A while back the JISC asked us to investigate the creation of a learning materials application profile, let’s call it LMAP for short. Well, there’s already the UK LOM Core, which is usable despite the latest (and best) version being an incomplete draft. But, as I discussed in my previous post, there have been other developments in metadata for educational resources since then. There are also considerations arising from areas such as assessment, learning design and packaging complex objects that need to be taken into account. So marching on down the UK LOM Core road wasn’t necessarily going to be the right thing to do, accordingly we (Lorna and I) decided to take a more circumspect approach.
A typical collection of learning materials is likely to include a wide range of resource types (e.g. images, web pages, assessment items, tutorial-type packages) all of which require description. In addition ther are other factors related to activities such as rights management, ensuring accessibility and preservation that may need to be considered when describing the resources. Expert and advisory groups for most object types and activity domains have developed their own specialized metadata sets and have their own perception of the requirements for best (or acceptable) practice.
We proposed a scoping study that will draw up a list of the relevant domains, identify domain experts for each of them and interview these experts to ascertain the recommendations they provide to repository managers on what would be considered an adequate minimum element set to cover issues arising from their domain. Through synthesis and analysis of this advice we hope to provide managers of repositories of learning materials with an appreciation of the various domain issues they may need to consider and the range of metadata that they might have to accommodate. Additionally, we hope the study will inform advisory services about the range of demands on (finite!) repository resources that may be made by other domains. I see this as being complementary to the approach taken by the DC-Education community: they’re looking at what might go into a modular application profile to describe educational properties; we’re scoping our what the whole profile might look like. Our starting list of domains (and an indication of the metadata involved) is:
- general resource discovery (DC, MARC)
- Education (LOM, context descriptions)
- Accessibility (Access4All)
- Curation / preservation (premis, METS)
- Complex object management (IMS CP, METS, DIDL, OAI-ORE)
- Technical (technical metadata)
- Digital rights (ODRM, XrML)
- Repository management (admin metadata)
- Assessment (IMS QTI metadata)
- Scholarly publishing / citations (OpenURL, SWAP, PRISM?)
- Images (MIX)
(Which is a long list for a short project.) My first job is to finalize this list, so I would be really interested in receiving comments on it from repository managers, domain experts and others.
This is some work that I am doing for JISC CETIS but in addition to and separate from my regular (part-time) CETIS role of domain coordinator. If you’re interested please get in touch.