EO4GEO ecosystem of tools for educators and practitioners
The EO4GEO tools are envisioned as an ecosystem of independent yet collaborating software tools, which are all based on the Body of Knowledge (BoK) as a formally described, shared vocabulary of the knowledge and skills constituting the EO/GI domain. We discern two types of tools: platform tools, which serve to visualize, edit and maintain the BoK, and end user tools, which logically are aimed at end user.
These tools will be available in June, as soon as the new implemented version of the Bok will be released.
In this article, we go a little bit deeper into the latter category (end user tools) explaining how various end users can benefit from the developed tools.
Schematically, this EO4GEO ecosystem of tools can be represented as a layered architecture, with at the heart the Body of Knowledge — see Figure 1. Platform tools form a first layer of tools, with direct access to the BoK and capable of visualizing (BoK Visualizer), searching (Find in BoK) and editing (Living Textbook) the BoK. These tools are mainly aimed at project partners and collaborating experts who build the BoK. The second layer of tools consists of the BoK end user tools, which are logically aimed at the main stakeholders that use the BoK, i.e., practitioners of the educational and commercial sector of the EO/GI fields. Examples of such end user tools developed in the EO4GEO project include the Curriculum Design Tool for the educational sector, the Occupational Profile Tool and the Job Offer Tool for the commercial sector, and the BoK Matching Tool which bridges and serves both. We elaborate on each of those tools next.
The Curriculum Design Tool (CDT) allows educational providers to create educational programs in the EO/GI field at different levels of granularity: study programs, modules, courses and/or lectures — see Figure 2. Each of these elements are composable (e.g., a study program for a university may consist of various modules, which in turn consist of various courses) or may be specified independently (i.e., a vocational and education training course may consist of a single course). The designer can create any of these elements from scratch, or choose to browse and re-use existing elements. As such, lectures may for example be re-used in various vocational training courses, or modules may be re-used in various study programs. The CDT offers a graphical view, showing an overview of the created educational elements, and a textual view showing and allowing to enter detailed information, such as descriptions, ECTS credits, learning objectives, pre-requisites, etc. Once finished, various possibilities are available to share and export the created content in different formats (e.g., as a link, pdf, …).
In the Curriculum Design Tool, the Body of Knowledge plays a dual role. First of all, the CDT provides a graphical view on the BoK, which the designer can search and browse. This grants him access to the domain knowledge of the field, and allows him to re-use this knowledge during the design. For example, descriptions of BoK concepts can be re-used or adapted as lecture descriptions, and BoK skills can be used as learning outcomes. Secondly, the CDT allows to link BoK concepts to study programs, modules, courses or lectures, thereby formally describing them and grounding them in the BoK.
The Occupational Profile Tool (OPT) allows experts and companies to create occupational profiles, which can be characterized as generic, recurring prototypical job descriptions, including the required knowledge and skills to be able to perform them — see Figure 3. The OPT offers the designer a graphical view on the Body of Knowledge, which allows him to browse to and select the relevant BoK concepts (knowledge) and skills to associate to a profile. In addition, transversal skills (e.g., able to lead a team), originating from the European Commission promoted ESCO list, can be specified. Other European standards are used to specify the expertise level (European Qualification Framework) and the application domain (CEDEFOP training fields). Finally, an occupational profile is finished with a title and description (free text). As for the Curriculum Design Tool, the created profile can be shared and exported in different formats (e.g., as a link, pdf, …), and visualized using the OPT, including visual cues that overview the knowledge and skill distribution among different knowledge areas in the BoK — see Figure 3.
The Job Offer Tool (JOT) allows companies to create job offers, starting from a blank template or based on an occupational profile, which can then be modified and extended with specific information related to the job offer, such as languages required, availability to travel or specific knowledge required (e.g., software tools, data formats). The JOT provides the same graphical view on the BoK as the other tools, which allows to search for and browse the knowledge and skills available in the BoK, and add them as required to a job offer. As the other tools, the JOT allows sharing and exporting in different formats a job offer.
Finally, the BoK Matching Tool (BMT) allows any stakeholder from the educational or commercial EO/GI sector to compare two BOK-annotated resources. Here, the advantage of using the Body of Knowledge as a shared, formally described vocabulary, which grounds the resources created by the various EO4GEO tools, becomes apparent: it allows to match and compare any resource with respect to knowledge and skills. For example, a job offer may be compared with a study program of a candidate, hereby determining which percentage of knowledge and skills he/she possesses that is required for the job, or determining which vocational training course they need to offer to complement his/her knowledge or skills.
As a final but important note, we mention that the EO4GEO software ecosystem is designed to be flexible and open, so that interested (external) parties can build their own end-user tools upon the BoK, next to those offered by the EO4GEO consortium. We invite any interested party to contact us for more information.