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Andy Beggan - Making Resources Discoverable

Andy Beggan - Making Resources Discoverable



Presented at the UKOER Institutional Strand Meeting, 12.02.10 in Nottingham.

Presented at the UKOER Institutional Strand Meeting, 12.02.10 in Nottingham.



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  • from the list of decisions people need to make, is almost always a good thing. They don’t care about what they don’t need to care about.
  • Teaching and Learning wesbite?Open Nottingham.
  • Progressive discoverability and context is importantWhere and when they need it.
  • http://www.webmarketcentral.com/seo_basics.htmthe three most important factors in search engine positioning are content, links and codeHi, Andy Good advices. There are few things Unow can do to improve upon. 1. Using items’ keywords content in Equella to create dynamic html tag in each item’s page in Unow.  So whatever an item’s keywords is defined in Equella, Unow item’s page will keep same keywords content in html tag. 2. Add more ‘alt titles’ html tags in every page. 3. Link density: Create a Unow introduction page in Wikipedia? Or add Unow link in our videos in YouTube EDU. Or Twitter?So below are basic things that have been incorporated into our OE website:•       Accessibility: Following W3C Guidelines makes for a very search engine friendly website / web resource.  The basics of this includes: ensuring all links have ‘alt titles’ & descriptions (that text that appears when you hover your mouse over a link), all images have an ‘alt title’ & description (that text that appears when you hover your mouse over an image) and that things are written in a plain and clear manner.  Web writing best practice guidelines state that a website should have a readability level for 12 to 15 year olds.  Government websites are exempt from this.  And there is still debate about educational websites.  Personally, I’ve stuck to this guide for English as a second language users.•       Keyword density:  Boiled down, this is all about the number of times you use important words or phrases that describes a web page that people are likely to use doing a web search.  The most important word that describes each page should appear in the page url, page title, the first sentence on the page and should pepper the rest of the page as well.  If possible, it should also appear in alt titles and tags of a few of the links and images appearing on your page. The most important keyword phrase (e.g. ‘British open education initiative’) should be in the first paragraph of a page, and peppered through the rest of the page. The key to this is not holding a page to ransom based on ideal keywords or keyword phrases.  The flow of the writing still needs to read in a natural and normal way.•       Link density:  search engines also favour websites that have a significant number of links to external websites.  Getting links to our sites is important, but relevant links to external sites adds to website ‘credibility’ in search engine terms.  So, for instance, if you’re citing a publication from a renowned biochemist, try to link to their website or publication or book on Amazon. If referencing an organisation or publication, it would be good to link to its website.I’ll be honest – this is time consuming.  However, there is a possible benefit.  Webmasters tend to check their web statistics religiously.  If they spot a new source of traffic to their website, they will more than likely investigate that site. And if they like it and/or see the value and relevance, there is a good chance they will get in touch. From my own professional experience with my business, some amazing and unexpected opportunities have arisen from sending a lot of traffic to a third party site.  I’m hoping the same thing will happen with our OE website…which can have a positive impact on project sustainability.•       RSS Feeds:  if your project site features RSS Feeds, add these to RSS Feed directories. Many of the larger RSS Feed directories have an ‘Education’ category.  Again, from personal experience, these directories have been a gold mine in terms of driving international traffic to websites. These will improve Unow’sGoogleable.Please let me know if you want do these.Regards Yijun
  • Linked to WebCTRemove barriers to reuse—pull back copyright (can this be relied on?)
  • “Not a million miles away from OAI-PMH”Need to map RSS DC tags to OAI non DC tags

Andy Beggan - Making Resources Discoverable Andy Beggan - Making Resources Discoverable Presentation Transcript

  • Making Resources Discoverable12th Feb 2010
    Andy Beggan
    BERLiN project
  • Background: OER @ Nottingham
    U-Now launched 2007 under the e-learning strategy
    Led by Prof Chris Ennew, PVC for Internationalisation
    A member of the Open Courseware Consortium
    17,836 visitors last year
    Over 1900 downloads for ‘Anatomists cookbook’
    BERLiN project 2009/10
    200+ credits published to date
    Filter rather than Search
  • Judicious Prioritisation
    Things most people do, most often.
    Things most people do, somewhat often.
    Things some people do, most often.
    Things some people do, somewhat often.
    Things few people do, most often.
    Things few people do, somewhat often.
    “Eliminating stupid, unnecessary or infrequent choices”
    Taken from:
  • Where’s U-Now?
  • WebCT & Equella
  • Externally discoverable
    Google Search – all items can be found
    Links (Reciprocal)
    Future developments
    Tag clouds
    Media types
    Pedagogic types
    Biographical data
    Social networking?
    Increasing links?
  • Open Courseware Consortium
    Joined OCWC in 2007/8
    Membership $500 p.a.
    Mathematical institute, Oxford
    The Open University
    The University of Nottingham
    RSS submission
    DC metadata
    Doubled visitors to U-Now
  • Benefits of using RSS
    Easy to create
    Easy to distribute
    Automatic updates
    On demand from U-Now
    DC metadata extracted from Equella and the RSS feed is automatically generated
    Not available in Jorum currently
    Potential to filter and target resources
    Subject based RSS feeds
    School based RSS feeds
    OPML feeds (feed of RSS feeds)
    Doesn’t tend to have DC relation tag (implicit)
  • Challenges of using RSS
    Copyright of RSS feeds
    Can be a manual production process
    Methods for dealing with deletion / moving?
    Multitude of namespaces
    iTunes RSS, Media RSS, DCMI RSS
    Multiple ways of describing the same thing, to harvest each requires a different approach
    In XPERT: 300 + feeds are harvested, 6 feeds aren’t valid XML, 20 feeds aren’t valid RSS
    Standards compliance is weak
  • Raising awareness
  • Over to ;)