OER Discovery 2009 Notes

From Creative Commons
Jump to: navigation, search

OER search and discovery meeting

July 10, 2009


Round table discussion of OER search and discovery needs, specs, considerations:

  • OER are diverse in form and origin.
  • OER are difficult to define universally.
  • Are metadata sufficient to improve search, or are there bigger issues at play?
  • Are we addressing educational search generally, or are we only addressing OER search?
  • What is the user experience that informs any search solution?
  • There is a lingo issue - teachers want to use OER but don't realize that's what they want.
  • How much should we expect users to understand in order to use the tool effectively?
  • How do we get users to contribute to improving the information?

If we build a search engine, what type of engine do we want (what categories of engine are there)?

Can we create a publication protocol for OER-creators to enhance discoverability?

Are there schemas for illustrating permissions associated with resources which are easy to understand and easy to implement (e.g., traffic light)?

DiscoverEd demo:

  • Built to illustrate first principles (above).
  • Key was to presume nothing about the quality/extent of the data or the specific nature of the OER in question. Open to any self-described curators of educational resources.
  • Is it a problem that it also archives non-CC-licensed works?

GLOBE demo:

  • LRE: interface for school teachers
  • ariadne: facetted search
  • MACE: tabletop and other visual interfaces

OER recommender demo:

  • Take the tools to the content, rather than waiting for the content-creators to make the content available to the tools.
  • Greasemonkey script.
  • How do users understand this service? In Cnx, there is a problem with users presuming that the author of the referring resource is the person who created the related resources.
  • Next iteration: Folksemantic.com

We also briefly discussed some other tools that are using similar developments, such as Google Rich Snippets, Yahoo BOSS, and others. These various tools should share the same databases.... a quick discussion led to some agreement that this coding was sane and achievable within a year, with some additional resources.

Attempt to categorize the different flavors of search tools that are out there:


  • Look at the content of the resource in isolation.


  • Look at content in isolation but add link structure.
  • Low-cost for data extraction.


  • Leverages identified social interaction (people known to the user).
  • Built on trusted relationships.


  • Leverages comments from people unknown to the user.
  • Really easy to contribute information.


  • Content is published by specific entities (curators).
  • Curation occurs prior to contribution.
  • Uses structured metadata.


  • Remixing occurs on site. Drives to a single outcome.
  • Benefits from distributed collaboration on search queries.
  • Curation occurs after contribution.

Can we set some initial priorities and plans of action?

  1. Minimum publishing style guide
  2. Registry linking
  3. Catalog of enhanced features (e.g., new metadata fields)
  4. Promotion/Adoption

Looking ahead:

What UI is needed to get integration into existing OER sites?

  • Toggle between my site versus all OER.
  • Plug-in for Moodle, Sakai, LAMS, etc.
  • Basically, how do we get the tools of Open Ed into the workspaces people use every day?

List of major production tools for educational resources and possible contacts:

'Note: In most cases, having some initial code in hand will help a lot.'

  • Microsoft
    • see ALOCOM for ARIADNE plugin
  • LAMS
  • Moodle
  • Sakai
  • Blackboard
    • see also Vandepitte, P., Van Rentergem, L., Duval, E., Ternier, S. & Neven, F. (2003). Bridging an LCMS and an LMS: a Blackboard Building Block for the ARIADNE Knowledge Pool System. In D. Lassner & C. McNaught (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2003 (pp. 423-424). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/13794
  • Open Office
  • Google docs
  • Wordpress
  • Mediawiki

Other places we should target for the search integration:

  • School web sites
  • Professional society pages
  • Government and district sites
  • Library websites

Stages of action:

  • Would you be interested?
  • Can we get some help if we have a detailed technical question in your environment?
  • What would it take to integrate?
  • Letter (tweet) of support?
  • Solicit external funding?
  • Deliver.

Who should be part of this effort?

How do we identify those orgs that want us to represent them in this space?

Two levels of commitment:

  1. the resources are included, or
  2. the organization involved is committed to development in this space.

We need to develop a statement of support:

Some sort of statement seems necessary. Perhaps a paragraph that captures the goals of OER search/discovery and why orgs would be interested in having such a tool baked into the tools that people actually use. Should then get signatures.

Can enhance OpenEd (opened.creativecommons.org) site to host.

Can we adopt a common set of metrics?

  • #s of resources (divided by attribute).
  • #s of people using.
  • #s of downloads.
  • #s of actual implementations.
  • Others?

Additional questions for the group:

  • What research is out there about the barriers regarding search?
  • To what extent do teachers actually search for things on the Web?
  • What orgs should be involved in the broader effort?
    • OCWC
    • Merlot
    • Globe
    • ccLearn
    •  ??