FOTE2009 Integrating VLEs And Repositories
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FOTE2009 Integrating VLEs And Repositories

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Presentation by me and James Ballard of ULCC at Future of Technology in Education (FOTE09), 2/10/09

Presentation by me and James Ballard of ULCC at Future of Technology in Education (FOTE09), 2/10/09

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  • James has spoken about some of the work going on to enable Moodle to interact with external repositories such as Google, Flickr, etc. I would like to use this opportunity to give you an overview of the extensive and varied work with repositories that has been going on in our sector in recent years, tell you a little more about CLASM, that James has already mentioned, and suggest where I think this is leads us in terms of web applications in education. First of all... I can't help thinking that "repositories" is one of the more unfortunate terms we've saddled ourselves with. There's one reference in particular that I'll be delighted if I never hear again...
  • In fact the term repositories covers a multitude of concepts and activities, with overlapping and discrete functions and purposes. Some of you, particularly in HE, will be familiar with the Institutional Repository, providing online access to research outputs, often Open Access. These repositories provide a wealth of bibliographical functionality, and have also proved useful tools in preparing submissions for RAE and REF. (Here for example are IRs at MIT, UCL and OU.)
  • Closely related are subject repositories, excellent sources of scholarly material for particular subject areas. Among the most widely used subject repositories are Arxiv.org (for the sciences), Repec (for economics) and E-Lis for information science.
  • Others among you may be more familiar with the idea of Learning Object repositories, for example Jorum, NLN, MIT Open Courseware.
  • Repositories of images and multimedia are also becoming common, particularly as part of digitisation efforts by libraries, museums and archives. Here is a repository of digitised specimens for the Linnean Society, Birmingham's Pre-Raphaelites collection, and the PRIMO repository for the Institute of Musical Research.
  • Other kinds of repository are worth mentioning too. We can have repositories for administrative outputs, such as minutes, reports and newsletters. I should also mention the Sourceforge code repository for open source developers: at the recent Libraries of the Future conference, Peter Murray Rust suggested it was a particularly compelling example of an effective repository.
  • That covers a lot of ground: virtually any collection of digital materials can be a repository, it seems. Sheila Anderson and the late Rachel Heery offered this differentiation: that...     * content is deposited in a repository, whether by the content creator, owner or third party     * the repository architecture manages content and metadata     * the repository offers a minimum set of basic services e.g. put, get, search, access control     * the repository must be sustainable and trusted, well- supported and well-managed Note the emphasis on management of objects: we expect the contents of a repository will be digital assets of some value to an organisation, no less than real documents, photos and reports. Note also the fact that the repository need only provide basic services like deposit and retrieval. For more sophisticated operations - like aggregation or text-mining - we can develop separate applications that in turn interact with the repository. Interestingly, they didn't specify that a repository has to be open access, or even publicly available. And this is key to ULCC's current CLASM project, in which we are using Moodle together with repositories to address one often overlooked area of content management in education.
  • I'm sure you all recognise the scenario: once upon a time your course tutor handed out blotchy photocopies of essential chapters and articles for your course.    
  • These days they may be sharper PDFs, a bit more readable. But the same regime applies, by which these copies must be prepared under the terms of the institution's CLA licence. This requires that the materials be controlled and auditable; and an institutional workflow which involves both tutors and library staff.
  • (For those of you interested all the information you need is available at the Copyright Licensing Association website. Do you need a licence? The answer is almost certainly yes!)  
  • CLASM is designed to use the  bibliographic, content management and access control features of repositories, through a seamless interface within the Moodle VLE. CLA digitised materials clearly shares a lot of features with conventional content of Institutional Repositories - for example, bibliographic citation information is essential in both cases - and with Learning Object repositories, these are after all are one very distinct type of Teaching And Learning resource. CLASM will support submission of digitised material through the Moodle interface, whether by tutors, course designers or library staff, depending on the institution's workflow; but it will ensure that CLA materials are all consistently managed and auditable in accordance with the CLA licence terms. It uses the SWORD deposit protocol to enable it to be used with a wide range of repository platforms. We are currently refining the metadata requriements and the workflow support, based on information institutions have provided us about their workflow - if anyone here would like to contribute their thoughts or experience, please catch me afterwards. When completed, CLASM will be freely and openly available from Moodle.org - and possibly other code repositories.  
  • I want to end by suggesting that this is just one small example of how we expect - and need - applications to work in a post-Web 2 world.    There is a wide range of increasingly mature APIs and standards for metadata and data interchange - I've just suggested a few here, like RSS and Atom, SWORD, Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. 
  • By exploiting these, diverse web applications, some in the Institution, others in the Cloud can interact with each other in ever more sophisticated ways. And so, rather than try to develop (for example) your website in your VLE, or vice-versa, or portfolios in your repository, we can increasingly expect to use the "right tool for the job" - or at least an appropriate tool, and have it interact with other applications that themselves best address other needs. I heard Paul Walk's demand for more interoperation at the same programme meeting in 2007 where I first heard the SWORD project described. In many respects that early work on interoperability, much of it still ongoing, was a leap of faith by the JISC, but I believe we are beginning to see, in education and in the mainstream, the results and benefits.

