CanCore: Learning Object Metadata Editors

by: Norm Friesen


Tools that support the creation of high-quality learning object metadata are indispensable to the successful implementation of the IEEE LOM standard.   CanCore has earlier emphasized that these tools should be developed in such a way that they directly address (or can be adapted to address) the requirements of particular user groups and local implementations (Friesen, Roberts & Fisher, 2004). This document provides an overview of a number of these tools. It begins with a discussion of the purpose and recommended design characteristics of tools for metadata creation.

Approaches to Metadata

In the introduction to the 2.0 version of its metadata guidelines, CanCore suggests that tools for metadata editing and management should generally expose their users to as little of the complexity of LOM element names and structures as possible. The reason for this is that the significance and complexity of many of these names and structures are likley to be challenging except for very specialized users. What is likely to be more meaningful are terms and structures that reflect the meaning and purpose given to LOM elements and their interrelationship within a specific implmentation. (E.g. The element "General.Identifier.Entry" could be automatically be given a value based on the project url and the database identifier assigned to the resource, rather than being presented to the user as a blank field requiring input. A value for General.Identifier.Catalog could also be similarly provided or "set" within the implementation.)

At the same time, however, hiding the complexity of the LOM from its users can limit the flexibility and range of applications of a tool, and can limit its utility to a single workflow or implementation context. The economies of scale that prevail in educational institutions and projects makes the costs of such limitation and inflexibility prohibitive. As a result, each of the tools listed below --many of which have utilized the guidelines of CanCore or of a related application profile (e.g. UKLOMCore)-- tries to strike its own balance between the complexity it presents to its user, and its comprehensiveness and flexibility.

One tool, or rather, framework or component, presents a kind of exeption to this: The "automatic metadata generation tool" listed below offers none of the LOM elements for completion by its users. Instead, it generates values for a number of LOM elements automatically. It represents an approach to metadata that differs somewhat from that implicit in the other metadata tools listed here --and from the approach taken by CanCore: It generates metadata through entirely automatic procedures, and only based on the "the content of the learning object" and the "context" in which the object is "deployed" (see description, below.)

Readers are encouraged to try out these metadata creation tools, and to apply their own on criteria for judgement.

Selection Criteria

The tools featured in this document met the following criteria. Each tool

As indicated in the comments above, this overview of LOM editing/creation tools is intended to be informative rather than evaluative. It uses, to whatever extent possible, the words used by the tool's creators to describe the tool.

Please help us make this listing more comprehensive and complete. Send information about any additional tools (or approaches to metadata creation) to:

ADLib: (Login required; free registration)

The "ADLib repository provides a metadata entry tool to make the description of learning objects simple enough for the non-specialist. ADLib follows the CanCore Learning Resource Metadata Application Profile(CanCore), a set of guidelines for the uniform description of digital educational resources in Canada."


"ALOHA II is a Java-based software project that is being undertaken by Netera and the University of Calgary's Learning Commons in partnership with the Bolton Institute in the UK. The project represents part of a suite of tools in the eduSource project. The software has been designed for indexing, aggregating, sharing, multi-purposing, and re-purposing learning objects. It is created to meet the needs of indexers, educators and learners and includes versatile and powerful indexing tools and flexible searching of multiple educational object repositories. The software is based on the educational standards of IMS and SCORM. Currently it is designed to author Learning Object Metadata (LOM), build IMS Content Packages (IMS CP 1.22), build SCORM Sharable Content Objects (SCORM 1.2) and read IMS Vocabulary Definition Exchange (IMS VDEX) files."

Automatic Metadata Generation Framework:

The idea behind our framework is that learning object metadata can be derived from two different types of sources. The first source is the learning object itself; the second is the context in which the learning object is used. Metadata derived from the object itself is obtained by content analysis, such as keyword extraction, language classification and so on. The contexts typically are learning (content) management systems (like Blackboard) or author institution information. A learning object context provides us with extra information about the learning object that we can use to define the metadata.

Curriculum Online Tagging Tool (v3x):

"The Curriculum Online Tagging Tool is designed to make the process of creating metadata and outputting as easy and intuitive as possible for those suppliers who do not already have the means for doing so." A version of this tool is being developed to support UK LOM Core and aspects of CanCore.
"The tagging tool enables you to create and store details about your learning resources. It also allows you to add these details to the Curriculum Online portal so that teachers can find out about your learning resources. Once you've added details about a resource to the portal you can use the tagging tool to update them at any time, or even remove them completely."

eduSource: eRIB Metatagging Tool:

"This tool is concordant with the CanCore Guidelines and permits the user to create Metadata records for learning objects stored on a personal computer and thus constituting a personal repository (Repository-in-a-Box, RIB). The eRIB provides all the basic tools to add a new node to the eduSource network. It consists of an open source database (eXist) with a built-in LOM (IEEE Learning Object Metadata) data structure and a set of tools to create, manage and find metadata records in the eduSource Network. Some minimal requirements must be met before installing the eRIB. It exists in English and in French."
"To create your personal eRib, please download necessary software from ."

EXPLORA-II   LCMS and Learning Object Repository / EXPLORA-II:

Explor@ (TM)-II is a software environment for the delivery of courses or distance learning events on the Internet. It allows creating a virtual training centre that delivers a set of courses on the Internet according to a variety of models and using a LO repository facilitating information access, production, follow-up and coaching of learners as well as training management. The LOR is fully compatible with the IEEE LOM, Cancore and Normetic. A demo version is available at you may use the username and password DEMO to access the site.


"Developed by theLICEF / COGIGRAPH Team, the LomPad is available for free as open source code for educational purposes. This tool allows the user to tag objects according to several major application profiles, namely LOM/IEEE, NORMETIC, CanCore and SCORM. The LomPad interface is bilingual, French and English.
To contribute to its evolution, the LICEF / COGIGRAPH Team invites you to communicate your observations and suggestions by using the LomPad Help Menu, choosing the option 'About us', and then click on the image to create an email addressed to us. "


PALOMA is a learning object and metadata manager with distributed repository access. It offers the following functionality:

  • Management of unlimited folders in a tree-structured
  • Editing Metadata for each learning object
  • Managing rights associated to users, roles and groups according to folder and LOM record.
  • Managing fully compliant IEEE-LOM including sub-set profiles such as SCORM, CanCore and Normétic ;
  • Performing simple and advanced search based on metadata
  • Multi-lingual interface (English, French, Spanish)

Reload v2.0:

"The tool supports all aspects of the latest and previous versions of IMS Content Packaging, including IMS Meta-data with IEEE LOM (Learning Object Metadata) vocabulary. It enables content to be aggregated into different structures and tagged with meta-data for exchange between systems and delivery to learners. A package viewer is to be incorporated to enable both authors and learners to interact with packages produced.includes the functionality to edit level A Learning Design manifests as well as Content Packages and Metadata records." Moreover, it includes the following tools:

  • SCORM Player
  • IMS Learning Design Editor (Levels A, B &C)
  • IMS Learning Design Player

Note : The metadata editor is accessible in all these tools.

SHAME Web-editor Demo: /

"SHAME is currently a framework for building editors, presentations and query interfaces for resource centric RDF metadata. In practise it is a library that easily can be integrated into various applications. Since specific applications / deployments need to edit different sets of metadata the SHAME framework provides a configuration procedure from where applications is generated. The core and main benefit of  SHAME is it's configurability through a data modeling part (SHAME Query Model) and a form-specification part (SHAME Form Model)."