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A Teacher’s Tool for Lesson Planning (TuLiP). Design of a tool for the rapid development of educational and instructional environments. R. Gabrielle Reed Fall, 2002. Topics. Call for Research E-commerce vs. E-learning Web Technology Teacher’s Challenges Meeting the Challenge – TuLiP.

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A teacher s tool for lesson planning tulip l.jpg

A Teacher’s Tool for Lesson Planning (TuLiP)

Design of a tool for the rapid development of educational and instructional environments.

R. Gabrielle Reed

Fall, 2002

Topics l.jpg

  • Call for Research

  • E-commerce vs. E-learning

  • Web Technology

  • Teacher’s Challenges

  • Meeting the Challenge – TuLiP

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Call for Research to Support the Use of Technology in Education

  • In “e-learning: Putting a World Class Education at the Fingertips of All Students”, research in engineering and technology is mandated to provide tools for teachers to meet the “National Technology Goals” (US DEd, 2000)

Observations l.jpg
Observations: Education

  • Tools designed for educational uses lag behind applications for e-commerce.

  • Tools can be developed that capitalize on advances in e-commerce.

Definitions l.jpg
Definitions: Education

  • Template: Empty markup page

  • Object: Self-contained archive file with markup pages, resources, metadata to allow use.

  • XML: Extensible Markup Language

  • XSL: Extensible Scripting Language

  • Product: Automatically generated Web pages

  • Cocoon2: Web publishing framework project under the Apache/Jakarta

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Advances in Technology Education

  • XML allows semantic content storage and retrieval.

  • XSL allows the presentation of content in a wide variety of output formats.

  • Portal Technology allows relevant storage, retrieval and community services within a web-based environment.

  • Web frameworks allow rapid development of web environments.

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Teacher’s Challenges Education

  • Recent Laws Impacting Workload

  • Existing Responsibilities

  • Tools Available

  • Hurdles to Technology

  • Observed Problems with Learning Environments

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Teacher’s New Responsibilities Education

  • Federal laws and mandates:

    • “Leave No Child Behind Act” [PL 107-110, 2002]

    • “National Education Technology Plan” [e-Learning, 2000]

    • “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act” [IDEA - PL 105-17, 1997]

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Recent Requirements Education

  • Integrating technology in the classroom

  • Providing accessible information to parents of disadvantaged individuals

  • Using scientifically based teaching techniques

  • Accommodating disabilities and student diversity

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Professional Development Education

  • Table A.—Percent of public school teachers who participated in professional development activities during the last 12 months that focused on various content areas, by number of hours spent on the activity: 2000 NOTE: Percentages for total hours spent in the activity are based on public school teachers who participated in professional development over the 12 months preceding the survey. Percents are computed across each row, but may not add to 100 because of rounding.

  • SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Fast Response Survey System, "Survey on Professional Development and Training in U.S. Public Schools, 1999-2000," FRSS 74, 2000.

Existing responsibilities l.jpg
Existing Responsibilities Education

  • Writing and submitting lesson plans

  • Teaching core curriculum

  • Grading Papers

  • Supervising halls and classrooms

  • Assessing disabilities

  • Keeping abreast of new teaching strategies

  • Encouraging parental participation

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Teacher’s Dilemma Education

  • A teacher may spend up to 20% of the time planning

  • Less than10% of teachers use technology for planning (NCES 2001)

  • Barriers to the use of technology, cited by teachers (NASA 1998)

    • time to learn

    • complexity of the software

    • lack of training

    • lack of support

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Current Solutions: Education

  • Technology Literacy Challenge Fund (TLCF) provides grants for equipment.

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) provides grants for research in determining effective teaching methods and technologies

  • Preparing the Teachers of Tomorrow to use Technology (PT3) provides grants for teacher education programs

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Proposed Solution: Education

  • Lower the teacher’s technology hurdle by developing simplified teacher-centered applications to help with the day to day requirement of planning and reporting.

  • Automate the dissemination of information, with “write once, automate display” when and how it is needed.

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Proposal : EducationA Lesson Planning Tool

  • Characteristics

  • Comparison of Existing Tools

  • Benefits

Characteristics l.jpg
Characteristics: Education

  • Simplified interface with sufficient but minimal functionality.

