How do I aggregate oers
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

How do I aggregate oers



Presentation given at OCWC 2011 Boston.

Presentation given at OCWC 2011 Boston.
Phil Barker, John Robertson, Lorna Campbell



Total Views
Views on SlideShare
Embed Views



2 Embeds 5

http://localhost 4 1


Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

CC Attribution License

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
Post Comment
Edit your comment

How do I aggregate oers How do I aggregate oers Presentation Transcript

  • How do I aggregate OERs? Let me count the ways...
    Phil Barker1, R. John Robertson2, and Lorna M. Campbell2
    Presentation at OCWC 2011, Boston , MA, May 6th 2011
    1 Institute for Computer Based Learning, Heriot-Watt University
    2 Centre for Academic Practice and Learning Enhancement, University of Strathclyde
    Derivative image of Elizabeth Barrett Browning based on image from
    Licence: Public Domain / PD-ART
    Wikimedia Image derived from image from LSUS Library (scholarly use with attribution permitted)
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. Individual Images in this presentation may have different licences. Please note many of the images are screenshots and the websites in question should be consulted for usage rights
  • Overview
    • Some context
    • What is an OER and where do you find them?
    • What are the approaches to aggregating, curating, or gathering OER?
    • Reflections on current practice
    Image: Google Maps Screenshot
  • Context: JISC CETIS
    • JISC CETIS is a JISC Innovation Support Centre. We provide advice to the UK Higher and Post-16 Education sectors on the development and use of educational technology and standards through:
    • participating in standards bodies
    • providing community forums for sharing experience about educational technologies and interoperability standards
    • providing strategic advice to JISC and supporting JISC development programmes
    Image: screenshot of
  • Context: UK OER and more
    • UKOER programme: Phase 2 of the HEFCE-funded Open Educational Resources (OER) programme runs between August 2010 and August 2011 (£5 million funding)
    • Other OER work in the UK and globally as well as other related technical developments
    Image: screenshot
  • What is an OER?
    • From this
    Image: screenshot MIT OCW
  • What is an OER?
    • To this
    Image: screenshot
  • What is an OER?
    • The distinguishing feature of an OER is...
    • an open licence
    • debatable
  • Where do you find OER?
    • Repositories
    Image: screenshot
  • Where do you find OER?
    • Web 2.0 sites
    Image: screenshot
  • Where do you find OER?
    • Blogging Platforms
    Image: screenshot
  • Where do you find OER?
    • Open VLEs
    Image: screenshot
  • Where do you find OER?
    • Websites / Content Management Systems
    Image: screenshot
  • A word or two on aggregation
    Discovery services rather than complex/ compound object formats
    Image: screenshot elements from
  • Approaches to gathering OER
    what can you do to gather stuff together?
  • Approaches to gathering OER
    Manual index
    Shared tag
    Google CSE
    API search
  • Manual indexing and recommendation
    • What are we talking about?
    • make a list
    • Lets assume publicly, so
    • Website
    • Blog
    • Wiki
    Image: screenshot
  • Manual indexing and recommendation
    • Pros
    • Easy to set up
    • Easy to maintain a static set of resources
    • Specialised, quality-assured collection
    • Can be individual or communal
    • [Often used in conjunction with other approaches]
    • Cons
    • Ongoing effort required to add resources to list
    • Maintaining currency of list requires increasing ongoing effort
    • Destination site
  • Shared tags
    • Curate things manually (collaboratively or individually) but have systems to support automated sharing or discovery through tags
    • References to resources can be permanent (~delicious), transitory (twitter), or both.
    Image: screenshot
  • Shared tags
    • Pros
    • Tools ‘free’
    • Easy to use for any user community
    • Somewhat ubiquitous
    • Cons
    • Reliant on community effort at scale
    • Reliant on 3rd party services and ToS
    • Public tools and tags may be spammed
  • Google Custom Search Engine
    • Google is the primary search index of online materials though it can be hard to find materials from specifically defined communities (such as OER). Google Custom Search Engines offer search over a discrete definable set of resources/ sites and can be embedded in local sites
