African health oer network distribution flow


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This explains the various distribution workflows and tracking/analytics methods for the African Health OER Network.

A narrated version of this presentation is available on YouTube: The distribution flow chart on slide 14 can be accessed at

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African health oer network distribution flow

  1. 1. Content Distribution Flow and Tracking for the African Health Open Educational Resources Network Kathleen Ludewig Omollo University of Michigan September 29, 2011 Except where otherwise noted, this work is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License:
  2. 2. <ul><li>One of the goals of Open Educational Resources (often referred to by the acronym OER) is to increase the visibility and use of educational materials. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>In order to meet that goal, OER must: </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Have low barriers to access, </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Be findable through a variety of pathways, </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Be available in common file format(s), and </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Be traceable so that you know when, how, and how many people are accessing them. (This last one is the most difficult.) </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>For this reason, the African Health OER Network (“the Network”) pursues multiple distribution methods for the widespread availability of OER across the continent and the world. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>The OER produced through the Network is distributed through multiple offline and online methods by: </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>The authoring institution, </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>OER Africa (Network co-facilitator), and </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>University of Michigan (Network co-facilitator). </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>This distribution workflow diagram shows the whole ecosystem. </li></ul>
  14. 14.
  15. 15. <ul><li>Now I will explore this chart more in depth, looking at the distribution outlets and tracking methods for each of the organizations. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Authoring Institutions <ul><li>Let’s begin with the authoring institutions. </li></ul>Server icon public domain, All other icons are public domain or CC BY from
  17. 17. Authoring Institutions <ul><li>African institutions often encounter challenges with Internet access due to high cost of bandwidth and power outages. This is why offline access is extremely important. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Authoring Institutions: Computer Lab <ul><li>At least one of the institutions installs copies of OER on the hard drives of desktop computers in student computer labs. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Authoring Institutions: Computer Lab > Example <ul><li>Mr. Tom Ndanu, a lecturer from the University of Ghana Dental School loaded several dental OER videos from University of Michigan onto the computers in the Dental School student computer lab. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Authoring Institutions: Computer Lab > Tracking <ul><li>Currently the only measurement we have of computer lab use is anecdotal and incomplete. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Authoring Institutions: CD/DVD <ul><li>At least one of the institutions distributes CD or DVD copies of individual OER to students enrolled in particular classes. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Authoring Institutions: CD/DVD > Example <ul><li>Example 1: </li></ul><ul><li>In 2009, Prof. Richard Adanu at University of Ghana Medical School distributed a CD with the total abdominal hysterectomy OER module to 19 fifth-year medical students. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Authoring Institutions: CD/DVD > Example <ul><li>Prof. Adanu distributed the OER to students in two batches. He distributed to the first batch of students one week and to other the following week. By the time Prof. Adanu distributed it to the second batch, some of those students had already received copies of the CD from their classmates in the first class. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Authoring Institutions: CD/DVD > Example <ul><li>Example 2: </li></ul><ul><li>In 2010, Prof. Adanu distributed a DVD with 4 OER gynecology learning modules to all 80 second-year medical students. The DVD contained 3 modules that were created by him and 1 that was created by Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Authoring Institutions: CD/DVD > Tracking <ul><li>Currently the only measurement we have of CD/DVD distribution at the institutions is anecdotal and incomplete. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Authoring Institutions: Server <ul><li>Some of the authoring institutions have their own OER servers that host content developed by their instructors, staff, and students. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of these are publicly available and others are available only through the local area network due to bandwidth constraints. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Authoring Institutions: Server > Examples <ul><li>Here are some examples of institutional websites: </li></ul>
  28. 28. Authoring Institutions: Server > Examples <ul><li>University of Cape Town Open Content </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  29. 29.
  30. 30. Authoring Institutions: Server > Examples <ul><li>Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology OER </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  31. 31.
  32. 32. Authoring Institutions: Server > Examples <ul><li>University of the Western Cape Free CourseWare </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  33. 33.
  34. 34. Authoring Institutions: Server > Analytics <ul><li>Some of the authoring institutions track the number of views or downloads of OER through their content management system or by using Google Analytics. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Authoring Institutions: Server > Tracking <ul><li>For the most part, this information is currently shared and monitored only within the institutions. One exception is the University of Cape Town Open Content website, which displays the number of views and a 5-star rating on each resource page. </li></ul>
  36. 36.
