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Faroes: Repositories for Sharing Learning Resources in Distributed Social Spaces

Date:
2007-2009
Theme:
ELearning, Platforms and Tools
Funding:
JISC

The Faroes project will establish a lightweight repository for learners and teachers to share their resources, based on the CLARE repository (a version of ePrints), the experiences of the L2O, MURLLO and CLAReT projects, and the active community of language teachers and learning technologists that these projects have been engaged with. Through a number of workshops with the language teachers community of practice we have noted two important lessons:

  1. That the community is eager to share their resources and wants a lightweight repository that they can incorporate into their everyday practice. They are keen that the repository should have a user interface that follows the best-practice principles of Web 2.0 sites (social, interlinked, evolving and flexible).
  2. Practitioners are enthusiastic about sharing learning assets: simple resources such as videos, audio files and presentations. This is because of the simplicity of producing and reusing them (for example, there is no overhead of content packaging, or complex metadata authoring).
  3. It is clear that in our engagement with the community we have reached a tipping point; we need to deliver a real usable repository that fulfils these requirements in order to begin to explore the difficult issues concerning authorship, provenance, authority and copyright in the context of a real system with real users.

The project will therefore engage with the established community of language teachers in order to deploy a lightweight repository that will support the sharing of multimedia resources between individual practitioners. We will work closely with the community, taking an agile software engineering approach focused around the notion of the perpetual beta. In this way we hope to both foster cultural changes in resource sharing in the community, and also to create innovations in repository design based on Web 2.0 best practice.

The project outputs will include a number of Web 2.0 plug-ins to the ePrints system (the basis of the CLARE learning repository), but the project will also explore the way in which multiple repository installations can become part of the same social space – this is necessary for searching, recommendations and common tags to be available across several connected repositories (as might be expected in different educational institutions). The approach to distributed social spaces, and the interfaces that will enable this, will be important innovations in repository design.

Primary investigator

Secondary investigators

Partner

  • University of Portsmouth

Associated research groups

  • Learning Societies Lab
  • Web and Internet Science
  • Electronic and Software Systems
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