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Capturing Conversations, Context and Curricula: The JLeRN Experiment and the Learning Registry


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These slides accompany the paper "Capturing Conversations, Context and Curricula: The JLeRN Experiment and the Learning Registry" published by the Cambridge 2012: Innovation and Impact - Openly Collaborating to Enhance Education conference, organised by OCWC and SCORE (Support Centre for Open Resources in Education).

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Capturing Conversations, Context and Curricula: The JLeRN Experiment and the Learning Registry

  1. 1. Presentation by Sarah CurrierJLeRN Project Lead, Mimas16 April 2012, Cambridge 2012 Capturing conversations, context and curricula: the JLeRN Experiment and the Learning Registry – short paper by Sarah Currier, Jackie Carter, Nick Syrotiuk, Bharti Gupta
  2. 2. Introduction (1 of 2)According to the UNESCO Guidelines for Open Educational Resources(OERs) in Higher Education:“The transformative educational potential of OER depends on: 1. Improving the quality of learning materials through peer review processes; 2. Reaping the benefits of contextualisation, personalisation and localisation; […]” -- are seven more points listed, but these first two have beencrucial unfulfilled opportunities for over a decade. They presentchallenges in abundance to those creating the technical infrastructurefor global capture, sharing and use of learning resource data.
  3. 3. Introduction (2 of 2)• With these challenges in mind, the US-based Learning Registry was set up in 2010 to enable capturing and sharing data about how and where teachers and learners use resources and what they think of them, or paradata.• The project is technical and experimental, with an active international community working on use cases, specifications and pilot implementations.• The Learning Registry is a notional technical infrastructure using open specifications and software to support networks for sharing data.
  4. 4. JISC said …“JISC will be participating in the Learning Registry projectby setting up an experimental node in the UK with afocus on content from the higher education and culturalsectors. Utilising the expertise and content available toJISC, the project will explore contributing data andanalysing it. JISC hopes to collaborate with the LearningRegistry in exploring the infrastructure considerationsand to help specify and support useful applications.” – Learning Registry website:
  5. 5. Project overview• JISC gave Mimas the job of setting up and running an experimental Learning Registry node (November 2011)• I started as Project Lead (0.25FTE) 5/12/11• Nick Syrotiuk (0.2FTE) and Bharti Gupta (0.25FTE) started as Project Developers, Dec. 2011 & Jan. 2012.• Project funded to 31 July 2012.• Working closely with JISC CETIS, The Learning Registry and an informal Task Group.
  6. 6. Sharing Paradata: Usage, Activity and Curriculum DataA key concept within the Learning Registry isparadata. Originating with the US NationalScience Digital Library (NSDL Network, 2012), thisterm is now replacing previous terms such assecondary metadata and usage data toencompass: “[…] not just quantitative metrics (e.g., how many times a piece of content was accessed), but also pedagogic context, as inferred through the actions of educators and learners. […] Learning resource paradata is generated through user processes of searching for content, identifying interest for subsequent use, correlating resources to specific learning goals or standards, and integrating content into educational practices.”-- Wikipedia:
  7. 7. 1. Setting up an experimental node in the UK• What do we mean by “node”?• What options are there for Learning Registry nodes?• Where do they fit in the Learning Registry model?
  8. 8. 1. Setting up an experimental node in the UKThere are three levels of togetherness in theLearning Registry:• Nodes• Networks• Communities
  9. 9. 1. Setting up an experimental node in the UKWe can:(1) share data and paradata with others via asingle node;(2) widen our sharing to a network of nodeswith shared policies about access etc.;(3) widen our sharing even further withincommunities of networks.
  10. 10. Learning Registry Network ModelFrom: Learning Registry Resource Distribution Network Model:
  11. 11. 1. Setting up an experimental node in the UKNodes are the building blocks of the Learning Registry. They enabledecentralised networks for sharing data about learning resourcesand their use.• Anyone can set up a node wherever they like by installing the node code and making it available to whomever they like.• They can also restrict access to the node if they choose.• Others can publish their data to the node, or extract anyones data from the node.• A completely open node allows literally anyone to publish or access data.There are two kinds of node: common nodes and gateway nodes.Each kind of node supports distinct activities.
  12. 12. 1. Setting up an experimental node in the UKThere are two kinds of node: common nodes and gatewaynodes. Each kind of node supports distinct activities.• A common node can support all the different specific services you need to push, pull, distribute and process resource data with any number of external sources, and within a given network of nodes.• A gateway node allows different networks to connect with each other to share data. It provides a data distribution connection between one network and another, because nodes cannot belong to more than one network, and a clearly defined pipeline is needed, for security and other policy reasons.
  13. 13. Learning Registry Network ModelFrom: Learning Registry Resource Distribution Network Model:
  14. 14. 1. Setting up an experimental node in the UKThe JLeRN team have implemented a commonnode, without requiring signatures to push andpull data out of the node.(In fact we’ve now implemented three commonnodes: see our blog for more:
  15. 15. 1. Setting up an experimental node in the UKWhat can a common node do? Common nodes can offer five kinds of service:• Publish Services allow data to be published to the node from external sources. We can choose which publishing APIs we will support (e.g. SWORD), but we have to (and we do) support the Basic Publish Service. We’ve also responded to community use cases by developing OAI-PMH feed publish: published/• Access Services allow data to be pulled, or accessed from the node or the distribution network the node is part of. Again, different APIs (e.g. OAI-PMH) can be, but dont have to be, supported.• Distribution Services allow data to be replicated and transferred between nodes. We’re looking at replication between our three nodes.• Broker Services allow us to "augment, transform or process resource data held at that node to produce new or updated resource data for access or distribution". Interesting!• Administrative Services, which "are used to query a node to obtain its status or to trigger node administrative actions."
  16. 16. Learning Registry Network ModelFrom: Learning Registry Resource Distribution Network Model:
  17. 17. 2. Exploring contributing data and analysing it• Jorum metadata via standard, openly available OAI- PMH feed of >15K resources. – Required code development by JLeRN: -oai-pmh-data-published/ – Same use case from Open University (and likely from others). – Jorum also exploring framework for capturing paradata about resources: ng-your-cake-into-a-tasty-source-of-data/• Hackday tests (Scott Wilson from CETIS and Andrew Green from Liverpool University). – Exposed bug in Learning Registry code, now fixed.• More please!
  18. 18. 3. Exploring the infrastructure considerations and helping specify and support useful applicationsJISC OER Rapid Innovation Projects• Rapid Innovation Dynamic Learning Maps-Learning Registry (RIDLR) and SupOERglue:• Sharing Paradata Across Widget Stores (SPAWS):• Xerte Experience Now Improved: Targeting HTML5 (XENITH):• Track OER: Tracking Open Educational Resources:• CAMILOE (Collation and Moderation of Intriguing Learning Objects in Education):
  19. 19. Amplifying• Please use hashtags: #jlern #learningreg• Short paper abstract here:• Other project details on our blog:• Contact me at:• Get involved via Learning Registry lists: Updates; Collaborate; Developers