  • Sharing and reusing Lesson Plans.

  • Sharing and reusing components of the Plan.

  • Automating routine parental and administrative reporting requirements.

  • Automating alternative student materials.

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Teacher Activities in Lesson Planning Education

  • Prepare student activities, evaluations, homework, and the equivalents in alternative formats.

  • Assure instructional materials meet curriculum guidelines.

  • Provide copies to Administration.

  • Provide parents with supplemental materials.

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Sample Lesson Planning Page Reusing Lesson Plans

Source: Ohio Schoolnet. Lesson Planning Template. http://tlcf.osn.state.oh.us/blueprint/index.html.

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What If Teachers Could Use XML? Reusing Lesson Plans

  • Use an XML language that uses educational terminology.

  • Fill in the educational content.

  • Use predefined XSL pages to display the plan content in a variety of formats.

  • Upload XML file to a designated location to be used as the source of the XSL transformations.

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Perceived Costs of Predefined Styles Reusing Lesson Plans

  • Customization of the use forms are restricted to the defined structure of the elements. A compliant template form uses existing style templates.

  • Foremost importance is the use of research based style and presentation methods to facilitate information distribution.

  • Teachers have to give up the desire to “publish”- to “control the way things look”. The functionality to customize a product is a cause of increased complexity of a tool.

  • To offset this, the style must be a widely accepted design

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How Many Different Products Are Needed? Reusing Lesson Plans

  • The content in one Lesson Plan may be transformed to meet various needs:

    • Administrative curriculum requirements

    • Evaluation of technology effectiveness

    • Information for parents

    • Homework for children

    • Information in alternative modes for lesson or review

    • Instructional plan

    • Instructional web environment

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Effectiveness of Structured Content Reusing Lesson Plans

  • The "structured" approach is seen to have the following benefits:

    • allows the same courses to be delivered across multiple media and delivery environments (Print, WWW, CD-ROM)

    • supports a consistent instructional design and development process

    • provides a definitive view, including meta-data, of the components of well constructed educational resources responsive to different learner profiles

    • provides opportunities for learners to approach the course material through multiple paths or views

    • facilitates the re-purposing and updating of content

    • conforms to Information Technology standards to ensure portability and long-term use”

  • Paille, G., Norman, S., Klassen, P. and Maxwell, J. "The effect of using structured documents (SGML) in instructional design“

  • source: http://naweb.unb.ca/proceedings/1999/paille/paille.html

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TuLiP Components Reusing Lesson Plans

  • Web Architecture

  • Portal/Repository Design

  • Fundamental Learning Objects

  • Teacher-Centered Tool

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Technological Components of the Tulip Tool Reusing Lesson Plans

  • Cocoon 2 Web Architecture

    • Uses XML, XSL, XSP, Java Servlets

  • Portal Design

    • facilitates catalogue and search of resources

    • enhances teacher participation & collaboration

  • Learning Objects

    • packages metadata and files for sharing

  • Repository

    • simplifies saving and retrieval of files

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Designs in the Full Implementation of the TuLip Tool Reusing Lesson Plans

  • A simplified “minimal but sufficient” interface

  • A markup language designed for Learning Environments And Planning (LEAP)

  • A set of Knowledge Type Templates (KTTs) for the types of knowledge based on objective

  • Components that facilitate reuse, sharing, completeness and orthogonality (FLOs)

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Simplified “Minimal but Sufficient” Interface Reusing Lesson Plans

  • Teacher-centered design

  • Set up of custom plan template

  • Web based form

  • Step by step completion

  • Templates

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Characteristics of a Simplified Interface Reusing Lesson Plans

  • Minimal but sufficient functionality

  • Teacher-centered

  • Includes examples and demonstrations of use

  • Provide an assortment of templates for use.

  • The needs of the teachers are to be determined by user studies and surveys through the use of the Portal

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Types of Template Reusing Lesson Plans

  • Planning Templates facilitate complete teacher planning information

  • FLO Component templates to assist in producing complete components

  • Diverse KTT Component templates provide suggestions for a range of objectives

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Rapid Development of Web Sites using the Cocoon2 Framework Reusing Lesson Plans

  • Web interface for administration of lesson plans and learning environment

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Cocoon2 Reusing Lesson Plans

  • Uses an architecture that allows dynamic generation of webpages: a script describes the servlets, sources and transformation information needed to process a certain request.

