Web Exclusive: Successful year for e-learning standardization in Europe

The year 2009 was a very successful year for the European e-learning standardization: "We are very pleased that the first official European Norm (EN) for e-learning was approved in consensus last year!", explains Christian M. Stracke, Vice-Chair of the European e-learning standardization body CEN/TC 353. "Since its establishment more and more national delegations have joined the CEN/TC 353 that gains increasing recognition, collaboration and impact", adds Mike Collett, Chair of CEN/TC 353 since the beginning. In consequence 2009 became the most prosperous and effective year for the technical committee (TC) 353 of the European standardization body CEN: Three new standardization projects have been started and as the highlight the first European de-jure standard was published. This first European Norm is the adoption of the international ISO quality standard as EN ISO/IEC 19796-1: This quality standard provides the reference process framework RFDQ for quality assurance and management in learning, education and training for both learning providers and users. It is applicable for any kind of learning opportunity and all educational sectors from K-12 over vocational and higher education up to lifelong learning and training. The international ISO quality standard ISO/IEC 19796-1 has already achieved several hundreds of adaptations and applications worldwide and is adopted as national standard in numerous countries, in particular in Asia. By the approval of the European Norm EN ISO/IEC 19796-1, all national standards within the 31 CEN’s member states are withdrawn automatically and replaced. That will strengthen the usage of the standard in Europe and the quality of learning, education, and training in general, too. The European standardization committee CEN/TC 353 is currently working on three new standards: CEF, MLO, and ELM. The Curriculum Exchange Format (CEF) will define a data model to exchanging and mapping curriculum information for use in controlled vocabularies for metadata and to provide navigation structures in user interfaces. Metadata for Learning Opportunities (MLO) is a multi-part standard and its first part called MLO-AD is addressing metadata sufficient for advertising a learning opportunity that learners are getting the information about learning opportunities needed for comparison and decision making. And the third standardization project is called European Learner Mobility (ELM) and an ambitious multi-part standard: ELM aims to harmonize and integrate existing European policies and specification (like EQF, Europass, ECTS and others including MLO in the future) by developing an overarching general framework to strengthen the Learners’ Mobility and the education in general throughout whole Europe. The first part will provide an application profile of the Europass Diploma Supplement for transparent interpretation and recognition of academic and professional qualifications across the diverse European educational systems. The European standardization committee CEN/TC 353 was established May 2007 in Milan, organized by the Italian Secretariat and is meeting with all National delegations on a bi-annual basis. The next plenary will take place in Brussels on 20th April 2010 in collocation with the CEN Workshop for Learning Technologies the day before.  More information about the European standardization committee CEN/TC 353 "Information and communication technologies for Learning, Education, and Training (ICT for LET)" is available online: http://www.cen.eu/cen/Sectors/TechnicalCommitteesWorkshops/CENTechnicalCommittees/Pages/default.aspx?param=580446&title=CEN/TC%20353 The year 2009 was a very successful year for the European e-learning standardization: "We are very pleased that the first official European Norm (EN) for e-learning was approved in consensus last year!", explains Christian M. Stracke, Vice-Chair of the European e-learning standardization body CEN/TC 353. "Since its establishment more and more national delegations have joined the CEN/TC 353 that gains increasing recognition, collaboration and impact", adds Mike Collett, Chair of CEN/TC 353 since the beginning. In consequence 2009 became the most prosperous and effective year for the technical committee (TC) 353 of the European standardization body CEN: Three new standardization projects have been started and as the highlight the first European de-jure standard was published. This first European Norm is the adoption of the international ISO quality standard as EN ISO/IEC 19796-1: This quality standard provides the reference process framework RFDQ for quality assurance and management in learning, education and training for both learning providers and users. It is applicable for any kind of learning opportunity and all educational sectors from K-12 over vocational and higher education up to lifelong learning and training. The international ISO quality standard ISO/IEC 19796-1 has already achieved several hundreds of adaptations and applications worldwide and is adopted as national standard in numerous countries, in particular in Asia. By the approval of the European Norm EN ISO/IEC 19796-1, all national standards within the 31 CEN’s member states are withdrawn automatically and replaced. That will strengthen the usage of the standard in Europe and the quality of learning, education, and training in general, too. The European standardization committee CEN/TC 353 is currently working on three new standards: CEF, MLO, and ELM. The Curriculum Exchange Format (CEF) will define a data model to exchanging and mapping curriculum information for use in controlled vocabularies for metadata and to provide navigation structures in user interfaces. Metadata for Learning Opportunities (MLO) is a multi-part standard and its first part called MLO-AD is addressing metadata sufficient for advertising a learning opportunity that learners are getting the information about learning opportunities needed for comparison and decision making. And the third standardization project is called European Learner Mobility (ELM) and an ambitious multi-part standard: ELM aims to harmonize and integrate existing European policies and specification (like EQF, Europass, ECTS and others including MLO in the future) by developing an overarching general framework to strengthen the Learners’ Mobility and the education in general throughout whole Europe. The first part will provide an application profile of the Europass Diploma Supplement for transparent interpretation and recognition of academic and professional qualifications across the diverse European educational systems. The European standardization committee CEN/TC 353 was established May 2007 in Milan, organized by the Italian Secretariat and is meeting with all National delegations on a bi-annual basis. The next plenary will take place in Brussels on 20th April 2010 in collocation with the CEN Workshop for Learning Technologies the day before.  More information about the European standardization committee CEN/TC 353 "Information and communication technologies for Learning, Education, and Training (ICT for LET)" is available online: http://www.cen.eu/cen/Sectors/TechnicalCommitteesWorkshops/CENTechnicalCommittees/Pages/default.aspx?param=580446&title=CEN/TC%20353

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