Do I.T. Academy: Investigating good practices to increase discoverability and guidance for use of OER for a community of practice.

This project identifies and implements good practices surrounding discoverability and guidance for use of OER for a specific community of practice. The pilot group chosen is Community Arts North West and their Do I.T. training programme which delivers workshops on digital skills for Manchester-based artists. The project addresses the need of the Do I.T. programme for a tool to house training resources in an online repository.

The full report is available for download here.

We did it

We did it

To give this project a greater focus, I have worked with a pilot group Community Arts


The project also addresses an issue shared by many learning providers. While there are many learning resources available free of cost from disparate sources on the Internet, systematic information surrounding how they can be used in an educational context is often lacking.
Specific areas of good practice including the use of metadata to describe educational use,
design patterns and suitable web-technologies are identified in a review of literature in the
area of OER and a review of three high-profile OER repositories.

The innovative technologies of LRMI and (restricted sets of metadata fields
which are marked up using semantic HTML tags) are chosen as the best candidates to
maximise discoverability of learning resources by search engines.
Based on this review and the priorities of the pilot group, a tool in the form of a web
repository is created. This website is now in use by the pilot group here:


It is the premise of this project that up-to-date tools are needed which support a community- based approach to sharing OER. Specifically, in this case, a web technology which fills the gap between a large institutional repository and self publishing tools used by lone authors.

North West to create a repository for learning resources used on a course to teach digital skills to artists. The course is called “Do I.T.”. I was a tutor and co-designer of the initial 2013 Do I.T. course. The objectives of the course were based on the need of the participants to develop a web presence to promote their artistic work or practice. Our approach used a mixture of guided instruction, group work with problem based learning and ‘real life’ media or web production projects.

The choice of CAN as a pilot group for this project is dictated by their need for a tool which
matches the remit of the project and their willingness to donate their time to engage with the process.