Streamline News

Integrating Repository Function with Work Practice

It’s amazing what you find ..

Posted by Dawn on March 25, 2009

… as deadlines loom. Have no idea why I haven’t previously bloged these, possibly intended to use in some report some where. Regardless, early on I went on a hunt to see what independent tools already existed out there regarding metadata. During this I came across a couple of interesting reports from CETIS:


This last I just found while looking for the URL for LomPAD, have added as it looks interesting, but dont have time to investigate 🙂

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The Sharing Vision

Posted by Dawn on March 23, 2009

Prompted by the visit to Belfast we decided it would be a good idea to formally examine our (Leeds met) sharing philosophy regarding LOs. As this hasn’t been previously represented I also thought it might be a good idea to model pre and post sharing with regard to the repository. Again I have fallen back on adapting UML case studies to visualise these processes. Generally these are read from top to bottom connections show potential decision points, where either, both or none of the following process may be undertaken. Actors represent roles or systems playing a role within a process.


To facilitate this development I cornered our repository officer Nick Sheppard and did a short interview. I doubt there will be time to do a full transcription of this but it did give me some insight into past and future aspirations for the repository and the workflows surrounding it. I’m uploading three of the four intended workflows now, in case time runs away, with evaluations are my top of my agenda at the moment.


Pre-repository shows some learning content being packaged as a learning object using such applications as Course Genie and eCat. Similar to Belfast theses were often used within the VLE. The predominant process was the creation of content and storage on personal or shared drives. Conversations between colleagues were the main driving force for sharing; this resulted in direct hard drive access for the resource, link sharing or a hard copy being reciprocated, depending on the nature of the content and storage facilitated by the tutor.


The current state of affairs, extracted from the conversation with Nick, again has some strong links with Belfast. As we are still discussing the various issues regarding general public release of Leeds Met learning objects, all current upload and potentially any search and download, request go through the repository officer. The repository is as yet not ready for general institution-wide access, with only small pockets currently populating it under Nick’s guidance. One of the most difficult tasks regarding this filtration through one team is the back and forth communication required to gain complete metadata particularly. This is particularly prevalent when checking the copyright of repurposed learning objects.


The vision is to enable individuals to upload and download from the repository as part of their natural content development process. To enable this, the repository needs to be accessed from what ever personal work point an individual chooses to use. This is my simplistic version of this vision with and emphases on as few and seamless connections to as many interfaces as possible. I’m sure others including Nick will add to and comment on this to give it a more robust appearance.


The final and missing diagram, I’m currently extracting form Nicks interview, tries to capture the perceived next step…..

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Next Generation Technologies in Practice 09

Posted by Janet Finlay on March 11, 2009

John, Stuart, Jill, Tony and I have just spent two days in Loughborough at the Next Generation Technologies in Practice JISC conference which has been very stimulating. This morning John and I led a session entitled Social Technologies for Sharing Practice, with Wendy representing Persona and Jim Hensman Planet, where we looked at the ways in which the projects had made use of social technologies to support sharing. The session went well and we have had some great feedback. Slides for the presentation are available here: Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Social Technology for Sharing Practic…“, posted with vodpod

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Even more use cases …

Posted by Dawn on March 6, 2009

Back in April last year I did a second round of use cases on LO and repository workflows from project members. One set was left till later as it wasn’t quite complete. Still not complete, there is a set of seven use cases of which I managed to get an overview and two specific scenarios finished. As time is running out am putting these up now and I’ll see if get round to the rest later. What’s interesting about these compared to the others previously presented, they give a broader view of the interaction process with a repository, rather than the detailed view of LO production. The first shows the choice of actions available to the user via a web interface to a repository. The following two, overview and detail, show different views of the process of searching for a learning object. I am revisiting these in view of the trip to Belfast next week as they will provide a good comparison with the workflows used by their tutors and developers.

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All set for Belfast

Posted by Dawn on February 26, 2009

Had my first video conference today, which went rather well considering how I feel about cameras of any sort. Regardless, the conference was with Pat and Paul from Belfast Met who we (Nick and I) will be visiting very soon. They have a greater experience of using learning objects then we do here in Leeds. This is probably, as expressed by Paul, due to the difference in structure between a HE and an FE and the impact this puts on staff time. There is it seams a greater impetus in FE to get into anything that is going to increase productivity and free up valuable time. Something that for them LOs have clearly achieved. They have a strong repurposing culture and it will be interesting to see how they deal with versioning and re-assigning metadata on the extended LOs. They are very interested to exchange experiences on the software that is being used by both institutions. This will be good for comparison with the prototype, both from a usability and workflow perspective. They suggested we talk to various people who are heading initiatives around the institution, so that we can get an idea of how they have approached the same problems we are currently facing. All in all a very positive experience and I’m looking forward to meeting them in person and having an interesting week.

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