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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

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
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