So everything that we formalize needs a frame of reference. The design of these frameworks and models typically defines the boundaries of what can be achieved. Take for example, ADL’s SCORM. Written by experts across industry and standards organizations, SCORM defines a methodology to design and serve learning content.
Take a look at the work the JISC is doing in the UK. The e-Learning Framework and Tools programme focuses on building a set of services that can easily be consumed by MLEs or other client applications.
Sakai does something similar. It is a “community source” collaborative learning environment with services.
And then there is stuff that I put together many years ago – the LearnOS – defined simply as:
LearnOS is to the learner what a traditional OS is to the PC user.
with a crude graphical depiction of what it is constructed upon.
There are others that I found talked about a similar vision – folks like those at epsilonlearning.
If you look at such frameworks, all are focusing on building out a core technology base on which learning can be made more effective.