FOTE2009 Integrating VLEs And Repositories FOTE2009 Integrating VLEs And Repositories Presentation Transcript

  • Interoperation: VLEs and Repositories   James Ballard Richard M. Davis ULCC FOTE 2009, 02/10/09
  •  
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    •  
    • "Interoperability is not enough... 
    • what we need now, 
    • is interoperatio n!"
    • Paul Walk (UKOLN) 2007
    • http://blog.paulwalk.net/2007/05/29/interoperability-is-not-enough/
  • Repositories -> VLEs
    • Who might use a repository?
      •   Tutors
      •   Publishers
      •   Awarding Bodies
      •   Library / Learning Resources
      •   Students
  • Repositories -> Moodle1.9
    • Each repository defines its own use:
      •   File Folders
      •   IMS / SCORM – MR CUTE
      •   NLN Materials
      •   Web-links
      •   Bespoke Integrations
  • Moodle 2.0 - Repository API Separating content from delivery
  • Repository File Picker
      • One interface to all available repositories
  • Moodle and SWORD
    • CLASM Project:
      • Can we make it easy for tutors to deposit to institutional repository?
      • What benefits and value do repositories add to a VLE?
  •           This slide intentionally left blank.
  •  
  • Digital repositories
      • Institutional Repository
        • Research outputs
        • Open Access
        • RAE/REF
      • Subject Repository
      • Learning Object Repository
      • Image/multimedia Repository
      • Other repositories
        • Code
        • Administrativia
        • ...
    •  
  • Digital repositories
      • Institutional Repository
        • Research outputs
        • Open Access
        • RAE/REF
      • Subject Repository
      • Learning Object Repository
      • Image/multimedia Repository
      • Other repositories
        • Code
        • Administrativia
        • ...
    •  
  • Digital repositories
      • Institutional Repository
        • Research outputs
        • Open Access
        • RAE/REF
      • Subject Repository
      • Learning Object Repository
      • Image/multimedia Repository
      • Other repositories
        • Code
        • Administrativia
        • ...
  • Digital repositories
      • Institutional Repository
        • Research outputs
        • Open Access
        • RAE/REF
      • Subject Repository
      • Learning Object Repository
      • Image/multimedia Repository
      • Other repositories
        • Code
        • Administrativia
        • ...
  • Digital repositories
      • Institutional Repository
        • Research outputs
        • Open Access
        • RAE/REF
      • Subject Repository
      • Learning Object Repository
      • Image/multimedia Repository
      • Other repositories
        • Administrativia
        • Code
        • ...
  • Digital repositories:  a differentiation
    • ... differentiated from other digital collections by the following characteristics:
    •  
      • content is deposited in a repository, whether by the content creator, owner or third party
      • the repository architecture manages content and metadata
      • the repository offers a minimum set of basic services e.g. put, get, search, access control
      • the repository must be sustainable and trusted , well- supported and well-managed
    •  
    • Rachel Heery and Sheila Anderson (2005). Digital Repositories Review (UKOLN/AHDS/JISC). http://tinyurl.com/ybzxmqz
  • CLASM: Another use for  repositories
    • Digitising and distributing copyright 
    • material for use in teaching/learning.
    •  
    • Copyright Licensing issues:
    • CLA requirements
      • control
      • audit
    •  
    • Institutional workflow involves
      • teaching staff - request
      • library staff - confirm, copy
      • student - access
  • CLASM: Another use for  repositories
    • Digitising and distributing copyright 
    • material for use in teaching/learning.
    •  
    • Copyright Licensing issues:
    • CLA requirements
      • control
      • audit
    •  
    • Institutional workflow involves
      • teaching staff - request
      • library staff - confirm, copy
      • student - access
  • CLASM: Workflow
  • CLA www.CLA.co.uk
  • CLASM
  • The future is interoperational
  • The future is interoperational
  •   [email_address] r.davis@ulcc.ac.uk     South Park cartoons: www.sp-studio.de