This snapshot, taken on
02/07/2014
, shows web content acquired for preservation by The National Archives. External links, forms and search may not work in archived websites and contact details are likely to be out of date.
 
 
The UK Government Web Archive does not use cookies but some may be left in your browser from archived websites.
The project will provide a set of services to partner institutions to allow pre-HE and other students to discover learning packages offered by learning provider institutions, register on courses and access resources. Services will also be made available to support students including placing outcomes for each student in a "progress file" which could later form the basis for an e-portfolio.

The Learning Matrix

Final report available below

Region: North West 

Overview

The project will provide a set of services to partner institutions to allow pre-HE and other students to discover learning packages offered by learning provider institutions, register on courses and access resources. The learning packages offered will be chosen to enhance the students’ knowledge of or preparedness for Higher Education courses. Services will also be made available to support students including placing outcomes for each student in a “progress file” which could later form the basis for an e-portfolio.  Students will use PDP services, the records of which will also be stored in their personal files. An authorisation and authentication infrastructure based on Shibboleth architecture will be implemented to give students access to resources with a single sign-on.

Aims and Objectives

Project Aim: to enable non-traditional students considering progression to HE to access appropriate learning opportunities from a partnership of FE/HE providers via a standards-based electronic interface. 

Main objectives:

  • to develop a learner interface, the Learning Matrix, that presents a unified view of, and access to, individualised learning opportunities within the sub-region.
  • to provide a personal development planning facility via the Learning Matrix, and to consider the integration of ePortfolio tools with the LUSID system to support and enhance the use of the interface.
  • to deliver learning opportunities in partner FECs and HEIs that will enhance learner preparedness for HE.
  • to facilitate the exchange of learner records held in a progress file among the HEIs/FECs of the sub-region.
  • to evaluate the systems, tools, information flows, learning experiences from the project to gauge the potential for sustainable future practices.

Project Methodology

The project will identify and make use of the dispersed expertise within the institutions’ IT related services and encourage inter-institutional networking to maximise regional capacity in areas of interoperability and web services. This will be augmented by technologies and expertise from previous and current projects such as the SHELL project based in south-west England. 

There are three strands to the Learning Matrix approach: 

1.       A Course Information Service:

This is based on a distributed, co-hosted data model. Each contributing partner will use web services provided by the Learning Matrix to prepare metadata descriptions of the courses they offer to the Matrix, conforming to existing and developing standards (IMS Enterprise) as far as possible. This metadata is hosted by the institution and could be part of a broader approach to course information provision across the institution. Information about learning units offered to the Learning Matrix will be collected from the distributed sources into a central cache, and will then be made available for integration into user portals through another matrix service. 

2.       Lifelong Learner Records:

Web services will be created so that personal details, details of courses pursued and achievements can be held centrally in IMS-LIP format, and can be amended and transferred across the network to participating institutions. 

3.       Personal Development Planning (PDP) services:

These will be specific adaptations of the LUSID open-source PDP system aimed at helping Matrix users think about their choices and personal development options in the context of the learning opportunities offered over the Matrix. There may be opportunity to augment this with e-portfolio facilities and records will be accessible in IMS-LIP/UK-LEAP format. 

User-interfaces deploying the web services provided in these three strands will be created, notably a student portal to the Learning Opportunities and PDP/e-portfolio services offered by the Learning matrix. 

In addition to these main strands the project has separate funding to explore an implementation of the Shibboleth approach to federated authentication and authorisation.

Implications/ Deliverables/ Stakeholders

The project has long-term implications both locally and for the wider JISC community. 

It will have provided improved communications between HE and potential students, enhancing understanding of HE provision and smoothing transition into HE It is anticipated that the local institutions will continue to add to the project’s offerings to this particular student audience, providing a valuable local resource integrated with initiatives from LSC, Connexions and AimHigher. 

The services developed by the project will have potential generic application and will impact on planning for regional life-long learning networks and work-based learning provision for the NHS, for example. 

A major benefit of the project will be the exploration of the complex and interacting institutional and technical issues involved in inter-institutional co-working.  These lessons will be shared in a report and strategy document. 

The further refinement of technologies and approaches from earlier projects will contribute to the articulation of the JISC E-learning Framework and will be of interest to future interoperable network projects. 

Lead institution

Liverpool John Moore’s University

Project Partners

Liverpool John Moores University
Connexions, Greater Merseyside
AimHigher, Greater Merseyside
Knowsley Community College
St Helens College
West Cheshire College
The University of Liverpool
Liverpool Hope University College
Edge Hill College
University College Chester
Liverpool City of Learning
Learning Skills Council Greater Merseyside
Centre for Recording Achievement

Project Staff

Project Manager

Dr Roger Clark
Project Manager
The Learning Matrix
Liverpool John Moore’s University
2 Maryland St
Liverpool
L1 9DE
Tel. 0151 7943268
Email: roger.clark@liv.ac.uk  

Project Team  

Project Leader:
Dr Phil Margham
Liverpool John Moore’s University
2 Maryland St
Liverpool
L1 9DE

Tel. 0151 231 3574

Documents & Multimedia

Summary
Start date
31 January 2005
End date
31 October 2006
Funding programme
Distributed e-Learning programme
Topic