enrich the
existing contents with metadata.
Additionally, th
e recent success of coll
a
borative tagging systems has



2
C
ompact, speci al ized appl icati ons or appl icati on components that can be combi ned to bui l d more compl ex
a
p
pl i cations
,

or i ntegrated i nto other exi sti ng sol uti ons
.

shown that by providing users with a framework to add and edit metadata for their own benefit, the
whole socia
l network can gain.

With the m
ap widget
it is possible to

position content.

The classification widget allows adding domain
classification terms. With t
he competence widget competences

can be assigned from a dynamic
taxonomy, with specification of the level

the resource helps achieving according to the European
Qualifications Framework (EQF) [6]
.
And u
ser
s

can share their personal perspective over a content
item by
add
ing

free
-
form tags,
a
rating
or

comments
, which can enable
mini discussion
s

over the
resour
ce
.

The

detail page also provides
different

navigation points
into

content

from different repositories
.
E.g. it
is possible to see what other contents are labeled with any of the domain classification terms assigned
to the resource we are looking at, allow
ing for discovery of additional possibly interesting contents by

exploring

the
item’s

conceptual context
.
This hop
p
ing between
resources

is an important mechanism
to
support ill
-
defined inspirational problems.



Fig.
4
.

Detail page

Every community needs a social object, something to talk about, and in Architecture a lot o
f
inspirational talk is related

to existing architectural projects
. For that reason we h
ave included

these as
content resources (and called them
real world objects
)
. We’ve
collected the projects present in the
open database DB
pedia

[7]

and
their community
-
generated descriptions
,

and
we are enhancing

those
metadata and extend
ing

that base with additional
project
repos
itories joining the initiative
.

Contents
from diffe
rent repositories referring to or depicting any of the registered projects are semi
-
automatically
related to that project, enabling hopping between contents and projects from the respective detail
pages.

In the MACE portal, every user is identified with hi
s/her real name and
has a personal page
where it is
displayed

the tags he/she has used

so far

and
the contents he/she has bookmarked or commented.
An introductory text averaging the user’s interaction with the system is also shown, as well as the
user’s la
test activity. It is possible to search through users of the community by their interest (tags
used) and to communicate with them individually by sending them a message.


Fig.
5
.

Personal page

The MACE portal, thus, offers

a variety

of
access facilities that
demonstrate to end users the benefit of
metadata in providing multiple perspectives on content organization
,
but it’s also a social platform

where users can register, and bookmark

and share
contents with others.
So the

portal

is

an access
point
as well as

a point for action
,

aiming to strengthen users’

understanding of metadata and
integrate meta
-
tagging in the community building process.

User p
articipation

is important

because it
will provide feedback about the system,

bring abou
t content
enrichment
, and generate metadata
over the users
from
their

activity, all of which will help improving
the services offered. In addition, more traffic on the repositories will make it more attractive for
other
providers to join.

Flexible and
easy

methods for user contributions
have

be
en created: metadata can be added through
the widgets in a resource’s detail page, to which we can access as a result of a search or, with the
MACE bookmarklet [8], directly from a browser window displaying the resour
ce or information about it.
With the bookmarklet it is also possible to create new descriptions of (metadata instances about)
additional individual resources.

Rewarding and incentive mechanisms should encourage cr
e
ation of metadata and bring
users from a
p
assive, consuming to an active, participating role, thereby increasing user interest and satisfaction.

Based on an analysis of user groups in social software

[9]
, we
’ve

defined a
simple
step
-
wise incentive
strategy:

o

Most users will be part of the silent ma
sses, which just come by, and click a few links or try our

search engine.
By means of
imm
e
diately understandable and attractive
tools we try to

provide
these users with incentives to come back more often and eventually register on MACE
;
registration proces
s has also been made most simple, by filling in a reduced form
.

o

A few of these recurring users will start to manage the found contents by using

the MACE social
metadata,
mo
stly for their personal benefit

or to co
n
nect in small groups. While we cannot
compe
te, feature
-
wise, with other establi
shed social services
, the advantage of MACE in this
context is the focused
domain
.
These users

log in to MACE, thus allowing tracking
of their activity
as well as social content recommend
a
tions.

