Project Overview


PROJECT OVERVIEW CD-LOR (a JISC-funded, 2 year project) is investigating enablers and barriers to successful embedding of learning object (LO) repositories within a diverse range of learning communities. Such communities include those based in individual and federated institutions and those that exist across institutions (regionally, nationally and internationally), e.g. discipline-based communities. CD-LOR is focussing on the social and cultural dimensions of LO repositories within learning communities.

CHALLENGES & ISSUES Changing roles of stakeholders If LO repositories are to be used to support teaching and learning, the work practices and roles of teachers and other staff will probably need to change. For example, some staff might be more involved in resource preparation, others in resource sharing and still others in metadata creation or resource evaluation. The organisation of institutions In order to realize the full benefits from LO repositories, it is necessary to understand how institutions and their internal and external relationships function, alongside understanding how the grass-roots practices of teachers and learners operate within institutions. Digital rights management Widespread use of repositories will depend on institutions, LO contributors and users having confidence that intellectual property rights are upheld. Quality of learning objects On one hand users want access to high quality resources, on the other they may be reluctant to share their own resources if they feel restricted by quality assurance mechanisms. Metadata creation workflows Research has indicated that who creates metadata, and how, may be a key trust issue for repository use.

ASSOCIATE PARTNERS The associate partners have implemented or are implementing LO repositories for use across a wide range of community types. They are: • University of Edinburgh • UHI Millenium Institute • Aberdeen University • University of Ireland, Galway • SIESWE Learning Exchange • Jorum • IVIMEDS • Spoken Word Services

PROJECT CONTACTS Allison Littlejohn Colin Milligan Anoush Margaryan Peter Douglas

PROJECT PARTNERS: Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Strathclyde, Intrallect Ltd

PROJECT METHODOLOGY To investigate the factors underlying successful LO Repository deployment, CDL-LOR has been: • carrying out desk and field research into the barriers to uptake & embedding of LO repositories • developing, implementing & testing solutions to barriers in testbeds with learning communities • producing use cases, case studies and guidelines for LO repository implementation • producing recommendations for managers on policy, strategy, systems and workflow issues • developing use cases linking LO repositories to wider information management processes • making recommendations for ongoing research and development

PROJECT FINDINGS Based on the work carried out, we recommend: • LORs should be based firmly on user needs and context and address problems meaningful to users Therefore a key element of the scoping process for a LOR should be to ascertain exactly what problem the LOR is being asked to solve? This will necessitate greater consideration of the needs of the communities when designing LORs including surveying the needs of potential users, and the processes by which they make decisions about adopting technology. • Product innovation should involve process innovation LORs are typical product innovations, but their wider adoption and implementation will not be possible without parallel process innovations including change in pedagogic processes, institutional processes for support of innovations, mechanisms for recognitions and rewards etc. This should be reflected in institutional and national strategy and longer term focus. • Impact and added value for users must be apparent Evidence is needed to demonstrate to potential users that LORs can positively impact their learning and teaching processes on the level of individuals and communities. We expect to recommend that JISC fund studies into collecting evidence of such impact and added value.

PROJECT OUTPUTS You can read about the findings of the project through the following project outputs: Desk Study Recommendations Personal Resource management Structured Guidelines for Survey establishing and evaluating LO Use Case, Implementations and Repositories Evaluations Reports Repository Users Survey


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