OER1021 Oral Presentation ppt

Resource description, discovery, and metadata for Open Educational Resources

R. John Robertson (University of Strathclyde), Phil Barker (Heriot Watt University), Lorna Campbell (University of Strathclyde)

Conference Theme: Open Educational Content

Abstract: Drawing on our work supporting the JISC / HE Academy Open Educational Resources programme (http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/oer.aspx ) the presentation and paper will examine five tensions which relate to describing and sharing OERs. The paper will outline the different stakeholder groups whose needs have to be considered (these include: independent learners, enrolled students, academics, institutions, consortia, and aggregation services). We will consider the strengths and weaknesses of both sides of each tension and factors which may influence stakeholders to prefer one side of the tension over the other or instances in which the tension can be sidestepped. It will also offer the authors’ opinions and concerns. These tensions can be outlined as follows:

  1. Description for local needs vs. description for interoperability How do OER initiatives decide what descriptive information they need? What influences do the different stakeholder groups have? Do standards help or hinder this decision?
  2. Search Engine Optimization vs. description for specialized discovery tools How are people going to find the content? Should we check our keywords with to Google adwords? Does it matter for discovery tools what type of license we pick and how we encode it? How do the limits of service APIs affect description?
  3. Specialist vs. generic standards Is Simple Dublin Core (oai_dc) enough? Do I need to use IEEE LOM? Should I content package or just zip?
  4. Rich metadata vs. thin metadata How much metadata do you need to create? Is any of it used anyway? Does detailed description promote more visibility or easier discovery?
  5. Metadata vs description Do we need metadata if we have a cover page (or vice versa)? Does full text indexing eliminate the need for keywords?
  6. RSS/Atom based dissemination vs. OAI-PMH based dissemination What tools, services, and communities can take advantage of each dissemination approach? Are there any inherent difficulties with either approach?

Keywords: metadata, resource description, UKOER, OER

Barker, P (2009) ‘About Metadata & Resource description’
ccLearn http://learn.creativecommons.org/ (2009) Enhanced Search for Educational Resources— A Perspective and a Prototype from ccLearn http://learn.creativecommons.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/discovered-paper-17-july-2009.pdf
Currier, S., Barton, J., O'Beirne, R. & Ryan, B. (2004), 'Quality Assurance for Digital Learning Object Repositories: Issues for the Metadata Creation Process', Alt-J, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 5-20
McGill, L and Currier, S and Duncan, C and Douglas, P (2008) Good intentions: improving the evidence base in support of sharing learning materials. http://ie-repository.jisc.ac.uk/265/
Robertson, RJ (2009) ‘Comparing Metadata Requirements for OERS’ http://blogs.cetis.ac.uk/johnr/2009/08/26/comparing-metadata-requirements-for-oers-part-1/