This page will set out some ideas for how one could use the LEAP2A specification in conjunction with the work being done by the Working Group to create an operational specification for Educational Trajectory, and beyond.
Mahara already offers LEAP2A import and export, so defining an ET spec on top of LEAP2A would be particularly easy for Mahara installations.
Potentially helpful LEAP2A features
In outline, the basic form of Educational Trajectory is covered by the LEAP2A activity type. LEAP2A also has other types, the most basic of which is the LEAP2A entry, which is essentially equivalent to a blog entry.
A LEAP2A activity item has or can have literal component elements:
- It usually has title, description, shared with the entry type.
- It usually has start date, end date elements, which are obvious and well used.
- It can have an activetime element, giving the amount of time actually spent engaged in that activity. This would work well for part-time or intermittent activities, or ones where the total active time is fixed.
- It can have a spatial element, to note where the activity took place, or its postal address.
- It usually has a status element: one of planned, progressing or completed.
LEAP2A items have relationships with other items. A LEAP2A activity item can relate in the following ways.
- It can have evidence — the evidence could be an entry, an attachment, or any resource.
- It can be reflected on by an entry, thus giving the opportunity for the learner's comments that are not part of the description itself, perhaps of an explanatory or contextualizing nature.
- It can have other, lesser activities as parts, thus allowing the representation of groupings of activities, such as an academic year, also as an activity in its own right.
LEAP2A inherits from Atom the ability to give "categories" to items. For blog entries, this is normally used to "tag" entries with user-defined labels, but for portfolio information it can also be used to classify items according to fixed classification schemes. In LEAP2A, there is one potentially useful category scheme, called life area, that could serve in MedBiq ET just for the basic distinctions like classifying activities as education / work / leisure / etc.
What is missing from LEAP2A
What LEAP2A clearly lacks, from the MedBiq ET point of view, are any detailed classification schemes as being agreed in the Data Analysis and Existing Collections page. However, it would be quite straightforward to define, on a MedBiq web site (and thus remaining under the control of MedBiq) a set of schemes to cover these classifications, in a format that could be used in conjunction with LEAP2A.
In summary, it seems plausible that LEAP2A could offer the basic mechanisms, on top of which MedBiq could add a set of classification schemes, and that could provide a working interoperability specification.
A possible extra advantage in taking this route would be that there are LEAP2A ways of representing quite a few other kinds of information of interest to a wider MedBiq specification. In each case, LEAP2A would offer a starting point, which could be evaluated against the MedBiq requirements.
It may also be possible that the thinking that has already taken place in the course of developing LEAP2A might help inform parallel thinking within MedBiq. LEAP2A is a community-developed specification, entirely free, and all ideas can be used by others without restriction.