(part of the InLOC Information Model)
(French release/Version française ici)
InLOC stands for "Integrating Learning Outcomes and Competences".
InLOC provides a model for the information defining both intended Learning outcomes and Work competences (LOCs). That information is important to personal, professional and vocational development, human resources and employee performance management, training and education, whether in the workplace or in school, vocational or higher education.
InLOC helps with the management and exchange of learning outcome and competence information, by defining common characteristics of learning outcomes and competences and modelling them in formats that can be shared.
InLOC models two main kinds of entities:
- a concept of a learning outcome or competence (LOC), taken separately from other ones, is modelled as a LOCdefinition;
- a structure (e.g. document) that contains several LOCs (learning outcomes and/or competences) is modelled as a LOCstructure.
InLOC sets out a structure for the information defining a learning outcome or competence. InLOC specifies that there must be a globally unique identifier (id) to uniquely distinguish a LOC from any other ones, and to support reuse and access. Titles or names are not enough, as the same title in different contexts may signify different LOCs.
Beyond the identifier, InLOC specifies the following information that may be useful in defining a learning outcome or competence:
- title and description enable people to understand what is being defined. These can be available in more than one language.
- Level and credit schemes are often used to indicate progression or to support comparison of learning, education or training. InLOC allows a learning outcome or competence definition to be associated with one or more levels and credits. Level names are typically taken from a list of possible values, such as Level A, Level B etc. Credits have a numerical value within a particular credit scheme.
- Learning outcomes and competences are often categorised. In particular they can have a topic, usually taken from a defined source such as a subject classification. InLOC allows representation of topic as well as any other category.
A learning outcome or competence may well have other management information (metadata) associated with it. This can include information like owner, dates when it was created or edited and version number.
Most learning outcome and competence definitions exist as part of a structure or framework.
InLOC allows the relationships between learning outcomes and competences to be set out clearly. LOCs may be grouped together under headings, or may be arranged in a tree or other structure. LOCs can be made up of other LOCs that may be required or optional. There may also be rules about how LOCs can be combined.
Like each distinct LOC definition, a structure will have management information associated with it.
More useful diagrams
The project constructed a UML-style diagram to support an XML Schema binding, but towards the end it was believed that in the longer term, more useful diagrams would support linked data, including RDF and JSON-LD bindings.
A single LOC definition or structure can be exchanged, for example as a file or through an online service. The InLOC project initially saw XML as the most likely format for exchange, though more recently JSON has been gaining popularity.
To help systems interact with each other, any LOC definition can be reused in another structure, together with a reference to where it came from. Alternatively, relationships can be made between LOCs to indicate that one is the same, broader than or similar to another.
The use of InLOC enables framework and system developers to describe and digitally exchange LOC definitions and structures in a wide range of educational and employment contexts. LOCs can, for example:
- be associated with resources to help teachers find and use them
- be added to learner profiles to show they have achieved certain levels of knowledge or skill.
- be used in job applications or profiles to help job finding and employee management.