The use of Content Packaging and Learning Object creation tools in the UKOER programme

Although it is possible to create learning objects or content packages within virtual learning environments (from which it may be possible to export them) there are also a number of content packaging or Learning Object creation tools which have been used in the UKOER programme.

As the discussion around the use of Content Packaging noted ( http://blogs.cetis.ac.uk/johnr/2010/03/08/the-use-of-ims-cp-in-the-ukoer-programme/ and http://blogs.cetis.ac.uk/sheilamacneill/2010/03/09/proding-around-curriculum-design-what-happened-to-content-packaging/) the perceived usability of available tools may influence the choice of packaging standard (whether the tools listed produce IMS CP, ADL SCORM, both, or something else is not noted).

Authorware

(http://www.adobe.com/products/authorware/)
In use by:

  • C-Change

Learning Object Creator

(http://www.llas.ac.uk/projects/2770)
In use by:

  • Humbox

Glomaker

(http://www.glomaker.org/)
In use by:

  • Evolution
  • Unicycle

Reload

(http://www.reload.ac.uk/)
In use by:

  • Simulation OER

eXe

(http://exelearning.org/wiki)
In use by:

  • Berlin
  • Evolution
  • Centre for Bioscience OER
    • “ Using eXe, in part as they had significant issues with using RELOAD and in part as eXe is JorumOpen’s preferred tool”

QuestionMark

(http://www.questionmark.com/us/index.aspx)

In use by:

  • brOME OERP
    • exporting materials from QuestionMark as QTI items to make more open
  • Centre for Bioscience OER

Xerte

(http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/xerte/)
In use by:

  • Berlin
  • C-Change
  • C-SAP OER – one mini project used Xerte to transform PPTs into Learning Objects

Use of web publishing tools in the UKOER programme

Another approach taken in UKOER for the use management and sharing of OER management has been to use mainstream web publishing tools such as WordPress, Content Management Systems, and ‘simple’ websites (‘simple’ being a website created and managed without using a CMS ). One of the challenges this approach faces is that such tools are often not designed to export resources and a number of the projects have had some challenges when considering how to represent their OER(s) within JorumOpen.

Drupal

  • TRUE
  • OpenSpace
    • OpenSpace created a virtual learning studio for collaborative creative script writing and storyboarding
    • Explored the integration of Kaltura with Drupal
    • the OER is not only the environment but also a example of it’s use (using a example (real) course with student work)
  • Phorus

Plone

  • OTTER
    • OTTER have had problems exporting metadata they had created within Plone

Websites

  • numbat
    • XHTML and PHP based search

WordPress

It is worth noting in passing that many projects have extensively used blogs throughout the programme for communication, discussion and dissemination. This has provided a valuable way to engage and stay up to date with projects but that usage is a different topic entirely.

  • ChemistryFM
    • WordPress used as the primary ‘repository’ for content and publishing platform. Courses broken down into into one sub-topic per post comprising of embedded videos and related supporting resources.
    • The posts are tagged with the appropriate course code – this allows the courses to be put together through the blog interface.
    • can export resources via OAI-ORE for import to other repositories
  • C-Change
    • is investigating the use of wordpress as a possible local publishing tool for their members of their consortium who need (especially in the longer term) a way to publish OERs.

The use of VLEs in the UKOER programme

Within the UKOER programme there has been some use of virtual learning environments or related classroom or collaboration tools in the management and distribution of OERs (see also the list of learning object/ content-packaging creation tools in use ).

Wimba

http://www.wimba.com/

  • Evolution

Blackboard

http://www.blackboard.com/

  • OpenStaffs
    • Trying to decouple storage and use of educational materials. Moving resources/ course materials out of BlackBoard into Hive. Then creating references to them within BlackBoard. This allows the resources to be more open and accessible (and uses a resource management tool to manage and store (and preserve?) the resources rather than relying on the resource management capabilities of the VLE) )

Moodle

http://moodle.org/

  • Fetlar
    • used by project to coordinate and manage gathering of resources and as a platform for sharing them.
  • OLE Dutch History
    • direct use in teaching as well as managing resources; (afaik) used for www.dutch.ac.uk which offers access to a number of free taster courses

Custom ‘repository’ developments in the UKOER programme

One interesting development in the UKOER programme has been how many projects have chosen to build their own repository/database to manage their content in some form. Normally the phrase ‘we’ve built our own repository’ makes me worry in the same that ‘we’re developing our own standard’ or ‘our own controlled vocabulary’ does. However, these projects have had a wide variety of good reasons for doing so – all of which bear closer examination. Their approach is a reminder that there are circumstances under which ‘build your own’ is both necessary and a good idea. Some projects also make a case for lightweight and disposable approaches.