  • A generator converts the text input into the XML using the Simple API for XML (SAX) creating events, which are then processed and transformed according to XSL script to serialize the output.

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Cocoon2 Sitemap Example Reusing Lesson Plans

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Cocoon2 Pipeline Reusing Lesson Plans

  • Source at the right is an XML page.

  • Style sheet is in XSL.

  • Multiple sources of XML may be used in “one page”.

  • Output is specified format like html, pdf, WML or Vox ML.

Learning environment and planning leap markup language l.jpg
Learning Environment And Planning (LEAP) Markup Language Reusing Lesson Plans

  • XML Language development

  • Current Markup Languages for Educational Content

  • Characteristics of LEAP

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XML Markup Languages Reusing Lesson Plans

  • Data Type Definitions (DTDs) define the Elements and Attributes to be used in the files.

  • Modularization and Namespace DTDs are used to assure uniqueness of element names.

Existing markup languages l.jpg
Existing Markup Languages Reusing Lesson Plans

  • Publication Languages

  • Learning Material Markup Language (LMML) [http://www.lmml.de]

  • Tutorial Markup Language (TML) [http://www.ilrt.bristol.ac.uk/netquest/about/lang/]

  • These are incomplete languages with respect to the “Lesson Planning Process”.

What are xml s advantages l.jpg

Plan is coded with semantic elements. Reusing Lesson Plans

Reusable translation instructions are used to filter, format and display information for each product.

XML content can be catalogued and searched.

Plan can be designed with reusable parts.

Translation instructions are used for instructional control and sequencing.

Instructor has more instructional control.

What Are XML’s Advantages?

Characteristics of leap learning environment and planning language l.jpg
Characteristics of Leap Reusing Lesson Plans(Learning Environment and Planning Language)

  • Uses definitions for independent educational task components

  • Describes components to be created, edited, stored or retrieved for inclusion in plan

  • Includes Plan, FLO and KTT elements

  • Allows aggregation of components to be used in creating the Web environment

  • Categories/ and Grammer

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Document Type Definition (DTD) Reusing Lesson Plans

  • A DTD is a file (or several files to be used together), written in XML, which contains a formal definition of a particular type of document. It sets out what names can be used for element types, where they may occur, and how they all fit together. For example, if you want a document type to be able to describe <List>s which contain <Item>s, part of your DTD would contain something like

    <!ELEMENT List (Item)+>

    <!ELEMENT Item (#PCDATA)>

  • This fragment defines a list as an element type containing one or more items (using the plus sign), and items as element types containing just text. XML is the formal specification language which processors read to automatically parse the DTD and then use that information to identify where every element type comes and how each relates to the other, so that stylesheets, navigators, browsers, search engines, databases, printing routines, and other applications can be used. The above fragment lets you create lists which get stored as:






  • How the list appears in print or on the screen depends on your stylesheet: you do not normally need to put anything in the XML to affect formatting in the way that had to be done with HTML before stylesheets.

  • In effect, a DTD provides applications with advance notice of what names and structures can be used in a particular document type.

  • Using a DTD means you can be certain that all documents which belong to a particular type will be constructed and named in a conformant manner.

  • Source: http://xml.coverpages.org/xmlFAQ15.html#FAQ-DOCTYPE

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Fundamental Learning Objects (FLOS) Reusing Lesson Plans

  • Classes of FLO’s

  • Metadata Requirements

Fundamental learning objects l.jpg

FLO’s are defined as the smallest object containing educational information.

Educational Lesson Information is categorized into classes, based on Instructional Functionality.

The classes contain content described as:








Fundamental Learning Objects

Lesson plan objects l.jpg
Lesson Plan Objects educational information.

  • Characteristics

Characteristics43 l.jpg
Characteristics educational information.

