Fabrizio Cardinali, of eXact learning solutions.

The global vendor of online and mobile learning content management and digital repository solutions, eXact learning solutions, is running a series of open webinars and workshops at venues throughout Europe and the USA. The webinars and workshops explain the new learning and training documentation standard from the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) group at OASIS, which is driving XML content formats convergence in technical training and documentation fields.


The series begins with two workshops – one being held in Italy, at the University of Genoa, on 23rd April and the other being held in Utrecht, in The Netherlands, on 7th June. This latter event is connected to the DITA Information Energy 2012 conference, which takes place on 8th June.


eXact learning solutions is also running a series of webinars outlining the DITA standard. The first webinar is scheduled for 16th May.


The webinars and workshops aim to help delegates to understand how DITA benchmarks with SCORM, DocBook and other standards known to the instructor-led training (ILT) and web-based training (WBT) communities – and learn how these communities can benefit from DITA’s adoption and master its limitation.


“In planning the contents of their technical training materials, for example, instructional designers need to cope with the fact that 90% of the input materials come from different sources – typically their organisations’ product engineering and design departments,” explained Fabrizio Cardinali, CEO of eXact learning solutions North America.  “These sources use different content authoring and exchange standards from those understood by their learning and publishing colleagues. To date, ’cut and paste’ and content re-creation has been the only way to cope with this misalignment. This introduces high levels of errors, low levels of content re-use and high costs for content re-production.


“The DITA standard is an interoperability strategy which attempts to reduce the complexity of this multiple source, multiple outputs scenario,” he said. “In recent years, OASIS – the US-based, not-for-profit consortium for the advancement of structured information standards for the global Information Society – has been addressing this issue  and has made a great step forward with the release of the new DITA learning and training documentation .


“Many corporate CIOs and CLOs are now asking for DITA compliancy from suppliers in addition to AICC and SCORM,” he continued. “This explains the increasing need to support the wider re-use and sharing of technical documentation sources within and across organisations’ design, engineering and training departments.


“After years of helping to define and write the AICC, SCORM and IMS standards, we now support the OASIS efforts in this field – and so, as part of our commitment to inform and educate the learning technology marketplace throughout Europe and the USA, we’re organising this series of free webinars and workshops. Hopefully, anyone and everyone whose professional life will be affected by DITA – either as a supplier or buyer of these materials – will be able to attend one of these events.”


All workshops and webinars are free and open to anyone, but seats will be assigned on a ‘first come first served’ basis. To attend, send an email to m.leikas@exactls.com stating your interest in the Italian, Dutch or online DITA seminars and webinar events.


Further details of DITA can be obtained from www.oasis-open.org/committees/dita/


For further details on eXact learning solutions visit http://www.exact-learning.com/


Comment: DITA has the ‘feel’ of a standard and acronym that will become as much a part of the learning technology world as ‘SCORM’. AS such, these webinars and workshops offer a great opportunity for the learning technology faithful to be brought up to speed on this new standard quickly.