Supporting openness of MOOCs contents
through of an OER and OCW framework
based on Linked Data technologies
Edmundo Tovar (UPM)
Nelson Piedra, Janneth Chicaiza, Jorge López (UTPL)
EDUCON2014 – IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference
3-5 April 2014, Military Museum and Cultural Center, Harbiye, Istanbul, Turkey
Theme: "Engineering Education towards Openness and Sustainability”
UPM GICAC GROUP
this work is licensed under a CreativeCommons Attribution3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ec/
I. THE EMERGENCE OF MOOCs
The recent emergence of Open Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has helped to spread the Open concept but
not to clarify the true meaning of Open.
MOOCs are large-scale online courses where thousands of participants may assist.
Although MOOCs are free as in gratis, they are not open in the sense of being reusable of openly accessible.
Students are forced to sign up and get access to the course; so many researches highlight that it would be
much more useful to have complete access at all times and reuse elements in other courses.
MOOC initiatives emphasize free access and interactive features rather than static content. The dominant
message is of the quantity of access rather than the openness of educational resources for use, re-use,
adaptation or repurpose.
The use of Linked Data has been the approach used by the authors for years to face to the previous challenge. The
goal is to significantly improve discovery, accessibility, visibility, and to promote reuse of open educational content in
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Access the full description of the courses as published by the home institution, along with complimentary information such as
language, license, author, country, geographic location of the institution and other semantically related information available via the
C. Hodgkinson-Williams, and E. Gray, “Degrees of Openness: The
emergence of Open Educational Resources at the University of Cape
Town,” International Journal of Education and Development using
Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT), 2009, Vol. 5, Issue
II. ISSUES OF OPENNESS
II. ISSUES OF OPENNESS
• The first level consequences of an OER directly
based on the characteristics of a piece of open
knowledge, are to provide people the freedom
to use, reuse and redistribute.
• On the other hand, in a higher level, they
contribute to address the geographical and
financial barriers between students, teachers
and self-learners with distinguished
II. ISSUES OF OPENNESS
• The challenge for the community is promoting OER
initiatives with channels that facilitate the discovery,
use and reuse for teachers, students and self-learners
incorporate them in the educative practice.
• From a technical point of view, the openness of OERs
covers issues such as interoperability and discovery. In
previous work we have presented how these features
can be enhanced by applying Semantic Web
technologies and Linked Data.
• The main contribution of this paper is to bring OERs to
users who need them, specifically, and tosupport the
MOOCs openness by reusing OERs.
III. USE OF LINKED DATA ON OER
• The goal of Linked Data is to enable human
beings to easily share structured data via the
Web just as they share documents now.
• The philosophy of Linked Data is that the value
and usefulness of data increase in proportion
to their links with other data.
• On this ground, Linked Data uses the Web to
create different types of links among data
from different sources.
data in machine format
OPEN: "A piece of knowledge is open if you are free to use, reuse, and redistribute it” http://www.opendefinition.org/okd
based on LinkedData approach
Linked Data technologies
• Linked Data technologies can also help to
integrate the work of disperse institutions
producing diverse linked data.
• Linked Open Data (LOD) is well known for
providing a extensive amount of detailed and
• Linked Data vision enables a new generation of
open educational resources that can be
semantically described and connected with
other data and discoverable sources.
IV. DESIGN OF THE FRAMEWORK
Our approach is based on identifying distinctive features with the help
of MOOC preferences and resources needs data. As with all
recommender systems, the main goal is to help users to find
information or resources and match information that is important
about needs with information that is important about resources.
Accordingly, the process can be broken down to the following steps:
1. Module 1 - data collect.
2. Module 2 – OER Data Publication
3. Module 3 – MOOC profiles provider.
4. Module 4 - Seeker of resources.
5. Module 5 - OER recommender.
Architecture for Seeker of OER
• Purpose: The framework we present in this paper aims
to provide a service that allows you to discover and
access open educational resources that are extracted
from open repositories distributed.
• OER providers: Our principal OER providers are OCW
• Approach: In this context, we opted to apply the
principles of Linked Data to integrate, interoperate and
mashup data from distributed and heterogeneous
repositories of open educational materials.
• There is a large amount of unstructured data of an
OCW resource available on the Web, but only in a
human-readable representation (HTML). Most OCW
web sites do not have APIs for data consumption.
So, the only other alternative for automatically
reconstitute the underlying data from an OCW web site
is to use web-scraping techniques.
• Data scraping were used to extracts data from OCW
platforms that was later structured and stored in a
database. Scraping eliminated the need for having to
do the retrieval manually.
Architecture for Seeker of OER from LOCWD Triplestore .
Figure: Overview of conceptual map about
general structure of OCW
LOCWD Vocabulary Modeling
Common data available from
OCW websites are: title,
knowledge area, open
educational materials, open
licenses, repositories, higher
education institutions, content
creators, fields of knowledge,
learning guides, licenses,
accessibility conformance, and
• The use of linked data approach on OER repositories provides the
framework for their evolution into a more interoperable and
integrated system to sharing, connecting and discovering data and
metadata of OCW initiatives. Based on the perspective of Linked
Open Data, free open OER data also fosters interoperability and
creates a basis on which the use, re-use, remix, and adaptation of
open educational tools or commercial applications can be built
• The framework provides an approach that allows you to discover
and access open educational resources that are extracted from
open repositories distributed.
• The framework provides an approach that allows to MOOC
Designers to discover and access open educational resources that
are extracted from open repositories distributed. Our principal OER
providers are OCW institutions.
EDUCON2014 – IEEE Global Engineering Education
3-5 April 2014, Military Museum and Cultural
Center, Harbiye, Istanbul, Turkey
Theme: "Engineering Education towards Openness and
GRUPO UPM GICAC
this work is licensed under a CreativeCommons Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ec/
Edmundo Tovar (UPM) - Nelson Piedra (UTPL)