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Modular Learning and Training Content with DITA XML and IXIASOFT CCMS

Modular Learning and Training Content with DITA XML and IXIASOFT CCMS

With IXIASOFT CCMS and DITA XML, training developers can reuse and repurpose learning objects and technical content in the training documentation. They can also easily deliver lessons and assessments into new formats and fast-track new programs. Training content is especially well-suited to granularity and reuse. The DITA standard includes a specialization called “learning and training” just for this purpose!

Benefits of Learning and Training DITA Content

Traditional learning and training content contains information products such as:

  • lesson plans and agendas
  • programs
  • summary
  • lessons

The nature of the content lends itself very well to modularity. Organizations are looking at ways of constructing modular libraries with the DITA architecture.

Within the CCMS, training developers can easily repurpose learning objects and DITA vanilla content to create new plans, build courses, lessons and content, compile technical information into the courseware, and publish content for both instructor led and e-leaning modes of instructions.

IXIASOFT CCMS can transform and deliver learning and training content to consistent and up-to-date media formats for e-learning such as:

  • web delivery
  • SCORM packages to ingest in learning management systems (LMSs)
  • presentation delivery
  • printed grids
  • printed agendas
  • electronic evaluation forms
  • …and more!

Casual contributors to training content can also easily author within their browser to add lessons, review programs, and approve content.

What Is the Learning and Training DITA Specialization?

The specialization is an architecture of training objects that fit the bill to create training programs, lesson and quizzes. The learning and training specialization contains both special maps and topics to describe lessons and programs.

Learning and Training content can include vanilla DITA content, which enables trainers to easily reuse content from technical documentation.

The CCMS can output content into SCORM packages that can be fed into learning management systems (LMS) for electronic delivery and knowledge assessments.

IXIASOFT CCMS Customer Case

Énergir implemented IXIASOFT CCMS to benefit from single sourcing, reuse, and clear program templates but also now output agendas for print and evaluation grids, output procedural “checklists” used to evaluate/certify workers, reuse work instructions to create quizzes, and output SCORM packages to their LMS to provide live quizzes to trainees and trainers.

Since the ETG already had a document architecture based on maps, content references and filtering, adopting a DITA XML-based system was a natural upgrade path for us.” Raymond Bissonnette, Senior Training Advisor at Énergir. 

Managing Your Project

Project managers must plan a content strategy before enabling content reuse between tech pubs and training teams and prepare for questions regarding:

  • content ownership
  • workflow synchronization,
  • costs and staffing

At minimum, content reuse requires a shared content strategy; a style guide, DITA information model, and outputs.

Contact IXIASOFT or one of our consulting partners to kickstart your project.

Topic Types for Learning and Training

Topics available in the learning and training specialization include learning plan, overview, content, summary, and assessment. Training developers can reuse content at the topic level and at the segment level, as with any other DITA-compliant content.

Each learning topic is self-contained, reusable, shareable, can be aggregated in larger collections, and is tagged with metadata.

Learning Plan – Describes learning needs and goals, instructional design models, task analyses, learning taxonomies, and other information necessary to the lesson planning process.

Learning Overview – Identifies the learning objectives and includes other information helpful to the learner, such as prerequisites, duration, and intended audience.

Learning Content – Provides the learning content itself and enables direct use of content from DITA task, concept, and reference topics, as well as additional content of any topic type that supports specific objectives declared in the learning overview topic type.

Learning Summary – Recaps and provides context for the learning objectives and provides guidance to reinforce learning and long-term memory.

Learning Assessment – Presents instruments that measure progress, encourage retrieval, and stimulate reinforcement of the learning content. It can also be presented before the content as a pre-assessment or after the content as a post-assessment checkpoint or test.

Map Types for Learning and Training

Training developers can use special maps to group topics for plans, overview, pre-assessment, post-assessment…and more.

Figure 1. Learning content design, authoring, and delivery through DITA specialization

Learning and Training Metadata

Part of the metadata available in the DITA learning and training specialization include a subset of the IEEE Learning Objects Metadata (LOM) standard.

These include metadata for context, difficulty, user role, learning time, platform requirements, and age range.

With the CCMS, training developers will enjoy:

  • separation of content and styling,
  • standardized structure,
  • modularity and localization cost-effectiveness,
  • effective content reuse
  • easy collaboration and review workflows,
  • automated publishing.

 

Resources and Documentation:

Read about our partners specializing in DITA learning and training specializations information modeling:

ComTech Learning and Training workshop

DITA Learning & Training specialization (version 1.3)

IEEE Learning Objects Metadata (LOM) standard

Presentation, the DITA Learning & Training specialization by IXIASOFT

SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model): defines a specific way of constructing Learning Management Systems and training content so that they work well with other SCORM conformant systems. Read here.

Training material image

Blog Author

Nolwenn Kerzreho of IXIASOFT

Nolwenn Kerzreho

Technical Account Manager EMEA at IXIASOFT

Nolwenn has over a decade of experience in the technical communication industry. An international speaker and author, she helps documentation teams industrialize, rationalize and automate their documentation production to publish to web, mobile and print faster, enhance content consistency, reduce time-to-market and costs within controlled processes.

Based in France, you can usually find Nolwenn behind her desk, at the IXIASOFT booth or speaking at various industry events, visiting customers around Europe or teaching at University Rennes 2, where she introduced the new curriculum for technical communication in 2012.



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