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Supporting learning at the library. Towards integrating LMS and digital library technology at Penn John Mark Ockerbloom CNI Task Force Meeting December 6, 2002. The goal: Bring together opportunities for learning. Universities are all about learning, and teaching

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supporting learning at the library

Supporting learning at the library

Towards integrating LMS and digital library technology at Penn

John Mark Ockerbloom

CNI Task Force Meeting

December 6, 2002

the goal bring together opportunities for learning
The goal: Bring together opportunities for learning
  • Universities are all about learning, and teaching
    • through individual research and publication
    • through class study and teaching
  • The library is a commons for bringing together knowledge, and learners themselves
  • Both class teaching and library resources increasingly use digital resources
    • and often from the same source (e.g. electronic library reserves for courses)
  • Common technology and tools should help both
what we d like to do
What we’d like to do
  • Make it easy for scholars to find digital library resources and include them in their teaching
    • open Web, licensed resources, ereserves, original material
    • not just static documents, but dynamic services, local and remote
  • Let them retain, preserve, and share material
    • personal and course portfolios
    • shared course materials workspaces for teachers
    • public dissemination
    • Institutional repository deposit?
  • Support new ways of teaching and learning more effectively
    • including targeted techniques for specialized applications
penn s strategy
Penn’s strategy
  • Bring LMS support into the library
    • And work on integrating reserves, digital library services
  • Support LMS architectures that can improve learning outcomes
    • Open architectures (e.g. OKI) supporting best-of-breed integration
    • System interfaces that integrate LMS, digital library capabilities
  • Develop and test new content tools
    • for smoother workflow for instructors, students, librarians
    • for better integration of content and services
    • for reuse of materials in new contexts
      • (may involve conversion of data, domain-specific metadata)
  • Reshape library space and services
    • to better support learning in a digitally rich environment
the open knowledge initiative
The Open Knowledge Initiative
  • Multi-year open development project
    • Funded by the Mellon Foundation
    • MIT and Stanford are lead universities
    • Other universities, including Penn, are development partners.
  • Deliverables:
    • Open, layered architecture and APIs for educational SW
    • Open source example implementations of the APIs
    • Exemplar tools using the APIs
  • Why we like it:
    • Designed by and for its users (universities)
    • Encourages integration and cooperation, for both commercial and academic efforts, including our own
    • Expands choices and raises standards in software
we can build better course content management
We can build better course content management…
  • Easy drag-and-drop functionality
    • Automatic inferences to avoid unnecessary forms
  • Flexible metadata and access control
  • Organizing diverse resources in workspaces
    • which may or may not be associated with a particular course
  • Smart modules for:
    • Defining dynamic services (e.g. search, channels)
    • Classifying and converting content, metadata, references
    • Interacting with digital library repositories and collections
  • Compatible with OKI-compliant LMS
    • So we can concentrate on where we have interests and skills, while leaving the other stuff we need to others
though some things are easier said than done
…though some things are easier said than done:
  • Finding common data models and APIs
    • SCORM learning object vs. OAIS AIP with METS
    • What are appropriate APIs for search, repository fns?
  • Finding usable software to implement them
    • (multi-source simultaneous search, for instance)
    • Lightweight protocols, collaboration, helpful here
  • Keeping hassle factor low
    • Inferring correct URLs for library resources
    • Dealing with data format incompatibilities
    • Maintaining ease of use in complex systems
  • Enabling appropriate access control
access control
Access control
  • Challenge: Make it easy to share material while protecting rights
    • (of publishers, instructors, students)
    • Gets trickier beyond course limits; c.f. Clifford Lynch’s paper
  • Lockdowns, policy hard-coding not acceptable
    • Institutions, groups need to determine appropriate policies
      • May be different for active courses vs. repositories
  • Useful tools to uphold policies:
    • Clear documentation of policies
      • including LMS-processable form if possible
    • Portable access and provenance metadata
      • Created automatically where appropriate
    • Clear visibility for access rights (and hooks for change)
    • Make common practices simple, uncommon ones possible
      • Trusted people better than “trusted systems”
the library evolves
The library evolves
  • From shelving reserves to supporting courses
  • Providing new digital points of service
    • Integrating courseware with DL tools like searching, resolution, collection and repository control
    • Cooperating with other divisions (campus IT, schools)
  • Making the most of our nondigital assets
    • Not just physical volumes, but also space, and expertise
    • Example: Collaboratory for Learning and Teaching
  • In diffuse environments (like Penn), libraries are vital focal points for learning
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