OER1052 Oral Presentation

Captivate: audience engagement and open educational content in the visual arts

Leigh Garrett, Director, Amy Robinson, Collections Manager, Visual Arts Data Service, a Research Centre at the University for the Creative Arts

Conference Theme: Open Educational Content

Abstract: This case study will discuss how the JISC-funded Enhancing VADS project (October 2008 to September 2009) engaged with new and existing users of the Visual Arts Data Service and will showcase the enhancements made to the service. The Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) provides free access at the point of use to over 120,000 items for learning, teaching and research across the higher education sector. This includes primarily still images, but also moving images, documents, multi-media packages, and learning resources. Usage has grown by 600% over the last 5 years; and now 1.75 million images are viewed each month. The Enhancing VADS project’s key objectives were: to enhance the discoverability of the visual resources by the introduction of an OAI-PMH service; to establish how the wider academic community currently engaged with the collections; and to increase usage by developing services and tools based on user requirements, including user tagging, a hierarchical subject taxonomy, and enhanced lightbox features enabling a user to curate and share a collection. By developing OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative - Protocol for Metadata Harvesting) capabilities on our database, VADS has become a data provider, enabling service providers, such as BBC Century Share, to harvest our metadata via the protocol and re-use it in new open educational resources. The original lightbox tool, prior to enhancements, was an output of the PICTIVA Project, which set out to promote the use of on-line image collections in learning and teaching in the visual arts through the VADS collections. The tool enables users to collect digital images into one or more groups and also to email these to others who can then ‘adopt’ the lightbox. The project completed in September 2009 and has been well received by the sector so far. The response from existing and new users will be measured on an ongoing basis to ensure VADS continues to captivate and engage.

Keywords: retrieval, reuse, engaging users, Web 2.0 tools

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