I attended the above event at JISC London yesterday, full details here: http://wiki.cetis.ac.uk/Event:_what_metadata_is_really_required
The event included other OER project teams (some from Phase 1) and support/expertise from CETIS, EPrints, Jorum and others. DELILA project team mate Neil Stewart (LSE) was also there to fly the DELILA flag!
There were a few short presentations on issues around metadata including the following:
- Dan Rehak from the Learning Registry in the U.S. – Dan spoke about this initiative to address the fragmentation of learning content and how the U.S. government is seeking to make learning content easier to access and identify. Dan also spoke about the need to include ‘paradata’ (community created comments etc.) in any metadata about learning resources to enrich the feedback loop.
- Pierre Far from Open Course Ware Consortium – Pierre gave a very short presentation on how he has been working on interoperability between different repositories so that similar metadata fields are used by more and more repositories, making it easier for depositors, harvesters and users.
- David Davies from University of Warwick and the MEDEV Phase 1 OER project – David talked about the survey tool that they developed as part of their project, which was used to gather information from educators and learning technologists about how they search for learning resources. The results are really interesting, for example showing a big difference between how a teacher views quality assurance and how a learning technologist views it. However, the most interesting part for me/DELILA is that the survey itself can be re-used/re-purposed. I would love to use the same survey with the community of IL librarians, both those attending LILAC and those on LIS-INFOLITERACY to see what sort of results we would get. This could then inform how we promote and share our IL resources to our community.
- Jenny Grey from Open Learn at the Open University – Jenny reported how she is using Google Analytics to analyse the search logs of Open Learn to see how users search for their learning resources. She reported how over 50% of searches are directed from Google and that the most popular search terms are ‘open courses’ or ‘free courses’. This led to a discussion on analysis of search terms and how useful this data can be for those inputting metadata.
After lunch, delegates were asked to take part in three different discussions at three different tables, moving between each one during the afternoon. These discussions included:
- what metadata are we already holding and are we willing to share it?
- how can we use survey data to enhance our metadata and repositories?
- what can search data tell us about user search behaviour and how can this help us?
The discussions were fairly wide ranging and we had plenty of time to explore ideas. In the plenary session, it was agreed that adapting David Davies’ survey tool so that any OER project could utilise it should be followed up as a mini-project. This would add to the evidence base and allow a meta-analysis of several subject areas and repositories, allowing us to make comparisons and attempt some broad conclusions.
Overall, the day was a great chance to meet fellow OER project people, discuss similar issues and explore some ideas for further collaborations, although I’m sure we’ve all got enough project work to be getting on with for now!