October 1, 2010 17 Comments
Xpert – http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/xpert/ – at Nottingham University is a “distributed repository of e-learning resources” and contains metadata and resources for almost 70,000 learning objects from over 3000 providers. Recently the project has released some interesting tools in the form of Xpert labs including APIs to return CC licensed OER in a variety of data formats and a basic SDK (Software Development Kit). There is also a code snippet to add Xpert search to your site like this – http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/inn/repository/xpert.html.
What is missing, however, is any indication that this resource emanates from Leeds Met – think I’ll need to add a <dc:publisher> field to fix this – currently we only provide <dc:creator> which Xpert maps to author; this also means that our institution does not appear in Advanced Search under Institution…
It’s probably too much to ask Pat to add the link URLs using <lom:identifier></lom:identifier> as I hope to do from Open Search (and Xpert labs does include an API specifically to return related objects using the base url http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/xpert/related/ adding a list of comma separated keywords, then a number of results you’d like to return to the end of this URL e.g. http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/xpert/related/ukoer,5.)
These resources then, made live yesterday afternoon, are already available from Xpert; they will also, eventually, find their way into Jorum Open but this requires further intervention from me – we’re not using the Jorum RSS harvest for technical reasons but I don’t *think* that facility could perform a daily update harvest in the same way as OAI-PMH. I’m still working on the workflow for regularly packaging my IMSCPs and publishing them as a .zip for the kindly folk at Jorum to harvest from Open Search (there has, in any case, not been much new added since the end of the Unicycle project – http://repository.leedsmet.ac.uk/main/view_record.php?identifier=2845&SearchGroup=Open+Educational+Resources). When our processes are fully embedded in institutional practice I anticipate putting up an archive say every month; of course this will have the “advantage” of preserving the full IMSCP in JorumOpen rather than just the metadata and the link which is all that is harvested by Xpert but I don’t think this is a particular concern for *me* as I am responsible for my own preservation via our own formal repository platform (this building on the discussion from my last post.)
Xpert grew out of JISC Rapid Innovation funding last year which perhaps goes some way to explaining the (arguably) more agile development compared to Jorum (who I really don’t wish to be disparaging towards – I think the @jorumteam have done a fantastic job in the past 12 months and the national service is really taking shape; they obviously have a more formal remit than Xpert and have responded very positively to a wide array of stakeholders as evidenced in their recently published Road-map – they have also been very helpful to me and Unicycle on a personal/project level and this post is more about bigging-up the small guy than doing down the big-guy!)
JorumOpen currently holds an impressive 10 and a half thousand OERs catalogued as HE – still a fraction of the size of Xpert (is sheer size actually likely to become an issue when searching for suitable OERs in either service?) In addition, a large proportion of these records (how many?) are likely to be metadata/link only as they have been harvested by RSS which presents potential issues for preservation (see last post)…in any case, all credit to Xpert who have developed a responsive service that goes a long way to it’s stated aim of “delivering and supporting a distributed repository of e-learning resources” and providing real value to the (global) HE community to boot!