The DITA learning and training specializations apply DITA
principles and best practices for using topic-based and modular content to
plan, develop, and deliver learning and training content.
The reusable learning objects, or RLO, approach to learning content
derives from the pioneering work of learning content designers at several
companies, including Autodesk®, Oracle®, and Cisco®. Author Peder Jacobsen
defines an RLO as "a discrete reusable collection of content used to present
and support a single learning objective." With this approach, it is possible to
gather a pool of information objects and make them available for reuse and
repurposing in a variety of learning delivery contexts.
There is a strong affinity between the DITA topic-based, modular
approach to content in general, and the learning objects approach to learning
content in particular.
Working assumptions about learning content and how to support
authoring and delivering it with DITA include the following:
- The DITA Learning and
Training specialization builds on a reusable learning objects (RLO) approach to
topic types are the basic building blocks for learning objects
and specify the meaning and intention of content provided in instructional and
domains provide the mechanism for defining
interactions, which can be used across the learning topic
domains also provide the mechanism for defining learning
metadata, which can be assigned either in topics or in maps.
maps arrange the DITA learning topics into a hierarchy of
learning objects and group such content for delivery as lessons, modules, and
provides the mechanism for creating the learning-based topic
types, domains, and maps needed for instructional and information object
Figure 1. Learning objects and specialized DITA learning and training
This figure shows the composition of learning objects as a)
instructional objects, b) information objects, and c) the specialized DITA
topic types to support them.
In this approach, a learning object comprises a "discrete reusable
collection of content used to present and support a single learning objective,"
and consists of two primary information components:
objects, which provide the structured framework for a learning experience.
<learningAssessment> topic types provide content for
objects, which provide the source learning content - the topic-based
learning content and other supplemental content that supports the learning
goals identified in the instructional objects. The
<learningContent> topic type provides content for
plans, which identify the learning goals, needs, and objectives. The
<learningPlan> topic type provides content for
Figure 2. Learning content design, authoring, and delivery through DITA
This picture shows the end-to-end process for designing, authoring,
and delivering specialized learning content with DITA.
In this approach, a learning content developer:
learning map elements to identify the learning objects and
the supporting content needed to address specific learning goals and
learning topic elements to structure the learning content.
learning metadata elements to describe specific
characteristics of the learning content, following a sub-set of the IEEE LOM
specific build maps and relationship tables to organize
learning objects for delivery as a course with specific output and delivery
processing to generate specific learning deliverables, based
on the default processing available with DITA content and specialized as needed
for learning-specific purposes and delivery formats.