Learning Objects Metadata

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LOM base schema

Learning Object Metadata (LOM) ( Engl. , "Metadata for learning objects") is an open standard for metadata for describing learning objects , of the 2002 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers was adopted (IEEE).

Motivation for a metadata standard for learning objects

In most learning applications, the content developed is closely related to the application for which the content was developed. In view of the high costs associated with developing such resources, ways in which such content can be exchanged between applications have been sought. To do this, the resources of a learning application must first be provided with meta-data that are standardized and describe the learning content in such a way that they can be used in another application. If learning content is encapsulated with metadata in this way, one speaks of learning objects.

The Learning Object Metadata (LOM) standard has now been developed to facilitate the exchange, search, procurement and use of learning objects . It enables learning objects to be shared and exchanged by developing directories and inventory lists that also take cultural and linguistic differences into account.

Structure of LOM

The basic structure of LOM consists of nine categories:

  1. General Category: Basic information that describes the learning object as a whole.
  2. Lifecycle Category: Properties that describe the history and current state of the learning object as well as the influencing learning objects.
  3. Meta-Metadata Category (Metametadata): Characteristics of the metadata description itself.
  4. Technical Category (Technical Details): technical requirements and characteristics of the learning object.
  5. Educational Category: Educational characteristics and educational description of the learning object.
  6. Rights Category: Information is provided about the terms of use of the learning object and copyright issues.
  7. Relation Category (Related Resources): Relationships between the learning object and other related learning objects.
  8. Annotation Category: enables annotations about the educational benefit of the learning object and information about the creation of the comments (when, by whom)
  9. Classification Category: Classification of the learning object in a classification system.

On the one hand, the detailed characterization of the learning objects helps in the search for special content and document formats and, on the other hand, in assessing whether certain learning programs are suitable for one's own purposes. LOM also tries to answer questions such as: B. with regard to the topicality of the document, to solve the combinability with other learning materials in advance. The type of learning object (exercise, simulation, questionnaire, diagram, table, text, etc.) level of interactivity, didactic context, level of difficulty, average age of the target group and other educational aspects can also be described with the standard.


Standardization is an indispensable prerequisite for future LOM use. Metadata can only be created through agreed standards, which as a layer between the database and the application ensures the necessary data transparency and the possibility of data transmission. While it is still very difficult in Germany to have standardized standards, there has been a very good model of standards developed in Canada since March 2005, the CanCore (the idea is comparable to the Dublin Core ).


An attempt is made to identify alternative versions of teaching and learning materials in different languages ​​and to find the origin of the respective translation. This is to ensure that the metadata can be localized and translated into different languages.

Web links


  1. ^ W. Hodgins (chair), E. Duval. (Tech. Ed.) et al. Draft Standard for Learning Object Metadata. (PDF; 169 kB) Learning Technology Standards Committee, IEEE, July 15, 2002
  2. S. Hörmann, A. Faatz et al. A course editor for modularized learning resources based on Learning Objects Metadata for the creation of adaptable courses. LLWA 01 - Proceedings of the GI workshop week "Teaching-Learning-Knowledge-Adaptation", pp. 315–323, October 2001, online (PDF)