All the custom developments have used MySQL and all of those taking this option have been subject strand projects.

  • CORE Materials
    • they have built a database for the central management of resources prior to uploading to web 2.0 sites; their own solution was required to support interaction with the APIs of web 2.0 tools.
  • Medev OOER
    • they have built a database as a staging ground for preparing OERs – JorumOpen is their primary deposit. They are also considering a local repository in the longer term.
    • MySQL was chosen to be able to interact with Subject Centre website.
    • They are also looking at web2.0 api interoperability
  • Open Educational Repository in Support of Computer Science
    • built a lightweight disposable solution as management and publishing tool and staging ground for Jorum deposit
    • Jorum as the primary repository and copy of record/ preservation copy.
  • Phorus
    • primary cataloguing of OERs is into Intute which is then harvested via OAI-PMH into their local database
    • they then aim to harvest resources into JORUM
    • they may also move resources to host institution’s (Fedora) repository
  • Simulation OER
    • developed local repository both as continuation of earlier work and as available repository options did not meet the key requirement of being able to preview simulations.

Use of repository software in the UKOER programme

In the UKOER programme a number of projects have chosen to use repository software to manage their educational materials. Such software may be commercial, open source, or hosted (often using open source). Alongside research information systems, repositories occupy an increasingly well established position in institutional infrastructure for managing and sharing research materials (including theses, preprints, and metadata about articles). Consequently for many institutions they offer a natural choice to manage and share OERs.

When I’m aware of a repository holding research content as well as OERs I’ve noted this: educational materials only or mixed materials.

Fedora

http://www.fedora-commons.org/

  • Phorus
    • may harvest their MySQL based solution into their host institution’s repository (outwith project- presumably mixed materials).
  • Skills for Scientists
    • will move all resources into host institutional repository for preservation/ long term access.
    • not all content suitable for Jorum e.g. Scottish ~CC licensed stuff. (mixed materials)

Intralibrary

http://www.intrallect.com/index.php/intrallect/products

  • Unicycle
    • mixed materials

Equella

http://www.thelearningedge.com.au/products.php

  • Berlin
    • educational materials only
    • OpenCourseWare branded
  • OCEP
    • mixed materials

Harvest Road Hive

http://www.giuntilabs.com/HarvestRoad_Hive/index.php

  • OpenStaffs
    • unknown  from context probably educational materials only

ePrints

http://www.eprints.org/

  • ADM OER partner
    • unknown collection composition
  • HumBox
    • educational  materials only
  • ChemistryFM
    • will be using institutional ePrints as preservation store
    • mixed materials

DSpace

http://www.dspace.org/

  • Open Exeter
    • developed support for Content Packages and a LOM mapping
    • educational materials
  • C-Change
    • local DSpace repository was considered but rejected in favour of Jorum only approach (counter-use)

Note:
I’ll be blogging shortly about the other approaches taken for managing and sharing OERs, I’ll comment on the patterns at that point – but feel free to add any suggestions or comments about repositories here.

The use of Web 2.0 tools in the UKOER programme

In the UKOER programme, Web 2.0 tools have been used to manage, promote, and provide better access to open educational resources. This post outlines what tools have been used and briefly notes how they’ve been used. Details about the projects can be found at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/oer and futher technical information can be found http://prod.cetis.ac.uk/query.php?refineterm=theme&refinevalue=UKOER&format=descriptions .

More details about the technical and descriptive affordances of the various Web 2.0 platforms are available
http://wiki.cetis.ac.uk/Distribution_platforms_for_UKOER_resources the descriptions of tools included below have been drawn from this work (these have been primarily created by my colleague Phil Barker with input from the community)

Scribd

(http://www.scribd.com/)

“Scribd allows the sharing of documents, including short reports, posters, presentation slides, magazines, sheet music or full-length books. Typical use is for static text-and-image documents but spreadsheets are also handled. …Documents are viewable on the Scribd website and embeddable in webpages elsewhere in the iPaper format (which requires a Flash reader). Files on Scribd can be distributed either freely and openly, for fee, or privately.” (http://wiki.cetis.ac.uk/Scribd_for_UKOER_resources)

Scribd is being used by:

  • OERP (Engineering)
  • CORE Materials
  • C-SAP OER

Projects in which academics are uploading to Scribd

  • OERP (Engineering) – central team to begin with moving to individuals for sustainability

Projects using the Scribd API

  • CORE Materials

Slideshare

(http://www.slideshare.net/)

“SlideShare’s core service is as a host for presentations, e.g. PowerPoint slides. These can be simple slide stacks, or can be slidecasts or videocasts which include audio or video commentary to accompany the slides. Recently SlideShare has added support for more general text and graphics “documents”.” (http://wiki.cetis.ac.uk/SlideShare_for_UKOER_resources).”

