Chris Follows chaired this session and began by introducing Lorna Campbell who talked about describing resources using metadata to make them easier to find. Describing resources is a very hard thing to do. You quickly end up with a lot of metadata which ends up in resource silos which do not talk to each other.
Social media applications allow users to share and comment on resources, but current formal metadata schema do not capture this contextual information.
The LR project was set to address this, set up in 2010 jointly funded by departments of defense and education in the USA.
It is an open project – anyone can participate an is invited to do so. It uses open source software, the data in its nodes are all open data etc.
Lorna described what the Learning Registry isn’t, and talked about what it is as ‘plumbing’. It is pipes which allow data about ER to flow. A large scale network of distributed nodes/APIs which allow nodes to talk to each other and move data between them.
Lorna specified what paradata is and how it relates to metadata, and then outlined the Jisc, CETIS and MIMAS involvement in the project – The JLeRN Experiment. Sarah Currier went on the describe this experimental project in more detail involving herself, Nick Serotiuk and Bharti Gupta form MIMAS. This project coincided with the OERRI programme (part of UKOER). Jorum metadata was injested, alongside metadata from several OERRI projects.
The RIDLR project was described alongside other OERRI projects. And Pgogy (because Pat Lockley is needy and has to have his name mentioned every 5 minutes in any technical session).
Next up Phil Barker (his new look is still confusing, though not unattractive, and he still has a lovely radio voice). He introduced CETIS and gave some background the UKOER programme. Over 10,000 OERs, 66 projects, 3 years, about £15 million. He outlined why there were few mandatory technical or standards requirements for these projects. He described the different approaches taken in the programme and the types of metadata which was collected. 80% of traffic to repositories and 80% of traffic from searches comes from Google. The SCOOTER, HALSOER, and OpenWriters projects took interesting approaches to search engine optimisation. Google said – create compelling and useful content….
He went on to talk about the Learning Registry Metadata Initiative (LRMI) and schema.org – an ontology of resource types and their properties: anything that is created can be an OER. It also includes a syntax that can be used to encode these in HTML pages. The LRMI was co-led by CC which meant OERs were properly represented. LRMI additions to the schema included alignments to the educational frameworks (eg Tomorrow’s Doctors) which teach to required competencies or educational levels. It also added typical age ranges for example. IN terms of adoption – the writing of the spec ended about 9 months ago – already being used by several large US organisations such as MERLOT, MIT OCW, Phet, oercommmons, NSDL. Soon to be added to main schema,org docs and by Google and co. They are looking at new ways of sharing descriptions and potentially new ways of discovering resources. He ended with a book plug (Into The Wild by Barker, Campbell, Hawksey and Thomas).
The last presentation in the session was from Steve Stapleton from the University of Nottingham, who talked about the Xpert Attribute tool. He gave some background the Xpert, now the largest collection of OER metadata in the world. Steve demonstrated the tools starting with image search, bringing back images with cc license embedded in a black strip at the bottom. He also demoed the attribution tool which allows users to upload their own images and embed a CC license in them. The presenters in conferences like this would be lost without Xpert now….
A meta moment when Pat asked a question about Xpert (he was developer on this project originally) …..