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Integrating Repository Function with Work Practice

Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

InrtaLibray training day

Posted by Dawn on June 19, 2008

The first training/design session with IntraLibrary was held today. The morning was a general overview the system and an opportunity to play around with the new version. The afternoon was spent in discussion with Nick and his team on what was need to get this all up and running.

Their new version 3.0 (Beta) has had a complete interface re-vamp and I wasn’t overly impressed. In my repository report I mentioned that the icons and interface for IntraLibrary was one of the things that I felt made it stand out from the rest. The general ideas have been retained in the new version but the icons are less prominent as they have opted for much softer graphics. One thing they have removed, which I suggested they put back, was the inline help from the question mark icon. For a none-novice user this is very handy, at least I thought so, as it assisted in clarify what you suspected certain areas and functions were for. Much faster than having to go through the full help list. They have also made the help icon almost invisible. I asked a fellow participant if they could find it and it took them over half a minuet which is not good.

The afternoon session was with Nick’s development team, Jill and myself. During this we discussed the types of workflow required for both learning objects (LOs) and research outputs; security and authentication; taxonomy creation and how this related to LOs and research. One of the main issues to come out of this was the need for an external (available on the public web) search and result pages. These need to be developed in house. Another university (I forget which) has already developed and released (open source) a solution to this problem. We also discussed the possible integration with Sword, a client side depositing application which is currently being developed.

All in all it was an interesting day and while I’m sad to loose the old interface IntraLibrary’s functionality is still more adaptable than the rest. There will be another two training/development days which I hope to attend and Peter (chap from IntraLibrary) said he would get the API’s to me ASAP so we can start looking at integrating the ideas developed in Streamline.

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Jorum Workshop

Posted by Dawn on February 20, 2008

Today I observed a workshop for introducing Jorum, a little bit of CourseGenie and some other repository resources. The idea of a learning object and its potential were discussed first. There were some interesting views. Learning objects were discussed as reusable learning objects (LOs) which I found strange as reusability is, for me, an inherent feature of learning objects. The idea of conforming to a standard was also perceived as being important. One participant had the practical perspective, that they, LOs, enabled last years course materials be used in this years courses.

After a demo of using Jorum participants were asked to search for some objects that related to their needs. The majority seamed to manage this ok. On of the LOs discovered was so well presented that it covered about 60% of the course material required, not bad going. Concerns about Jorum, included: evaluating the quality of a LO and copyright and restricted use.


There were some concerns as to whether these repositories are accessible by students and how that would impact on fairness and students accessing material out of sync of the intended course format. This is an interesting question. I feel that LOs are a positive resource for students as well as teachers. If the idea of learning/teaching styles is to be believed, it is very difficult as a teacher to adapt your style to appeal to all students. Students who are having difficulty with understanding a teaching style should seek alternative sources. Its no different to going and finding a none course text book to explain a concept you didn’t understand in the lecture. Alternatively LOs give teachers the opportunity to give alternative content presentation without the extra work.


There were some positive responses to CourseGenie as it made section up a document really easy. Presenting content as clickable web pages rather than a word doc was felt to be a more student orientated method. A questionnaire has been placed online and some of the participants have agreed to complete this later.


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Posters, websites, repositories and emerge meeting

Posted by Dawn on January 25, 2008

All in all a busy week. First we completed the Streamline poster for the Emerge project meeting at the end of the week. I added a front end to the server site, which might be handy to keep as a resource space, so please send me links you think should be on there.

The final two repository demos were fairly impressive, particularly hive by Harvest Road. Extremely adaptable core, highly configurable and comes with API’s for custom work. There was very little to demo as they give the impression that it is our needs that will dictate the functionally as well as the look and feel.  I also thought IntraLibrary was a reasonable for a more predictable out of the box solution. This is the foundation for JORUM. Comparing what people have said about JORUM, and the product we viewed, I would say that the well know LO repository has not made full use of IntraLibrary’s features. The report should be finished by next week so you should have chance to have a look before the next project meeting.

Emerge meeting was very interesting, and I think I understand the processes the employ a lot better, but don’t quote me on that. Unfortunately the chap for the e-Framework had a nasty bug, so was unable to attend. Resulting in that session being cancelled, I really was disappointedJ. Fortunately for us John Heap has made murky things clearer with his review of the e-Framework. Thanks for that.

The evening session was interesting, meeting lots of people, good food and drink. Some of the other projects had potential for cross-over and a couple of people form Leeds University suggested we should form stronger links. Others were very interested in our use of the Gabbeh tool, which I demoed. General an interesting couple of days, with plenty to take in.

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Reflections from York

Posted by Janet Finlay on January 24, 2008

We have a large contingent from Streamline at the Project Startup meeting for Emerge in York. At the programme meeting this morning the e-Framework was raised as an issue for all the e-administration projects – and probably for many U&I projects. John Heap, one of our team members, produced a e-framework briefing document for the rest of us on Streamline, which we have been asked to share here. It was written for internal consumption so pulls no punches – but I haven’t edited it as perhaps it is important to express some of the genuine frustrations of trying to make sense of how to contribute.

Our conclusion is that much of what we are doing as a matter of course can contribute to the e-Framework but it would still be useful to have a clearer steer as to how to do this most effectively.

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