  • Contains Descriptions of:

    • Metadata to allow retrieval

    • Calendar information

    • Lesson Sequence

    • Activity, Evaluation and Homework Lists

    • Resources needed for the Lesson

    • Locations of Information, Illustrations, Demonstrations, etc.

    • Applications to be used by students to complete lessons

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Knowledge Type Templates (KTTs) educational information.

  • Templates for the most common objectives by type of knowledge being taught

Knowledge type templates ktts45 l.jpg

Aggregation of a variety of FLOs educational information.

The proposed KTT’s include:








Cognitive Process

Knowledge Type Templates (KTTs)

Xsp and xsl pages l.jpg
XSP and XSL Pages educational information.

  • Logic and display formats need be designed only once: pages are reusable with different content.

  • Examples are:

    • Test Logic may be re-used for many tests

    • Practice/homework sheets may be designed to provide immediate feedback

    • Lesson Plans use teacher-preferred format

    • Administrative or Parental information can be provided by date

Components l.jpg
Components educational information.

  • Facilitate Reuse, Sharing, Completeness and Orthogonality (FLOs)

  • Learning Objects,

  • MetaData,

  • Portals,

  • Web Communities and

  • Repositories

Definitions48 l.jpg
Definitions: educational information.

  • Learning Objects: Educational materials in various formats

  • Repository: Location for storage and retrieval of Learning Objects, Plans and Teacher Materials

  • Reusability: The object can be easily used or incorporated into an existing learning environment.

  • Sharability: Sufficient information is provided for confirmation of validity and allows use.

  • Orthogonality: Components are independent of others.

  • Completeness: The educational intent of one basic objective is contained in one object.

  • MetaData: Information stored to describe an object

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Examples of Learning Objects Uses(LOs) educational information.

  • Instructional Architect (IA) currently uses the LO’s stored in SMETE and other repositories to produce web pages. (reusabiltiy.org)

  • Learning Objects, however, are packaged with logic, format and content that is difficult to modify and limits its reuse.

Ieee learning object lo initiatives l.jpg
IEEE Learning Object (LO) Initiatives educational information.

  • Standardize the metadata associated with LO’s

    • LOs are limited to objects containing educational content.

    • LOs can be readily shared and reused in whole, due to the metadata markup language used in describing the content.

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Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (The Dublin Core) educational information.

  • “a 15 element metadata set that is primarily intended to aid resource discovery on the Web …

  • The metadata elements fall into three groups which roughly indicate the class or scope of information stored in them:

    • elements related mainly to the Content of the resource

      • Title, Subject, Description, Type, Source, Relation, Coverage,

    • elements related mainly to the resource when viewed as Intellectual Property

      • Creator, Publisher, Contributor, Rights

    • elements related mainly to the Instantiation of the resource

      • Date, Format, Identifier, Language.”

  • Source:

    • http://dublincore.org/documents/1999/07/02/dces/

  • Qualifiers are documented in :

    • http://dublincore.org/documents/2000/07/11/dcmes-qualifiers/

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SCORM educational information.

  • "The SCORM spec is going to be successful almost by default, but unless all e-learning specifications turn the focus from infrastructure to pedagogical soundness, they are in danger of becoming instructionally irrelevant." So says Thor Anderson, director of developer support at the Instructional Management System Global Learning Consortium (IMS) in Burlington, Mass.

  • Source: Welsch, Edward, “SCORM: Clarity or Calamity?” Online Learning Magazine, August, 2002 http://www.onlinelearningmag.com/onlinelearning/magazine/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1526769

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Portals educational information.

  • An adaptive environment:

    • Displays information of interest, which is gathered and made available for use.

      • National, Core and State Curriculum Requirements

      • Planning Tools and Teacher Resources

    • Provides a facility for sharing, using a Repository

    • Enables collaboration in Lesson Planning

Web communities l.jpg
Web Communities educational information.

  • Learnitivity

  • BlackBoard

  • Moose Crossing

  • ERIC

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Educational Repositories educational information.

  • ERIC


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References educational information.

  • LMML (lmml.org)

  • TML(

  • Instructional Architect ( reusabiltiy.org)

  • Steps (UWF)

  • IEEE Learning Object Initiative


  • Cocoon2 web development framework

  • http://www.saxproject.org