o

A number of the recurring

users will make the transition to being power users, which actively take
care of their profile/portfolio page and engage heavily in tagging and i
m
proving the MACE system
(e.g. by making suggestions or report
ing issue
s). Typica
l
ly, this represents a rather

small nu
mber
of users which, however, are

responsible for most of the contributions on social platforms. Hence,
this is a user group which has to be taken special care of, by providing them with feedback and
co
m
munity recognition.

o

Finally, MACE experts ha
ve a special status in the community. They are responsible for assuring
the quality of the tools, maintain the domain classification and drive the initiative’s evolution. They
provide help and guidance for the rest of the community. In this regard, a helpd
esk has been set
up to support all users
-

end users, content providers, integrators and developers
-

in their
interaction with MACE, through on
-
line tutorials about MACE tools and documentation on how to
enable access to content repositories, integrate M
ACE widgets and develop new widgets or other
software solutions accessing MACE services. Also e
-
mail and telephone assistance are provided
to respond to users’ questions and feedback (error reports regarding the software or the
information, ideas for impro
vement, or su
g
gestions for refining the glossary). Online or presence
workshops and hands
-
on sessions could also be organized on the basis of suff
i
cient demand for
them.

Starting from consortium personnel, this group can be extended
with

external experts o
r very
active and reliable users.

2.3

The technological platform

The MACE infrastructure consists of multiple layers with different duties. Services connect the
presentation layer (user interfaces) with data sources (me
tadata databases and content re
sources).


Fig.
6



MACE layers and services

[10
]

A.

Services

The metadata services process queries and return results, and provide means for gathering and
manipulating metadata

[11]
. The business logic services provide common functionality suc
h as user
ma
nagement and event logging, track user activity and activity over content, enable user
-
generated
metadata, and collect metadata for the MACE real world objects.

MACE has been implemented as an open, distributed service
-
oriented architecture bas
ed on web
services accessible from anywhere. Flexibility and mai
ntainability are the main advan
tages of such a
design. And to ensure full interoperability, open standards have been used to access these services
and all throughout the system
.

B.

User interface
s

In the front end, we’ve implemented a set of applications for metadata usage and manipulation using
developed widgets for filtering and visualization of metadata
.

MACE tools are designed paying
attention to usability, making possible for both expert and
non
-
expert users to work with metadata and
access content.
V
isual tools for metadata manipulation and metadata
-
based multi
-
dimensional search
and browsing
have been collected in a portal that

supports the community formed around architectural
topics in a W
eb 2.0 environment

[12]
, providing services that get better the more people use them.
The intention is not only
to
interconnect contents but also existing communities.

Frequently, monolithic access portals are not integrated into everyday research and lear
n
ing activity.
Only s
eamless integration of the available information into e
x
isting tools, which people are actively
using on a daily basis, will provide a sound foundation for the growth of a sustainable know
l
edge and
peer network. To this end, r
eady
-
to
-
u
se MACE widgets will be made available to embed into existing
web portals and
content management solutions
, he
nce making MACE

functionality and contents
directly available to their owners, for them to incorporate in users’ every
-
day tools. An example would

be the related media widget in
cluded in

a Web

page displaying pictures about an architectural project.
This widget could provide access to complementary contents about the project’s theore
tical or
historical background.
With this we intend to
make the “ri
ght” kind of information


fitting the user’s
current situation and preferences as well as the currently focused contents


visually accessible and
editable directly in place.

This will be a mutual gain: the existing platform gets access to useful digital
contents and MACE gets additional users, which in turn increases use and reuse of the
referenced
content. M
ACE content and services will thus be made accessible from university and course sites,
Architecture portals, repository pages, and main professional

end
-
user sof
t
ware tools.
And b
y
embedding access to the MACE infrastructure into authoring applications, teachers will be able to
reuse learning materials for their courses easier and more efficien
t
ly.

C.

Interaction with content
repositories

With
such

abund
ance of sites structured in different ways, implementing diverse technologies, and
describing their contents in disparate manners, MACE opted for developing an infrastructure to
harvest

the

local metadata into a central store. Those metadata are
then
enric
hed
with additional
information
automatically generated by the MACE system or manually entered by end users
;
the
resultant metadata are

used by services to provide powerful search possibilities.

In favor of interoperability, we chose to use the low
-
barrier
, application
-
independent framework for
metadata harvesting OAI
-
PMH

[13]
, created to facilitate discovery of distributed resources. This
protocol provides a simple, yet powerful framework that enables harvesters to incrementally gather
records contained in

various OAI
-
PMH repositories and use them to provide overarching services

[14]
.

