DeL eTools - SPWS (Skills Profiling Web Service)
SPWS Project Web Site
SPWS CETIS Development Page
Distributed eLearning - eTools Page
We propose to extend the Personal Development Planning (PDP) web service
currently being developed by the WS4RL  project and, creating a portable skills framework,
add a sophisticated skills reflection, profiling and guidance
service. This service will be integrated into the Bodington VLE and
tools developed to help teachers deploy and manage the service. The work
will be exemplified in a medical context.
The project is a collaboration between The University of Oxford (Computing
Services [OUCS] and Medical Sciences), The University of Leeds (Learning
Development Unit [LDU] and Medical School) and The University of Liverpool
(Centre for Lifelong Learning [CLL] and Medical School).
FE and HE need a situation where all the lifelong PDP partners have a
common PDP skills framework so that levels of attainment in the different
skill areas are reasonably unambiguous and agreed. It is not the
process that needs to be similar – (quite apart from anything else
each different institution or employer, etc. is likely to have their own
priority in skills development) - it is the information that needs
to be compatible.
Every learner at any time needs to have a well-defined personal development
profile. The complexity of the profile depends on the level of detail of
the PDP skills framework. One scenario is that the learner needs to have an
attainment level or stage, at each component skill, to serve as the
parameter which, when supplied to the individual organisation's PDP
programme decision system, comes up with a prescription of the most
important things to do as the next PDP activity.
One major benefit of this formal approach is the ability to automatically
link to useful resources for personal development. The PDP service can
recommend the next thing to do, based on things like whether any evidence
has been assembled for a given skill area, or whether the need is felt to
do something about it. (This last point indicates that it is not
necessarily always an objective diagnosis that is required, but sometimes a
subjective sense of whether the level of skill is satisfactory to the
learner himself or herself.)
For this kind of reflection to be used effectively, there needs to be a
simple way for teachers to create suitable learning resources; an easily
accessible body of good practice needs to be built up by experts in the
 Web Services for Reflective Learning –
JISC funded project in e-Tools strand.
Aims and Objectives
We will provide an example of a skills framework defined in terms of IMS
specifications. The framework will be shown to be useable by populating it
with several ‘generic’ key skills (eg, IT, Communications etc).
In addition we aim to demonstrate the framework in use by pitching it in a
medical context. We will show how new (medical) skills can be added to the
framework and will provide instructions on how to do so.
A PDP web service will be developed, this will offer a skills profiling
service. In order to demonstrate the use of this service we will provide
and exemplar application within the Bodington VLE. Bodington’s logbook
facility will be enhanced to allow tutors to deploy the web service via a
point and click interface. The service will also offer a search facility
whereby a learner’s competency map is used as the basis for a repository
The overall aim of the project is to demonstrate how a user agent
(Bodington VLE) can be integrated with a service from the Learning Domain.
We will also show how previously developed services can be used as building
block for new services.
Institution: The University of Oxford
Address: 13, Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6NN