  37. 37. OER Africa <ul><li>The authoring institution transfers a copy to OER Africa, who publishes it to additional channels. </li></ul>Server icon public domain, All other icons are public domain or CC BY from
  38. 38. OER Africa: Server <ul><li>OER Africa links to all and hosts much of the OER developed by Network participants on their server located in South Africa. </li></ul><ul><li>( </li></ul>
  39. 39.
  40. 40. OER Africa: Server > Tracking <ul><li>OER Africa monitors online visitors to their website through two platforms: AWStats and Google Analytics. </li></ul>
  41. 41. OER Africa: Server > Tracking <ul><li>AWStats, which is built-in to the web platform, tracks the number of visitors, unique visitors, page views, and bandwidth used. This is recorded for whole Health space as well as individual resources. </li></ul>
  42. 42. OER Africa: Server > Tracking <ul><li>Google Analytics tracks much of the same information as AWStats, as well as the geographic information for visits, downloads and referrals to the site. </li></ul>
  43. 43. OER Africa: Server > Tracking <ul><li>Every month, OER Africa prepares an internal report summarizing statistics for both analytic services. OER Africa shares this report with several partner organizations, including University of Michigan. </li></ul>
  44. 44. OER Africa: OER Commons <ul><li>Using RSS feeds from the website, OER Africa team sends descriptive information (such as title, description, authors, link, license, keywords) for the OER it hosts to OER Commons. </li></ul>
  45. 45. OER Africa: OER Commons <ul><li>OER Commons ( is a website that people can use to search OER from many sources across a wide variety of disciplines. It doesn’t host any content, but points to resources hosted on other websites. </li></ul>
  46. 46. OER Africa: OER Commons <ul><li>On OER Commons, you can search by keyword and tailor your search by grade level, material type, media format, and conditions of use. </li></ul>
  47. 47.
  48. 48. OER Africa: OER Commons <ul><li>People can rate or comment on each resource. </li></ul>
  49. 49.
  50. 50. OER Africa: OER Commons > Tracking <ul><li>OER Commons uses Google Analytics to monitor site traffic and search patterns. OER Commons shares those statistics with some content providers, including University of Michigan. </li></ul>
  51. 51. OER Africa: GLOBE <ul><li>Also using RSS feeds, OER Africa sends descriptive information for all the OER it hosts to the Global Learning Objects Brokering Exchange, known as GLOBE for short. </li></ul>
  52. 52. OER Africa: GLOBE <ul><li>Similar to OER Commons, GLOBE ( is a website that people can use to search OER. It doesn’t host content but links to content hosted someplace else. </li></ul><ul><li>OER Commons also pushes its records to GLOBE. </li></ul>
  53. 53.
  54. 54. OER Africa: GLOBE > Tracking <ul><li>GLOBE does not make its analytics public. </li></ul>
  55. 55. OER Africa: YouTube <ul><li>OER Africa uploads many of the video-based resources from the Network to YouTube. </li></ul><ul><li>( </li></ul>
  56. 56. OER Africa: YouTube <ul><li>YouTube is the most popular video streaming service for user-contributed content. </li></ul>
  57. 57. OER Africa: YouTube > Tracking <ul><li>YouTube displays the number of views on each video. </li></ul>
  58. 58.
  59. 59. University of Michigan <ul><li>OER Africa transfers the OER to University of Michigan, who publishes it to additional channels. </li></ul>Server icon public domain, All other icons are public domain or CC BY from
  60. 60. University of Michigan: Server <ul><li>In order to address bandwidth limitations, geographically-dispersed users and long-term preservation, University of Michigan (also known as U-M) hosts duplicate copies of the health OER from the OER Africa website on the Open.Michigan website. </li></ul><ul><li>( </li></ul>
  61. 61.
  62. 62. University of Michigan: Server > Tracking <ul><li>U-M uses Google Analytics to monitor website traffic and search patterns. Most of those analytics are currently private, but U-M is exploring methods to make some of this data public. </li></ul>
  63. 63. University of Michigan: OER Commons and GLOBE <ul><li>Through RSS feeds, U-M sends descriptive information for the resources to OER Commons, who then sends it to GLOBE. </li></ul>
  64. 64. University of Michigan: Learning Registry <ul><li>Learning Registry ( is a project in progress, led by the U.S. Federal Government. Like OER Commons and GLOBE, its goal is also to make it easier to find educational materials across institutions and repositories. </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  65. 65. University of Michigan: Learning Registry <ul><li>U-M is working on a plug-in for the Open.Michigan website that supports the Learning Registry framework. </li></ul>
  66. 66. University of Michigan: <ul><li>U-M uploads any video resources from the Network that have a U-M author or co-author to Blip.TV. </li></ul><ul><li>( </li></ul>
  67. 67. University of Michigan: <ul><li>Similar to YouTube, is an online streaming video service. In addition to hosting content, it can also push content to other video hosting services. </li></ul>
  68. 68.