And, a
s we are mainly interested in the educational characteristics of the contents hosted in
repositories, a unifying metadata schema has been defined as an application profi
le

[15]

of the
widely
accepted

IEEE LOM

[16]

standard, extending its base schema with vocabulary and classification
values specific to Architecture

[17] in order to integrate the different types of metadata considered in
MACE [18]
. Repositories are expecte
d to map their local metadata elements and values to those of
the MACE schema prior to their dissemination as part of an OAI
-
PMH response. Since the resources
we are
considering

can be of use during educational activities it does make sense, from our
persp
ective, to describe them with an educationally
-
purposed metadata set, now useful for MACE but
later on for other
e
-
learning
initiatives
as well
very likely to come
. In this direction
,
t
he Dublin Core
Metadata Initiative (DCMI
) [19]

is carrying out

work to
come up with a DC
-
Education Application Profile

[20]
, which will define metadata elements (and suggest vocabularies for use with them) for describing
properties of resources related to their use in teaching and learning; to this end, a joint DCMI/IEEE
LTSC

taskforce

[21]

is working out the technical details for enabling using IEEE LOM elements in
Dublin Core metadata.

Automatic validation of LOM instances is performed upon their creation or modification during
harvesting and enrichment, in order to ensure t
heir lexical correctness and sufficient completeness.

However, t
he responsibility for the correctness of the metadata remains with their
contributors

(content
providers or end users), and check of that correctness is left to the users. They are invited to
solve any
mistakes they find

in editable metadata;

in the case of harvested metadata, they are suggested to
communicate those errors

to the pr
o
vider.

Based on the study cases of the consortium repositories WINDS

[22]

and DYNAMO

[23], the
envisioned process

for

including external content resources in the MACE pool, including harvesting
target software development and mapping of local metadata into the MACE application profile, has
been fully documented

[24]
.

This common description schema establishes relatio
nships between content from different
repositories, setting up a network inexistent before through which all that content can be accessed in
an integrated fashion, also from less popular repositories
, hence increasing the visibility of the

participating re
positories and of their contents
.
The dissemination of metadata by repositories allows
the MACE system to become aware of contents whose existence is unknown to traditional search
engines (e.g. those of repositories requiring registration,
or those with no

URL, added to

dynamically
created HTML document
s
), and to collect rich information about any type of content,
as opposed to
the plain
keywords
(
no associated meaning
) gathered by t
raditional systems
from
contents

represented in
only a

few formats (mainly
HTML documents).
And in return, repositories are offered
back
all
the
metadata generated in MACE
about

their
content, some of which are created by the
system (physical
context

and usage) and

some by
the
users (domain and competence).

2.4

Intellectual
p
roperty
considerations

Providers are requested to make their metadata available to MACE under the C
reative
C
ommons

Attrib
u
tion
(CC
-
BY)
license

[25]
. This allows MACE to freely copy, distribute, transmit or adapt them as
long as they are attributed to the provider,

and the terms of that license are made clear to whoever

might re
use them; further restrictions on sensible metadata might be imposed by the provider.

It will
be for them as well to decide which portion of the metadata they make available to MACE
, realizi
ng
the fact that more
information
will enable increased searching possibilities
. They’ll
also
be respons
ible
to ensure that no 3rd parties hold

intellectual property rights

over the provided information.

For harvested metadata MACE will only correct their
format (never the information), in order to bring
them into a MACE canonical expression, and this will never affect the metadata stored locally in the
repository. If errors are detected in harvested metadata, the provider will be notified

so that they can
correct them if they wish to do so.

Harvested and enriched metadata are kept sep
arately, in order to
ensure
preservation of the
original
information gathered from repositories
.

MACE provides its metadata under the

same terms as required from repositories b
ut disallowing
commercial use:

Creative Commons Attribution
-
Noncommercial (
CC
-
BY
-
NC)
license
[26]
. Hence, use
of MACE metadata requires a reference to the MACE project and the respective content providers,
and it is limited to non
-
profit
activities
. Indivi
dual agreements are possible to make the metadata
available also comme
r
cially.

Users of the MACE services are always forwarded to the respective site for access to the actual
content, which remains
the ownership of
the provider
and located
at
their premise
s at all times
. The
site keeps its independent role, maintaining its own access and right policies.