Slideshare is being used by:

  • OTTER
  • OLE Dutch History
  • OERP (Engineering)
  • CORE Materials
  • Skills for Scientists
  • C-SAP OER

Projects using Slideshare as well as another form of repository [not including JORUM]

  • CORE Materials (central database)

Projects using the Slideshare API

  • CORE Materials

Projects in which academics are uploading to Slideshare

  • OTTER – individuals uploading
  • OERP (Engineering) – central team uploading to begin with which is moving to individuals for sustainability
  • C-SAP OER – central team uploading

Projects exploring (but not yet committed to using) Slideshare

  • OLE Dutch History
  • Skills for Scientists

iTunes(U)

(http://www.apple.com/itunes/)

iTunes is a music and video distribution platform created and run by Apple. It offers a mediated marketplace for content and along with Apple’s hardware has been instrumental in the popularisation of digital delivery of audio and video including podcasts. iTunesU is a developed section of this service allowing institutions to showcase podcasts and video – typically lectures or other audio.

iTunesU being used by:

  • OCEP
  • Berlin
  • OpenSpires
  • OTTER
  • mmtv

Projects for whom iTunes has actively determined their approach to the description and delivery (RSS support) of their content

  • OpenSpires
  • OTTER

Projects negotiating with their institutions about how their OER content relates to the institutional channel

  • mmtv

Flickr

(http://www.flickr.com/)

“Most of the resources on Flickr are photographs and many of the features of the platform are tailored to this (e.g. the automatic extraction of EXIF metadata to show, for example, camera type, aperture setting and shutter speed), though it is also used for diagrams and other forms of still image. Flickr also supports short (<90s) videos and other types of moving image. Flickr has comprehensive capabilities for metadata tagging, aggregation, syndication through RSS/ATOM.” (http://wiki.cetis.ac.uk/Flickr_for_UKOER_resources)

Projects using Flickr:

  • OTTER
  • OLE Dutch History (considering using it)
  • OERP
  • CORE Materials
  • C-Change (embedding into ppts)

Using the api to upload materials

  • CORE Materials

Using Flickr as a primary store

  • OERP

Youtube

(http://www.youtube.com/)

“YouTube is the pre-eminent video sharing website. While many of the videos are entertainment (home-shot or otherwise) it is widely used for more serious material and has a YouTube EDU branding for degree-level material. Access to view video is unlimited and any registered user may upload and share videos; the collection of videos provided by a user is known as their channel which also includes user-profile information. Registered users may also create playlists (collections of videos from other users) and comment on videos.” (http://wiki.cetis.ac.uk/YouTube_for_UKOER_resources)

Projects using Youtube

  • Berlin
  • OTTER
  • OCEP
  • mmtv
  • OpenSpace
  • ChemistryFM
  • OLE Dutch History
  • True
  • OERP
  • C-Change (embedding into PPTs/ contextualising)
  • Humbox
  • Core Materials
  • Skills for Scientists (some partners exploring)

Project specifically using YouTubeEdu

  • Berlin

Projects cataloguing resources academics have put on YouTube

  • OTTER

Using Youtube as a primary repository

  • mmtv
  • ChemistryFM

Using YouTube instead of local streaming

  • True (local copies hidden (for preservation) but youtube for access/ embedding)
  • OERP (local copies hidden but youtube for access/ embedding)
  • CORE Materials – considering this

Vimeo

(http://vimeo.com/)

“Vimeo is a social web site for video sharing, with a reputation for supporting higher (technical) quality, longer videos than YouTube. The emphasis is on sharing videos created by individual users rather than commercial videos. Socially, vimeo supports user profiles, commenting on video, individual contacts, and subscriptions to channels and membership of groups. ” (http://wiki.cetis.ac.uk/Vimeo_for_UKOER_resources)

Projects using vimeo

  • mmtv
  • OERP

Zoho

(http://www.zoho.com/)

Zoho is a suite of collaborative cloud based tools including tools for writing, presenting, using spreadsheets, and sharing resources.

Projects using Zoho.

  • OERP (considering using it to share spreadsheets if required)

Delicious

(http://delicious.com/)

Delicious is an online tool for managing and sharing bookmarks.

Projects using Delicious:

  • OOER
  • OERP
  • C-SAP OER – (using for project info management – this becomes a resource in itself also using Cite-u-Like in same way)

We’ve very little direct information about other uses of Delicious were mentioned.