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Research field Advanced Community Information Systems (ACIS)
Funding EU LLP KA3 Multilateral Project
Start date 2012/11/01
End date 2015/02/28
Status completed
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Meeting Teachers' Co-Design Needs by Means of Integrated Learning Environments - EU LLP KA3 Multilateral Project

Institutional Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) are mainly used as content repositories or for administrative purposes, and there is not a wide uptake of innovative pedagogies. Research on learning design addresses this problem by providing teachers with ICT tools capable of collecting their pedagogically-informed decisions, making designs explicit and shareable (and therefore transferable and adaptable), and setting up the enacting ICT environment accordingly. This research has by now produced a rich set of learning design tools, and evaluation shows that these tools do shift teacher practice towards innovative pedagogies. METIS aims to build on this work and enable a wider spectrum of teachers and institutions to incorporate these resources into their practice. 

This project brings together partners from the higher-education, vocational training, and adult education levels, as well as institutions with expertise in learning design research. The project goal is threefold:

  1. Provide an Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE) based on existing free and open source solutions, including authoring tools; co-design support for teacher communities; and deployment of learning designs on mainstream VLEs;
  2. Run a series of workshops for teachers using ILDE to train teachers in learning design and the orchestration of ICT-based learning environments according to innovative pedagogies;
  3. Disseminate the project's outcomes in the form of workshops for learning design training, and to promote the creation and maintenance, beyond the project's financial period, of a teacher community using learning design.

Role of i5 ACIS Group

The main tasks of the ACIS Group in the METIS project centered on the specification and development of the Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE), as well as the adaptation of the open-source IMS Learning Design authoring tool OpenGLM to interoperate with ILDE.

i5 Outcomes

OpenGLM integrated with ILDE

Open Graphical Learning Modeller (OpenGLM) is an open-source learning design authoring tool which supports IMS Learning Design (LD) at levels A and B. The tool was conceived to facilitate non-IMS LD experts in creating, sharing and reusing units of learning. To achieve this, OpenGLM focuses on two features that differentiate it from most other IMS LD authoring tools. First, it adopts a visual modelling metaphor that conceals the complex and unintuitive elements and structures of IMS LD from the graphical user interface. Second, it provides built-in search, import and export access to open educational resource repositories which hosts several thousand educational resources ranging from single learning objects to full online courses.  These repositories include the Open ICOPER Content Space (OICS) and -- developed as part of the METIS project -- the Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE).

See also the OpenGLM prototype page for details.

SyncMeta Metamodeling Framework

SyncMeta is a framework for and implementation of near-real time collaborative modeling and metamodeling on the Web. SyncMeta is an abstraction of SyncLD (see below). See the SyncMeta page for full details, demos and links.

SyncLD - Synchronous Collaborative Learning Design Authoring Tool

SyncLD is the first available tool on the market to support synchronous collaboration on IMS Learning Design units of learning. Concurrent edits by multiple authors on the same model are synchronized in realtime using the ROLE SDK's interwidget communication features. The tool runs in all major web browsers without any installation. The SyncLD collaborative IMS LD editor widget can be used together with other widgets like chat, sketching tools, etc., to improve the collaboration experience. Different authors can simultaneously edit the same or different portions of the unit of learning. Every single change (even single characters typed into text boxes, or checks made in checkboxes) is immediately synchronized and visualized in the interface of all users participating in the authoring session.

SyncLD was integrated with the METIS Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE). IMS LD designs stored on ILDE can be imported to SyncLD, and designs created with SyncLD can be exported to ILDE. This import/export was implemented as a synchronization link between the tool and the ILDE platform. Changes done in the SyncLD editor can be sync'ed to the respective ILDE design at any time with a single mouse click. 

A screencast demo of SyncLD was recorded and published on Youtube (see below). SyncLD can also be tested live in the widget sandbox.

Deliverables and Reports



  • University of Valladolid, Spain
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
  • The Open University, United Kingdom
  • University of Leicester, United Kingdom
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy
  • Center for the Advancement of R&D in Educational Technology, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • RWTH Aachen University, Germany
  • Vocational Training Center EUROTRAINING S.A., Greece
  • Associacion de Personas Participantes Agora, Spain

Research staff



Project Publications

Michael Derntl, Petru Nicolaescu, Stephan Erdtmann, Ralf Klamma, Matthias Jarke

Near Real-Time Collaborative Conceptual Modeling on the Web

Proceedings of the 34th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER 2015)

Petru Nicolaescu, Kevin Jahns, Michael Derntl, Ralf Klamma

Yjs: A Framework for Near Real-Time P2P Shared Editing on Arbitrary Data Types

Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Web Engineering (ICWE 2015), Rotterdam, The Netherlands, June 23-26, 2015 (Best Demo & Best Poster Award)

Michael Derntl

OpenGLM: Integrating Open Educational Resources in IMS Learning Design Authoring

M. Maina, B. Craft, Y. Mor (Eds.): The Art & Science of Learning Design (pp. 157-168), Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, 2015

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