Maximum attention is paid to referencing the providers of the contents searchable in MACE:



In the portal’s front page there is a link to all connected r
e
pos
itories’ home pages, and a description
of their contents is foreseen (subject, entities along which the repos
i
tory is structured, size of the
repository, nature of the digital media in the repository, quality control, access policy, general
content and met
adata use rights).



The
filtered

search allows finding an item in specific reposit
o
ries.



Search result previews mention the repository the items are located in.



The detail page for a result includes a link to the repository’s home page and to the repository
’s
page displaying the content or information about it.

Also, a

dedicated rights widget displays the
user rights information for the respective content and metadata (on which terms MACE shares the
metadata and the repositories from which they originate
, wi
th a link to the harvested information
).

3

THE FUNDING
-

EUROPEAN CONTEXT

The MACE initiative has been funded under the non
-
research
e
Content
Plus

Community
Programme

[27] as a Content Enrichment Project (CEP) for educational content. This multiannual
program
me
[28]

is part of the Commission’s policy announced in “i2010


A European Information Society for growth
and employment”

[
29
]
. In aiming at promoting the enabling infrastructure and stimulating content
enrichment, the eContentplus programme will address

two of the four main challenges posed by digital
convergence for the creation of a single European Information Space identified by i2010, namely “rich
content” and “interoperability”. More specifically, it will contribute to the achievement of Objective 1

of
i2010: A Single European Information Space offering affordable and secure high bandwidth
communications, rich and diverse content and digital services. By singling out cultural content and
scientific/scholarly content as one of the target areas where t
he programme can have maximum
impact with the available resources and seeking to foster the aggregation of digital collections across
borders as well as content enrichment in these domains, it will further contribute to making digital
libraries easier and
more interesting to use, one of i2010’s flagship ICT initiatives for the improvement
of the quality of life.


In particular, “
eContentplus supports the creation of better conditions to make available, accessible,
usable and exploitable digital content for
learning. The programme encourages solutions that integrate
technical, pedagogical and organisational aspects and that significantly increase the multilingual and
multicultural use of digital content and repositories. At the same time, this is complemented

by actions
building on the benefits arising from enriching a critical mass of digital content with well

defined
semantic metadata. These actions should encourage the necessary structures (organisational,
business, technical) for the emergence of pan
-
Europ
ean learning services, irrespective of location and
language.


References

[1]

MACE


Metadata for Architectural Contents in Europe
. Project Web site

http://info.mace
-
project.eu


[2]

"“Education & training 2010”. The succ
ess of the lisbon strategy hinges on urgent reforms”.
Communication from the
European Commission
, 11.11.2003

http://europa.eu/eur
-
lex/en/com/cnc/2003/com2003_0685en01.pdf

[3]

Ehlers, U
.D.; Pawlowski J.M.


Quality in European e
-
learning: An introduction
”.
Dondi, C.; Moretti,
M; Nascimbeni, F.


Quality of e
-
learning: Negotiating a strategy, implementing a policy

.

In:
Ehlers, U.D.; Pawlowski J.M.
(Eds.) “
Handbook on Quality and Standardis
ation in E
-
Learning

.
Springer

Berlin He
i
delberg, 2006.
ISBN: 978
-
3
-
540
-
32787
-
5

http://www.springerlink.com/content/r8j857/


[4]

Boeykens, S.; Neuckermans, H. “A database of architectural repositories
: criteria for selection
and evaluation“.

MACE International Conference on
Onlin
e Repositories in Architecture, 2008.

In:
Zambelli, M.; Janowiak A.H.; Neuckermans, H.

(Eds.)

“Browsing architecture. Metadata and
beyond”. EAAE Transactions on Architectural E
ducation no. 40. Fraunhofer IRB Verlag.
ISBN

978
-
3
-
8167
-
7770
-
0

http://www.mace
-
project.eu/images/macebook/mace_25b.pdf

[5]


Protégé
portal

http:
//protege.stanford.edu/

[6]


European Qualifications Framework

portal

http://ec.europa.eu/education/lifelong
-
l earning
-
policy/doc44_en.htm

[7]


DBpedia

portal

http://dbpedia.org/About

[8]


Instructions to install and use the

MACE bookmarklet

http://portal.mace
-
project.eu/tools/bookmarklet/

[9]

C
harlene, L
.

