Resource description discovery and metadata for open educational resources
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Resource description, discovery, and metadata for Open Educational Resources. R. John Robertson, Phil Barker & Lorna Campbell OER 10, Cambridge, 22 nd -24 th March 2010. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 UK: Scotland License. Overview. UKOER and JISC CETIS

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Resource description, discovery, and metadata for Open Educational Resources

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Resource description discovery and metadata for open educational resources

Resource description, discovery, and metadata for Open Educational Resources

R. John Robertson, Phil Barker & Lorna Campbell

OER 10, Cambridge, 22nd-24th March 2010

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 UK: Scotland License.


Overview

Overview

  • UKOER and JISC CETIS

  • Stakeholders

  • 6 tensions in description and metadata

  • Where next?


Purpose

Purpose

  • To begin to provide an overview about how the UKOER projects have approached describing educational resources

  • To highlight issues relating to description that should be considered when sharing learning resources


Ukoer and jisc cetis

UKOER and JISC CETIS


Key stakeholders in the programme

Key stakeholders in the programme

  • Academics

    • Creating OERs

    • Using OERs

  • Institutions/Consortia

    • Releasing OERs

    • Consuming OERs

  • HEA/ JISC / HEFCE


Other stakeholders in the programme

Other stakeholders in the programme

  • Aggregators

    • JORUM

    • Others

  • Independent learners

    • On related course elsewhere

    • Truly independent

  • Enrolled students

    • On original course

    • On other courses

  • Employers and the marketplace

    • Training benefits?


Description for your use vs description for sharing 1 4

Description for your use vs. description for sharing (1/4)

  • Description costs, so prioritisation required.

  • Balance the needs of immediate users of system with requirements of taking part in wider networks.

  • For example, needing course codes for local use and JACS for sharing.


Description for your use vs description for sharing 2 4

Description for your use vs. description for sharing (2/4)

  • Requirements:

    • programme tag

    • author

    • title

    • date

    • url

    • file format

    • file size

    • rights


Description for your use vs description for sharing 3 4

Description for your use vs. description for sharing (3/4)

  • Key influences on descriptive choices?

    • project team (and support/ programme)

    • Technology already in use

    • Jorum’s requirements (or perception of them)


Description for your use vs description for sharing 4 4

Description for your use vs. description for sharing (4/4)

  • Do standards help or hinder this decision?

    • Mostly irrelevant

      • Exist in underlying systems

      • Export in a given standard can be mapped

      • Tools hide standards

    • However, perceptions about standards do play a role

      • Jorum uses ‘X’ so we’ll use it;

      • ‘X’ has a space to describe this feature


Metadata standards vs other forms of description

Metadata standards vs other forms of description

  • Most projects are creating metadata

    • For some projects license information only in the metadata

    • But others are not using any formal descriptive standard

  • Does full text indexing eliminate the need for keywords?

    • audio, video, image, and flash materials as well

    • keywords and tags are very useful for aggregators

  • Do we need metadata if we have a cover page (or vice versa)?

    • Use of cover pages is not yet fully known but it appears to not be a major feature.


Seo vs description for specialized discovery tools 1 3

SEO vs. description for specialized discovery tools (1/3)

  • Specialized discovery tools include:

    • format-based tools like Vimeo, YouTube, Slideshare and Scribd

    • aggregators like DiscoverEd and OERCommons

    • subject or domain repositories (such as Jorum)


Seo vs description for specialized discovery tools 2 3

SEO vs. description for specialized discovery tools (2/3)

  • Specialised tools often require domain specific terminology and their search indexing can reward comprehensive description – e.g. Use of MESH.

  • Specialised tools may restrict the fields of descriptive information that can be supplied or that will be used. There is therefore a temptation to put everything into the fields which are available.


Seo vs description for specialized discovery tools 3 3

SEO vs. description for specialized discovery tools (3/3)

  • SEO is more of an arcane art; the mmtv project found that too many high value terms (teacher-training, online, education) in a description diluted the page’s ranking. It’s better to be highly-ranked in a few terms

  • Perhaps not so much of a tension as a balance between comprehensiveness and selectivity is required. OER producers need to be good at both.


Rich metadata vs thin metadata 1 2

Rich metadata vs. thin metadata (1/2)

  • How much metadata do you need to create?

  • How much of it is actually used?

    • No answer to this yet

    • programme was deliberately not prescriptive

    • Jorum’s deposit tool expands on this


Rich metadata vs thin metadata 2 2

Rich metadata vs. thin metadata (2/2)

  • Different projects have taken different approaches to description.

    • OpenStaffs: LOM, XCRI

    • ADOME: DC

  • Most projects using metadata seem to have taken a light approach.

  • No clear answers yet

  • Medev OOER project survey about the use of description for learning materials out soon

  • Longer term balance informed by:

    • efforts to track usage and discovery of UKOERs

    • the usability of this material when aggregated in Jorum


Specialist vs generic standards description

Specialist vs. generic standards: description

  • Dublin Core: 15 projects

  • LOM: 9 projects

  • QTI: 9 projects

  • In most cases it seems to relate to the metadata options which the software chosen provides

  • Longer term

    • comparative volume of use (number of OERs)

    • which elements used


Specialist vs generic standards packaging

Specialist vs. generic standards: packaging

  • Content Packaging: 10 projects

    • 3 projects choosing to use it.

  • Zip: 2 projects

    • But this figure doesn’t reflect use –too obvious to record.

  • Default support by tools and project team background seems to be key factor

  • Perceptions of the available content package creation tools plays a role.


Rss atom based dissemination vs oai pmh based dissemination

RSS/Atom based dissemination vs. OAI-PMH based dissemination

  • What tools, services, and communities can take advantage of each dissemination approach?

    • most of aggregators of learning resources are based exclusively around RSS/ATOM or support both RSS/ATOM and OAI-PMH.

    • existing OAI-PMH harvesters are firmly focused on the Scholarly Communications community

  • Are there any inherent difficulties in either approach?

    • Both have problems

  • Steer to use RSS/ATOM and many projects using technologies that doesn’t support OAI-PMH.


Summary thoughts

Summary thoughts

  • The UKOER programme so far:

    • Many diverse choices

    • Thus far no one clear right answer

  • Next steps

    • Ongoing synthesis

    • Tracking work

    • Jorum usage statistics


Further information

Further Information

  • http://wiki.cetis.ac.uk/Educational_Content_OER

  • http://jisc.cetis.ac.uk//topic/oer

  • Contact details

    • robert.robertson at strath.ac.uk

    • Lmc at strath.ac.uk

    • Philb at icbl.hw.ac.uk


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