    Image: screenshot
  • Google Custom Search Engine
    • Pros
    • Familiarity of Google
    • Embeddable
    • Little to set up for developers
    • Cons
    • Only works for OER if they can be identified through a particular search term or url pattern
    • But sometimes it (inexplicably?) doesn’t work even then.
  • Using APIs
    • Many hosts of high-value content (such as web 2.0 services) support interaction with their data/ services/ content via APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).
    • allows the development of 3rd party interfaces and apps
    Image: screenshot
  • Using APIs
    • Pros
    • Customisable access to widely used content rich environments through API allow development of local custom interfaces
    • Services often responsive to API bug reports / fixes
    • Programming expertise/ overhead required is relatively low
    • Cons
    • Relies on real time search / access to services
    • Custom interface required (each api is different)
    • Services differ in what they support and what information they hold
    • Reliant on 3rd party services and spec which change frequently and without warning
    • OAI-PMH is a protocol for harvesting metadata. The ability to share data in this way is widely implemented in repository software
    • Harvesters of OAI-PMH can used it to build their a search index from multiple repositories
    • Pros
    • Very widely implemented in repositories as a mechanism to push metadata
    • Requires a baseline metadata standard (DC) [shared standard vs barrier to implement]
    • Cons
    • Not many services based on harvesting. Not straight forward to set up a harvester.
    • Community highly focused on scholarly communications
    • Most services have a specific community/ focus and many also aggregate RSS/Atom
    • Harvesting endpoints (base url) hard to find
    • Well documented issues in maintaining a harvest
  • RSS and Atom
    • RSS or Atom pretty ubiquitously supported in some form by most content management systems, repositories, and other web-based platforms
    • Many tools available to aggregate or work with feeds
    Image: screenshots and
  • RSS and Atom
    • Pros
    • Fairly ubiquitous
    • ‘mainstream’ technology
    • Some interesting examples of use (Xpert, DiscoverEd, UKOER phase 2 Collection Strand)
    • Many tools to consume rss feeds easy to use for any user community; many tools come with rss out of box
    • Cons
    • Hard to manage
    • Can be hard for providers to customise feed output or build one if not there
    • Feed format rarely standard
    • Common aggregation tools ignore non-standard elements
    • Frequent misuse of feed elements
    • Coverage often limited to X most recent
  • An aside on sources of stuff
    Make it easy to find points of access for your stuff
  • An aside on sources of stuff
    • As someone building a discovery service it can be difficult to find where relevant stuff is held
    • It can be even harder for developers of discovery tools to find information about technical services or endpoints that facilitate aggregation
    • (e.g. feed location & coverage, OAI-PMH endpoints, SRU targets)
    CETIS advice:
    • if you build a service that hosts OERs and you wish to facilitate the inclusion of these in a third-party aggregation and discovery tools,
    • please provide clear easy-to-find information about how and where metadata about those resources can be found and interacted with.
  • Current practice
    • UKOER
    • Repositories
    • Wordpress
    • Plugins (to blogs and wikis to return dynamic results alongside static ones)
    • Data wrangling moving upstream (xpert) centralised providers emerging
    • Patterns
    • Localised manual human curation for specific communities feeding automated suggestions as part of bigger systems
    • Ongoing use of existing systems -> plenty of support for OAI-PMH but few general purpose services.
  • Trends
    • Technical
    • Multiple technical approaches for discovery services (RSS, OAI-PMH, ...)
    • Emerging tools for distributed zipped content (SCORM? or IMS CC?)
    • Multiple technical approaches for providers (repository + cms layer, blog or wiki + plugins)
  • Trends
    • Technical Style
    • Localised community based solutions as a niche in the wider web scale
    • tension with too many destination sites
  • Questions