Social technographics
.
Mappin
g Participation In Activities Forms The Foundation Of
A Social Strategy
”. Forrester Research
, 2007
http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/Excerpt/0,7211,42057,00.htm
l

[10]


JD10

-

MA
CE toolset and infrastructure. F
inal version
”. MACE
Joint deliverable

http://www.mace
-
project.eu/media/del
iverables/WP7/JD10%20
-
%20MACE%20toolset%20and%20infrastructure,%20final%20version.pdf

[11]


JD
9
-

Production version for metadata tools and concepts”. MACE
Joint deliverable

http://www.mace
-
project.eu/media/deliverables/JD/JD9%20
-
%20Production%20version%20for%20metadata%20t ools%20and%20concepts.pdf

[12]

O'Reilly, T. “What Is Web 2.0. Design Patterns and Business Models for the

Next Generation of
Software”
. O’Reilly Media,

2005

http://oreilly.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what
-
is
-
web
-
20.html

[13]

Open Archives Initiative. “The Open Archiv
es Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting Protocol
Version 2.0”. 2002

http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/openarchi vesprotocol.html

[14]

Van de Sompel, H.; Young, J.A.; Hickey, T.B. “Usi
ng the OAI
-
PMH ... Differently”. D
-
Lib
Magazine. Volume 9 Number 7/8, 2003. ISSN 1082
-
9873

http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july03/young/07young.html

[15]

IMS Global Learning Consortium. “Application Pr
ofile Guidelines”

http://www.imsglobal.org/ap/index.html

[16]

IEEE

1484
.12.1

-

2002: “IEEE Standard for Learning Object Metadata”

http://ltsc.ieee.org/wg12/files/LOM_1484_12_1_v1_Fi nal_Draft.pdf

IEEE 1484.12.
3

-

200
5
: “
Learning Technology
-

Extensible Markup Language (XML) Schema
Definition Language Binding for Learning Object Metadata


http://ltsc.ieee.org/wg12/files/IEEE_1484_12_03_d8_submitted.pdf

[17]

MACE Application profile of the IEEE LOMv1.0 base conceptual data schema

http://www.mace
-
project.eu/images/downloads/mace%20application%20profil e%20v3.2.pdf

[18]


JD1



Metadata taxonomy and their integration in
MACE
”. MACE
Joint deliverable

http://www.mace
-
project.eu/media/deliverables/JD/JD1/JD1%20
-
%20Metadata%20taxonomy%20and%20their%20i ntegration%20i n%20MACE.pdf

[19]

Dublin Core Metadata Initiative
portal

http://dublincore.org/

[20]

Dublin Core Education Application Profile Task Group

Wiki

http://dublincore.org/educationwiki/DC_2dEducatio
n_20Application_20Profile_20Task_20Group

[21]

Joint DCMI/IEEE LTSC Taskforce

Wiki

http://dublincore.org/educationwiki/DCMIIEEELTSCTaskforce

[22]

WINDS


Web
-
based INtelligent Design tutoring
System project

description

ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/ist/docs/ka3/eat/WINDS.pdf

WINDS portal

http://winds.fit.fhg.de

[23]

Heylighen A. and Ne
uckermans H. (2000).

DYNAMO


Dynamic Architectural Memory On
-
line
”.
Educational Technology and Society, Vol.

3, No. 2, 86
-
95

DYNAMO portal

http://dynamo.asro.kuleuven.be

[24]


D
7
.
5



API

S
pecification

for

integr
ation

of

additional

contents
into

the

MACE

infrastructure
”.
MACE
Deliverable

http://www.mace
-
project.eu/media/deliverables/WP7/D7_5/D7_5%20
-
%20API%20specification%20for%20integration%20of%20additional%20contents%20into%20the
%20MACE%20infrastructure.pdf

[25]

Creative Commons Attribution (CC
-
BY) license description

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

[26]

Creative Commons Attribution
-
Noncommercial

(CC
-
BY
-
NC
) license description

http://creativecommons.org
/licenses/by
-
nc/3.0/

[27]


MACE p
roject description

http://ec.europa.eu/information_soci ety/activities/econtentplus/projects/edu/mace/index_en.htm

[28]


eCo
ntentPlus
2005
Wor
k Programme

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/econtentplus/docs/call_2005/ecp_work_program
me_2005.p
df

[29]

Co
mmunication from the Commission, 01.06.2005

http://eur
-
lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:52005DC0229:EN:NOT