  69. 69. University of Michigan: > Stats <ul><li> tracks the number of views per video by distribution channel. </li></ul>
  70. 70.
  71. 71. University of Michigan: YouTube <ul><li> pushes videos to YouTube. YouTube tracks the number of visits, likes, dislikes and comments. </li></ul>
  72. 72.
  73. 73. University of Michigan: YouTube <ul><li>YouTube also tracks the geographic distribution of visits. </li></ul>
  74. 74.
  75. 75. University of Michigan: Roku and Boxee <ul><li> also distributes video to two Internet television services: Roku and Boxee. </li></ul><ul><li>( </li></ul><ul><li>( </li></ul>
  76. 76. University of Michigan: Internet Archive <ul><li>The videos, audio files, and textbooks are also added to Internet Archive. Internet Archive automatically creates streaming versions and downloadable versions in multiple formats. </li></ul><ul><li>( </li></ul>
  77. 77.
  78. 78. University of Michigan: Internet Archive > Tracking <ul><li>Internet Archive provides the number of downloads and user reviews for each resource. </li></ul>
  79. 79. University of Michigan: Espresso Book Machine <ul><li>The Espresso Book Machine is a print-on-demand book machine. It prints 300 page books in 7 minutes at low cost. </li></ul><ul><li>( </li></ul>
  80. 80. University of Michigan: Espresso Book Machine <ul><li>The textbooks from the Network are added to U-M Espresso Book Machine catalog. </li></ul>
  81. 81. University of Michigan: Espresso Book Machine > Tracking <ul><li>U-M library internally tracks the number of books printed. </li></ul>
  82. 82. University of Michigan: Slideshare <ul><li>U-M is experimenting with adding the presentation slides and text documents from the Network to SlideShare. </li></ul><ul><li>( </li></ul>
  83. 83. University of Michigan: Slideshare <ul><li>Slideshare enables individuals to easily browse or embed documents. </li></ul>
  84. 84. University of Michigan: Slideshare > Tracking <ul><li>Slideshare tracks favorites, comments, downloads, views, and embedded access. </li></ul>
  85. 85.
  86. 86. University of Michigan: DVD <ul><li>Occasionally U-M prepares sampler DVDs with content from the Network to distribute to people who may not be able to download large files online. </li></ul>
  87. 87.
  88. 88. University of Michigan: CD/DVD > Tracking <ul><li>U-M has created 245 disks to date </li></ul><ul><li>200 PEPFAR Annual meeting in May 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>30 OER Africa Convening meeting in May 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>15 across U-M since April 2011 </li></ul>
  89. 89. University of Michigan: CD/DVD > Tracking <ul><li>Aside from the number of disks created, it is difficult to tell how many people and how often the disc has been accessed. U-M plans to add a tracking pixel to partially measure access. </li></ul>
  90. 90. University of Michigan: Mobile <ul><li>U-M is currently working on an initial prototype to convert some of HTML-based learning modules for mobile distribution. </li></ul>
  91. 91.
  92. 92. University of Michigan: eGranary <ul><li>Lastly, U-M has initiated a partnership to distribute offline versions of the OER through eGranary. </li></ul>
  93. 93. University of Michigan: eGranary <ul><li>eGranary collects offline versions of electronic collections through a web crawler or removeable media. eGranary then aggregates the collections and distributes them to servers to over 300 academic institutions in developing countries for access on their local area networks. </li></ul><ul><li>( </li></ul>
  94. 94.
  95. 95. University of Michigan: General > Tracking <ul><li>As part of an effort make our analytics transparent, U-M recently began to develop public dashboards with stats from a variety of distribution outlets. </li></ul>
  96. 96.
  97. 97. University of Michigan: General > Tracking <ul><li>There is a dashboard for Open.Michigan overall and one for the African Health OER Network is in progress. </li></ul>
  98. 98. Closing Remarks <ul><li>The authoring institutions, OER Africa, and U-M continue to explore innovative methods to distribute and track usage of OER. </li></ul>
  99. 99. Comments and Questions <ul><li>Send your comments and questions about the Network to </li></ul>