Interoperability is the ability of software and hardware on different machines, (that have different requirements and abilities), information systems, and Component technology - (the blend of object-oriented and Internet technologies), to perform and function in conjunction with each other and to communicate with each other - to exchange information and to use the information that's been exchanged. .
What is it used for? And why do we use it?.
In order for learning technology to expand and grow, to progress and develop across the world, we need to have a common standard. Common standards are important; they are everywhere, from electricity - in the standardization of voltage and plugs, to the internet and the common standards of TCP/IP, HTTP, and HTML.
As far as learning technology goes, we also need to apply this same common standard for metadata, learning objects, and learning architecture. This is what Interoperability does.
Interoperability is primarily used in integrated learning environments. .
We would use Interoperability if for example you wanted to move from a certain learning environment like WebCT to another learning environment like Lotus LearningSpace and wanted to keep the content the same.
Interoperability allows us to have the same standards and capabilities to reuse and assemble or disassemble content drawn from any source at any time. .
We can take any learning objects that are independent components of a course of study, for example, a diagram, a whole course or a test and then make it interoperable by agreeing a standard format for content, a standard set of metadata, and by using an agreed implementation for content and metadata.
The metadata allows the online learning resources to be tagged with searchable properties or attributes (such as author, publisher name, keywords, version, language, and learning objectives).
"Use of standardized metadata allows organizations to tag, store, and retrieve online content resources in their own repositories and those of their external, third-party content suppliers over the Internet-.