How do I aggregate oers

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

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How do I aggregate oers

  1. 1. How do I aggregate OERs? Let me count the ways...<br />Phil Barker1, R. John Robertson2, and Lorna M. Campbell2<br />Presentation at OCWC 2011, Boston , MA, May 6th 2011<br />1 Institute for Computer Based Learning, Heriot-Watt University<br />2 Centre for Academic Practice and Learning Enhancement, University of Strathclyde<br />Derivative image of Elizabeth Barrett Browning based on image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Elizabeth_Barrett_Browning.jpg<br />Licence: Public Domain / PD-ART<br />Wikimedia Image derived from image from LSUS Library http://www.jamessmithnoelcollection.org/index.html (scholarly use with attribution permitted)<br />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<br />1<br />
  2. 2. Overview<br /><ul><li>Some context
  3. 3. What is an OER and where do you find them?
  4. 4. What are the approaches to aggregating, curating, or gathering OER?
  5. 5. Reflections on current practice</li></ul>Image: Google Maps Screenshot <br />2<br />
  6. 6. Context: JISC CETIS<br /><ul><li>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:
  7. 7. participating in standards bodies
  8. 8. providing community forums for sharing experience about educational technologies and interoperability standards
  9. 9. providing strategic advice to JISC and supporting JISC development programmes</li></ul>Image: screenshot of jisc.cetis.ac.uk<br />3<br />
  10. 10. Context: UK OER and more<br /><ul><li>UKOER programme: Phase 2 of the HEFCE-funded Open Educational Resources (OER) programme runs between August 2010 and August 2011 (£5 million funding)
  11. 11. Other OER work in the UK and globally as well as other related technical developments</li></ul>Image: jisc.ac.uk/oer screenshot <br />4<br />
  12. 12. What is an OER?<br /><ul><li>From this </li></ul>Image: screenshot MIT OCW http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/civil-and-environmental-engineering/1-018j-ecology-i-the-earth-system-fall-2009/<br />5<br />
  13. 13. What is an OER?<br /><ul><li>To this</li></ul>Image: screenshot<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/core-materials/4599222126/<br />6<br />
  14. 14. What is an OER?<br /><ul><li>The distinguishing feature of an OER is...
  15. 15. an open licence
  16. 16. debatable</li></ul>http://creativecommons.org/<br />7<br />
  17. 17. Where do you find OER?<br /><ul><li>Repositories</li></ul>8<br />Image: screenshot http://repository.leedsmet.ac.uk/main/index_oer.php<br />
  18. 18. Where do you find OER?<br /><ul><li>Web 2.0 sites</li></ul>Image: screenshot http://www.flickr.com/search/advanced/?<br />9<br />
  19. 19. Where do you find OER?<br /><ul><li>Blogging Platforms</li></ul> Image: screenshot<br />http://politicsinspires.org/2011/04/justice-and-gadhafis-fight-to-the-death/<br />10<br />
  20. 20. Where do you find OER?<br /><ul><li>Open VLEs</li></ul> Image: screenshot http://www.porth.ac.uk/en/<br />11<br />
  21. 21. Where do you find OER?<br /><ul><li>Websites / Content Management Systems</li></ul> Image: screenshot <br />http://openspace.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/ipr-educational-environments/unit-one-introduction-ipr-and-copyright-educators/session-1-int<br />12<br />
  22. 22. A word or two on aggregation<br />Aggregating<br />Gathering<br />Curating<br />Collecting<br />Collating<br />Discovery services rather than complex/ compound object formats<br /> Image: screenshot elements from http://machaut.uchicago.edu/websters<br />13<br />
  23. 23. Approaches to gathering OER<br />what can you do to gather stuff together?<br />14<br />
  24. 24. Approaches to gathering OER<br />Manual index<br />Shared tag<br />Google CSE<br />API search<br />OAI-PMH<br />RSS<br />15<br />
  25. 25. Manual indexing and recommendation<br /><ul><li>What are we talking about?
  26. 26. make a list
  27. 27. Lets assume publicly, so
  28. 28. Website
  29. 29. Blog
  30. 30. Wiki</li></ul> Image: screenshot <br />16<br />
  31. 31. Manual indexing and recommendation<br /><ul><li>Pros
  32. 32. Easy to set up
  33. 33. Easy to maintain a static set of resources
  34. 34. Specialised, quality-assured collection
  35. 35. Can be individual or communal
  36. 36. [Often used in conjunction with other approaches]
  37. 37. Cons
  38. 38. Ongoing effort required to add resources to list
  39. 39. Maintaining currency of list requires increasing ongoing effort
  40. 40. Destination site</li></ul>17<br />
  41. 41. Shared tags<br /><ul><li>Curate things manually (collaboratively or individually) but have systems to support automated sharing or discovery through tags
  42. 42. References to resources can be permanent (~delicious), transitory (twitter), or both. </li></ul> Image: screenshot http://www.delicious.com/kavu6<br />18<br />
  43. 43. Shared tags<br /><ul><li>Pros
  44. 44. Tools ‘free’
  45. 45. Easy to use for any user community
  46. 46. Somewhat ubiquitous
  47. 47. Cons
  48. 48. Reliant on community effort at scale
  49. 49. Reliant on 3rd party services and ToS
  50. 50. Public tools and tags may be spammed</li></ul>19<br />
  51. 51. Google Custom Search Engine<br /><ul><li>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</li></ul> Image: screenshot http://www.google.com/cse?cx=000712673767491597728%3A53hsndgps4q&ie=UTF-8&q=sustainability&sa=Search&hl=en&siteurl=www.google.co.uk%2Fcse%2Fhome%3Fcx%3D000712673767491597728%3A53hsndgps4q%26hl%3Den<br />20<br />
