JISC SOSI Application

Application for JISC SOSI project


Duct Tape University – an OER discovery and publishing tool for learning communities.

Objectives: Use the power of LRMI search terms, CMS frameworks, educational theory, taxonomies, open badges and open formats to create a tool for specific learning communities to discover and share relevant OER.

Scope: OER on web coding and multimedia production.

Background: OER search and sharing tools exist. These include OER commons, Merlot and Jorum. However, they often prove difficult to browse. In John Shank’s recent publication Interactive Open Educational Resources, he notes of Jorum;

“There is only one level of subject browsing, and many of the categories have several hundred resources. This is a serious constraint to browsing JORUM because it is not practical to browse from the first level without first refining your results.”

The primary issues here are the size of the resource and the lack of specific taxonomies. Many OER search tools are too big and not specific enough for the majority of users.

Progress is being made in this area. Kritikos, for example, is a tool which uses the Learning Registry to allow students to browse materials by subject matter, to comment and feedback. This system’s api can be altered to adjust to other subject areas. https://kritikos.liv.ac.uk/

It appears that there is a need for similar but smaller-scale tools based on existing CMS frameworks. These would be suitable for informal networks of learning providers, discrete projects /courses and institutions without large budgets to implement larger software projects.

A promising area in the discoverability of OER the use of LRMI metadata. OER can be tagged with LRMI metadata relatively easily. LRMI is a subset of schema.org metadata and is therefore has the support of major search engines.

This project will evaluate existing frameworks to create a small-scale, searchable OER repository which uses LRMI metadata to it integrate into a wider eco-system of remixable OER. The approach should be light-weight and replicable as possible.

Specifics of site content:

The project takes its name from the working title of the showcase website, Duct Tape University – A Coding & Media Production Learning Community. The approach is to create one or two useful code modules and integrate them with existing CMS framework and web search services. Duct tape (aka Gaffer tape) is an adhesive tape well known for its ability to quickly solve complex and specific problems.

The proposed content of the learning resources to be aggregated is media production and tools and resources to learn computer coding for post-16 age range.

As a guideline, the content will keep in mind a specific communities of practice. Namely, the Artists Do IT project of Community Arts North West (http://mcrblogs.co.uk/doit) . This community has a focus on entry level training on low-cost media, web production and coding.

Free software tools and open processes will be used when available. However, the selection will take a pragmatic rather than purist approach when need.

The project will create a draft education framework for this community, which will be compatible with LRMI and Open Badges frameworks.


Core Deliverables:

OER showcase website which:
Includes a tool to search and filter of web content by LRMI metadata
Allows uploading and tagging of content with LRMI metadata by community members
Features content browsable by subject, licence, format, learner level and learning theory)
Software modules for chosen CMS framework to achieve the above (Drupal, WordPress or Django / python)
User-focused help guides and videos detailing system use and benefits of use
Detailed developer focused documentation to ensure replicability of project
Educational framework for Do IT training programme (needed for LRMI metadata)

Possible extras to be included:

Ability to display epubs as structured web pages for online browsing
Remix ability of epub chapters to output as another epub
Compatibility with Open Badges infrastructure
Aggregation of suitable OER


June, July: research and alpha work
August: beta testing
September: release candidate and evaluation

Project Supervisor:

Peter McKenna – Manchester Metropolitan University


LRMI – http://www.lrmi.net/
Kritikos – https://kritikos.liv.ac.uk/
Google Custom Search using LRMI – http://blogs.cetis.ac.uk/philb/2014/04/10/filtering-on-lrmi-alignment-va…
GCS via json api – https://developers.google.com/custom-search/json-api/v1/overview
Learning Registry – http://learningregistry.org/
Open badges – http://www.openbadges.org
FLOSS Manuals remix – http://en.flossmanuals.net/index.php?plugin=remix
P2PU – http://p2pu.org
Oerpub – http://oerpub.org/

About Michael Chesterman

Taught Postgraduate at MMU

Project Lead: Michael Chesterman

Project website – http://ducttapeuni.org

Team information:
University Supervisor: Peter McKenna (MMU)
Community Arts North West: Sara Domville (doIT project)
Graphic Designer: Tommy Ollerenshaw (doIT project)
Addtional Code and Mentoring: Jo Wakeford (Aptivate)