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e-Framework Tools

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Given to DCC Preservation of Learning Materials Forum at University of Glasgow …

Given to DCC Preservation of Learning Materials Forum at University of Glasgow
9th February 2006

Published in: Business, Education
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    • 1. e-Framework Tools DCC Preservation of Learning Materials Forum University of Glasgow 9 th February 2006 Adrian Stevenson Learning Technology Services The University of Manchester
    • 2. e-Framework at University of Manchester
      • Project Manager for University of Manchester e-Framework Demonstrator Project (no name yet)
        • Currently looking at distributed resource discovery tools e.g. d+
        • Monitoring E-framework developments and evaluating tools
        • Not JISC funded
      • Also investigating
        • potential for local learning object repository
        • issues surrounding long-term access to learning materials
      • Based in Learning Technology Services team providing advice and support on interoperability, new technologies, ….
      • Used to work for JORUM (until May 05) as Service Technical Development Coordinator
    • 3. The e-Framework for Education and Research
      • An initiative by JISC and Australia's Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST)
      • “ The primary goal of the initiative is to produce an evolving and sustainable, open standards based service oriented technical framework to support the education and research communities” The e-Framework for Education and Research: An Overview, July 2005
      • Builds on the e-Learning Framework (ELF) and the JISC Information Environment
      • The e-Framework is a service-oriented (soa) approach to system and process integration
      • “ A framework consists of a set of services, … The core task of creating a framework is to define a broad set of services required to support the business of a community. A service offers functions and content through agreed behaviours and interfaces.” Wilson et al, 2004, ‘Service-Oriented Frameworks: Modelling the infrastructure for the next generation of e-Learning Systems’
    • 4. The e-Framework – why?
      • “ there has been a shift from monolithic application silos towards service oriented approaches where flexible granular functional components expose service behaviours accessible to other applications via loosely coupled standards based interfaces.“ Olivier et al, ‘The e-Framework for Education and Research: An Overview’, July 2005
      • Growing consensus that SOA’s provide the best way to achieve systems integration
      • SOAs have been integrated with Web Services (SOAP, WSDL) to implement service interfaces
      • e-Framework adopts the less formal service oriented approach (small “soa”), adapting the approach of loosely coupled services whilst allowing for greater flexibility in implementation.
      • Many benefits of this approach identified
    • 5. Architecture of a Managed Learning Environment today
      • Considerable overlap of functions and data within the components
      • Each system tries to manage authentication making single sign-on difficult
      Wilson et al, 2004, A Technical Framework to Support e-Learning
    • 6. Architecture of a Managed Learning Environment with common services moved out of the application
      • No need to replicate data
      • Individual parts are much smaller
      • Each piece of functionality is provided as a service
      • The services make up the framework
      • Service components can be added, removed, updated without having to replace the whole system
      Wilson et al, 2004, A Technical Framework to Support e-Learning
    • 7. The e-Framework – benefits
      • Benefits for policy makers:
        • Driven by business processes
        • Better ROI
        • Supports adaptability
      • Benefits for Communities of Practice
        • Supports pedagogic diversity
        • Enable pedagogy driven implementation
        • Faster response to community needs
      • Benefits to Suppliers and developers
        • Lower cost of entry
        • Increased ROI
        • Supports market differentiation
    • 8. service oriented architecture (soa)
      • SOA is an architectural style whose goal is to achieve loose coupling among interacting software agents
      • Hifi separates are an example of soa – you can replace the CD player ‘service’ with another CD player and it will work with amp, speakers, tuner etc. ‘What is Service-Oriented Architecture’, Hao He, Xml.com
      • A system where every CD comes with it’s own player is not soa but much software is built this way
      • The application logic of a system is exposed as services, which can then be ‘consumed’ by other applications
      • For example, a student record system may expose services defining enrolment and registration processes which can then be used by a VLE or library system
      • This is different to integration at user interface level using portals
    • 9. Structure of the e-framework
      • 2 main parts: - Reference Models and a set of Services
      • A Reference Model is an ‘abstract task model’ that includes:
        • The roles and activities of humans and computers
        • The workflow or processes
        • Use cases – from which service specifications are derived
      • A Reference Model describes which services will be needed to solve a particular problem and how they can be put together, the relevant standards that apply and how they might be used
      • The development of Reference Models is a community based process, involving domain experts and practitioners
      • A Service exposes information or functionality through a public interface that other systems can call on and utilise.
    • 10. E-framework tools
    • 11. E-framework tools
    • 12. e-Framework Tools
      • Many parts of the framework incomplete
      • No e-framework tools for digital preservation yet
      • Need reference models and services
      • Service adapters or ‘Service Toolkits’ created to enable developers to service-enable their systems
      • Maybe extend existing tools?
        • Metadata tools - RELOAD, intralibrary
      • Service enable existing software e.g. DSpace, Fedora, DAITSS, PANDAS, JHOVE, LOCKSS, PRONOM, NLNZ Metadata Extractor, others …
    • 13. Some existing tools and services
      • PRONOM DROID - UK National Archives - automated batch identification of file formats
      • JHOVE – Harvard University - automatic identification, validation and characterisation of a range of digital object types
      • NZNL Metadata Extractor - tool to extract preservation metadata from within digital objects, and save it in XML format
      • PANIC - University of Queensland’s Distributed Systems Technology Centre - a semi-automated preservation service, which will allow monitoring of archival collections, support decision making about preservation actions, and invoke the appropriate preservation service, using the semantic web and web services.
      • TOM (Typed Object Model) - University of Pennsylvania Library – Data model and system of networked open source software that describes the behaviors and representations of particular information sources (such as file formats and information retrieval services)
      • LOCKSS
      • Multivalent Browser
    • 14. DAITSS: Dark Archive in the Sunshine State
      • Designed to implement the OAIS functional model
      • Designed as a “dark” archive – no public interface
      • Supports ingest, archival storage, data management, normalisation and format migration
      • Open source version due to be available July 06
      • Not specifically LO orientated
      • JISC fund development of web service e-framework component interface to the software?
    • 15. Problems with the framework approach
      • Too late – many institutions committed to enterprise level applications
      • Buying WebCT is easier – don’t have to think about how we do things
        • Requirements analysis, use cases etc. not easy to do
        • Hard to find developers with the skills to combine services into composite applications
        • We’ve got other things to be doing
        • Reference Models designed to help
      • Conflicts with local policy – ERP, best of breed
    • 16. Contact
      • Adrian Stevenson
      • Learning Technology Services
      • Room B38, Sackville Building
      • University of Manchester
      • Sackville St
      • Manchester M60 1QD
      • Tel: +44(0)161 306 3109
      • Email: adrian.stevenson@manchester.ac.uk

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