  52. 52. Google Custom Search Engine<br /><ul><li>Pros
  53. 53. Familiarity of Google
  54. 54. Embeddable
  55. 55. Little to set up for developers
  56. 56. Cons
  57. 57. Only works for OER if they can be identified through a particular search term or url pattern
  58. 58. But sometimes it (inexplicably?) doesn’t work even then.</li></ul>21<br />
  59. 59. Using APIs<br /><ul><li>Many hosts of high-value content (such as web 2.0 services) support interaction with their data/ services/ content via APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).
  60. 60. allows the development of 3rd party interfaces and apps</li></ul> Image: screenshot http://www.icbl.hw.ac.uk/ukoer/jorum/search.php<br />22<br />
  61. 61. Using APIs<br /><ul><li>Pros
  62. 62. Customisable access to widely used content rich environments through API allow development of local custom interfaces
  63. 63. Services often responsive to API bug reports / fixes
  64. 64. Programming expertise/ overhead required is relatively low
  65. 65. Cons
  66. 66. Relies on real time search / access to services
  67. 67. Custom interface required (each api is different)
  68. 68. Services differ in what they support and what information they hold
  69. 69. Reliant on 3rd party services and spec which change frequently and without warning</li></ul>23<br />
  70. 70. OAI-PMH<br /><ul><li>OAI-PMH is a protocol for harvesting metadata. The ability to share data in this way is widely implemented in repository software
  71. 71. Harvesters of OAI-PMH can used it to build their a search index from multiple repositories</li></ul>24<br />
  72. 72. OAI-PMH<br /><ul><li>Pros
  73. 73. Very widely implemented in repositories as a mechanism to push metadata
  74. 74. Requires a baseline metadata standard (DC) [shared standard vs barrier to implement]
  75. 75. Cons
  76. 76. Not many services based on harvesting. Not straight forward to set up a harvester.
  77. 77. Community highly focused on scholarly communications
  78. 78. Most services have a specific community/ focus and many also aggregate RSS/Atom
  79. 79. Harvesting endpoints (base url) hard to find
  80. 80. Well documented issues in maintaining a harvest</li></ul>25<br />
  81. 81. RSS and Atom<br /><ul><li>RSS or Atom pretty ubiquitously supported in some form by most content management systems, repositories, and other web-based platforms
  82. 82. Many tools available to aggregate or work with feeds</li></ul> Image: screenshots http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/xpert/ and http://www.steeple.org.uk/wiki/Main_Page<br />26<br />
  83. 83. RSS and Atom<br /><ul><li>Pros
  84. 84. Fairly ubiquitous
  85. 85. ‘mainstream’ technology
  86. 86. Some interesting examples of use (Xpert, DiscoverEd, UKOER phase 2 Collection Strand)
  87. 87. Many tools to consume rss feeds easy to use for any user community; many tools come with rss out of box
  88. 88. Cons
  89. 89. Hard to manage
  90. 90. Can be hard for providers to customise feed output or build one if not there
  91. 91. Feed format rarely standard
  92. 92. Common aggregation tools ignore non-standard elements
  93. 93. Frequent misuse of feed elements
  94. 94. Coverage often limited to X most recent</li></ul>27<br />
  95. 95. An aside on sources of stuff<br />Make it easy to find points of access for your stuff<br />28<br />
  96. 96. An aside on sources of stuff<br /><ul><li>As someone building a discovery service it can be difficult to find where relevant stuff is held
  97. 97. It can be even harder for developers of discovery tools to find information about technical services or endpoints that facilitate aggregation
  98. 98. (e.g. feed location & coverage, OAI-PMH endpoints, SRU targets)</li></ul>CETIS advice: <br /><ul><li>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,
  99. 99. please provide clear easy-to-find information about how and where metadata about those resources can be found and interacted with.</li></ul>29<br />
  100. 100. Current practice<br /><ul><li>UKOER
  101. 101. Repositories
  102. 102. Wordpress
  103. 103. Plugins (to blogs and wikis to return dynamic results alongside static ones)
  104. 104. Data wrangling moving upstream (xpert) centralised providers emerging
  105. 105. Patterns
  106. 106. Localised manual human curation for specific communities feeding automated suggestions as part of bigger systems
  107. 107. Ongoing use of existing systems -> plenty of support for OAI-PMH but few general purpose services.</li></ul>30<br />
  108. 108. Trends<br /><ul><li>Technical
  109. 109. Multiple technical approaches for discovery services (RSS, OAI-PMH, ...)
  110. 110. Emerging tools for distributed zipped content (SCORM? or IMS CC?)
  111. 111. Multiple technical approaches for providers (repository + cms layer, blog or wiki + plugins)</li></ul>31<br />
  112. 112. Trends<br /><ul><li>Technical Style
  113. 113. Localised community based solutions as a niche in the wider web scale
  114. 114. tension with too many destination sites </li></ul>32<br />
  115. 115. Questions<br />phil.barker@hw.ac.uk<br />robert.robertson@strath.ac.uk<br />lmc@strath.ac.uk<br />http://jisc.cetis.ac.uk/topic/oer<br />33<br />

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