Print/Download

Technical information

Print this page

Machine Readable Australian Curriculum

The Machine Readable Australian Curriculum (MRAC) is distributed as RDF/XML, through a SPARQL query engine, and as a JSON manifest file. The RDF/XML is optimised for queries, and does not capture curriculum statement ordering; the JSON file preserves curriculum statement ordering. In addition, individual curriculum statements may be retrieved through browsable URIs.

If you want to incorporate the Machine Readable Australian Curriculum into your system, download the JSON files for processing or the RDF/XML files if you will be doing further RDF processing. You will need to check periodically for updates in the downloadable files.

Design

The revised version of the machine readable Australian Curriculum is described using Export Version 3.1.0 of the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) Application Profile. Prior to August 2012 the RDF used was export version 2.0.0. This version is still available for download.

The ASN Application Profile defines a Standard Document for each curriculum subject area, and a Standard Statement for each statement and grouping of statements within the document. (So a content description, an elaboration, a strand and a year level each are presented in their own Standard Statement.) The hierarchical relations between document and statements, and statement and statement, are represented using the <gemq:hasChild> relationship.

The most significant change between version 2.0.0 and version 3.1.0 is the introduction of a separate JSON “manifest” which describe the ordering of curriculum statements. Statement ordering is no longer represented within the RDF, using <rdf:Seq> and <rdf:li> predicates. The <gemq:hasChild> relationships remain, however their ordering is specifically not guaranteed to be meaningful, and the manifest must be used if the correct order of child statements needs to be determined. Each published ASN Standard Document has a corresponding manifest, the URL of which is associated with the document element via <dcterms:tableOfContents>.

The machine readable form of the Australian Curriculum has been expanded to make use of Australia-specific controlled vocabularies (including the Schools Online Thesaurus http://scot.curriculum.edu.au/, and the Australian School Level vocabulary http://vocabulary.curriculum.edu.au/schoolLevel), and spatial and temporal coverage information particularly for history curriculum statements. It has also had other minor adjustments made to the Achievement Standards Network profile that the specification is based on. The specification of the format of the Australian Curriculum is available on request.

Versioning

Versioning of the machine readable curriculum is restricted to versions of curriculum documents. Curriculum statements inherit their version from the document, rather than being versioned independently.

The versioning of individual curriculum documents is not aligned with the overall version of the Australian Curriculum. It is based instead on major changes or updates to any one area of the published RDF content.

If the Australian Curriculum changes from v.3.x to v.4.x, for example by the addition of a new Learning Area, but the Mathematics F-10 curriculum is unchanged, then the Mathematics F-10 curriculum does not receive a new version and the URIs of existing statements remain unchanged.

Last Modified Date

The last modified date of the RDF encoding of the Curriculum is differentiated from that of the Curriculum Proper: this distinguishes changes ACARA has made to the content, from changes made to the encoding.

Consumers can determine whether any RDF relating to a content description has been updated, including changes to related ScOT terms and spatial/temporal coverage updates. The last modified date of the RDF is loosely defined to encapsulate any changes to all data sources that form the RDF output including updates to AC data, ScOT or temporal and spatial coverage data, which trigger a new last modified date in the combined RDF output.

SPARQL Endpoint

The SPARQL endpoint (http://rdf.australiancurriculum.edu.au/sparql) is the logical start point for obtaining data about the Australian Curriculum. SPARQL can be used to query metadata about individual curriculum statements, or the entire curriculum.

To assist with this, a query page is available at http://rdf.australiancurriculum.edu.au/sparqltest . The query page exposes the SPARQL endpoint of a Sesame 2 triple store. When a query is run from the page, the link at the end of the page contains the same query as a single URL.

Any URI of a curriculum statement is resolved to a query on metadata about the statement. Content negotiation is the preferred mechanism to control the format of the response, with the relevant MIME types being those supported by the Sesame 2 triple-store. The content returned by these URIs depends on the Accept header in the request. For example, application/rdf+xml will result in RDF/XML, whereas text/plain will result in RDF triples being returned.

Alternatively the full statement URI may be suffixed with “.html” to view the content in a browser in human-readable form, or “.rdf” to force the response into an RDF/XML format

Requests to the SPARQL endpoint to retrieve the machine readable curriculum in RDF or JSON format may be made via preformatted URLs.

Requests of the form http://rdf.australiancurriculum.edu.au/elements/yyyy/mm/guid-manifest.json return an ASN Standard Document JSON manifest. The GUID for the JSON manifest corresponds to the GUID for the ASN Standard Document.

Individual statements

Individual curriculum statements, and groupings of curriculum statements, are exposed through URI requests of the form

  • http://rdf.australiancurriculum.edu.au/elements/yyyy/mm/guid

This request retrieves all metadata stored about that statement, but it does not go further and retrieve metadata about child statements. A SPARQL query will be needed to retrieve such child statements.

The site responds to a request for

  • http://rdf.australiancurriculum.edu.au/elements/yyyy/mm/guid

by redirecting to a file of the same path, but ending with either “.rdf” or “.html” depending on the value of the HTTP Accept header. The content returned by the “.rdf” URI also depends on the request HTTP Accept header (so for example application/rdf+xml will result in RDF/XML whereas text/plain will result in N-Triples).

For example:

In either case, the query returns all RDF statements about the Mathematics Curriculum, such as its language, its publisher, the year levels it applies to, and its children (year level-specific curriculum, and strands).

The query does not include RDF statements about the year levels or strands—it does not navigate the curriculum past the level specified. A SPARQL query is needed to do such navigation.

Identifiers

Statements in the Australian Curriculum (representing either a Content Description or Elaboration) are identified through the following complementary identifiers:

  • A human-readable statement code; e.g. ACELA1460. This is the code we expect people to use to refer to content descriptions and elaborations.

This redirects to the latest version of the statement available, for content descriptions and elaborations. This URI should be used for external linking to content descriptions by default.

This points to a specific, time-stamped version of a machine readable curriculum statement which allows resources and statements to be associated with specific versions of the Australian Curriculum through a URI that will remain valid through future updates. While Australian Curriculum human readable codes are restricted to content descriptions and elaborations, all statements and documents of the curriculum are assigned a GUID-based URI, so that they may be described using RDF.

You should also use the version-specific URI if you are doing remote RDF queries, rather than just linking to the URI from a browser as URI redirection can disrupt remote queries.

Back to top