Archive for June, 2011

Game-Informed Risk Assessment? – A Labyrinth based toolkit for managing a good practice risk assessment workflow and guidance for open educational resources

June 28, 2011 2 comments

Just a quick post live from #elhealth2011 – just seen Stewart Cromar from Edinburgh University talking about “labyrinth” as used by the MEDEV toolkit –

Also had very brief discussions with Stewart and PORSCHE team about the possibility of implementing a similar system at another institution – I think it has the potential to fulfil our deposit use-case for ACErep (and OER in general) . Basically the toolkit leads a user through the process of file-upload, metadata addition, appropriate licensing and syndication to several destinations – Jorum, other repositories*, Web 2.0 services like You-Tube.

*I’ve also been pestering one of the MEDEV developers about implementing SWORD which would be fulfil this requirement (as I understand, currently syndication to Jorum will be by RSS harvest.) He’s sat behind me so will try to get him to comment here!

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OER infrastructure – discussions with Mimas and NDLR

June 21, 2011 2 comments

As I posted recently over on repositorynews and as ukoer folk will still be aware, from 1st August, Jorum, historically overseen jointly by the national data-centres in Edinburgh (EDINA) and Manchester (Mimas), will be managed exclusively by Mimas and will liaise more closely with the NDLR in Ireland.

Yesterday I took part in a telephone conference organised by the PORSCHE project team with representatives of Mimas, the NDLR and their technical partners Enovation – this post is to summarise the discussion and describe the processes of data transfer required by PORSCHE and ACErep.

Just to emphasise at the outset that Mimas are extremely positive about moving forward with a community driven process for the development of Jorum – informed by the ukoer programme and projects like PORSCHE and ACErep – but it is still very early days and we should be careful not to raise expectations unrealistically – the service does not pass to Mimas until August who are still in the process of appointing a Jorum Technical Coordinator – a role that is obviously central to these discussions.

The primary aim of the PORSCHE project is to provide “seamless access to academic and clinical learning resources to healthcare students”… “establishing the basis for a long term national partnership between the NHS and academia by sharing of appropriately licensed content between Jorum and the NeLR”.  To achieve this, PORSCHE has been exploring metadata transfer between the two repositories using OAI-PMH. Jorum is currently running on a modified DSpace (v1.5.2) and the NeLR on intraLibrary (3.1) both of which will of course expose an OAI-PMH feed, however, there would be an additional requirement for each repository to ingest each other’s feeds which is functionality that is not currently supported by either platform, though it is supported by the NDLR running on a later version of DSpace (v1.6) while PORSCHE are currently liaising with Intrallect to develop similar functionality in intraLibrary.

N.B. There may be an additional requirement for PORSCHE to transfer files as well as metadata (i.e. full content packages) between the two systems and it was suggested that OAI-ORE (Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange) might meet this requirement – I don’t know enough about this standard to comment.  (In intraLibrary I think it is possible to use a custom metadata template to expose the URI for the full content package in the OAI-PMH feed – might this be a possibility for file transfer?)

In lieu of a Jorum software upgrade to match the specification of their Irish counterpart, the NDLR have agreed to test the intraLibrary OAI-PMH feed (both from the NeLR and the Leeds Met repository) into their test-server which should be relatively straightforward (some metadata mapping notwithstanding). Moreover DSpace (v1.6) includes an API that supports search and retrieve and  v1.8 due for release in October of this year includes an improved (RESTful) API which may preclude the need for further development of the Jorum API – identified as a pre-requisite for both ACErep and PORSCHE.

In summary, a proof-of concept metadata exchange will be developed between the NHS Repository and the NDLR, future work by Jorum with hopefully mean that this can this concept can then be replicated:

OAI-PMH transfer between DSpace and intraLibrary

OAI-PMH transfer between DSpace and intraLibrary

Just a note that the NDLR is already ingesting OAI-PMH from Jorum but I’ve spotted an issue in that the resource URL isn’t necessarily being included in the simple record, appearing only in the full record (unlinked) in a dc:identifier field – see for examples including this one from Leeds Met

N.B. It looks to me like this has arisen in instances where there are multiple dc:identifier fields where the first isn’t a URL – ours often have an intraLibrary ID in the first field (see below). I don’t expect this will be a major issue to resolve?

Unlinked Jorum handle in full metadata record

Unlinked Jorum handle in full metadata record

Trigger presentation at eLearning in Health 2011 Conference

June 7, 2011 Leave a comment

I will be presenting a trigger presentation at the eLearning in Health Conference to be held on 27th and 28th June at the Aston Conference Centre in Birmingham. Conference web-site is here, abstract below.

Intended Learning Outcomes:

– Learn more about the developing institutional and national OER infrastructures supported by JISC
– Discuss how these can be streamlined across the sector and improved/adapted  to more fully support subject specific requirements (e.g. health)


The ALPS CETL repository project (ACErep) is examining the requirements of a repository infrastructure in local, regional and national contexts to more effectively facilitate sharing and reuse of appropriately licensed medical teaching, learning and assessment material.

Three institutions in the ALPS consortium – the University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University and York St John University – all use different commercial platforms for their teaching and learning repositories. In addition there is the national HE/FE repository Jorum, and the NHS National eLearning Repository (NeLR).

Informed by a user-group of institutional stakeholders, the goal of ACErep is to develop a clearly branded web-site from where staff at the respective institutions can:

  • deposit resources into their own institutional repository
  • cross-search the repositories from a single interface

In addition, we have developed ties with the JISC funded PORSCHE project at Newcastle University which aims to provide seamless access to academic and clinical learning resources for healthcare students primarily from the respective collections in Jorum and the NeLR.

The project utilises well-established repository technologies and has adapted an Open Source client to differentially deposit into a user’s institutional repository and liaised with Jorum to harvest metadata from multiple repositories. ACErep and PORSCHE are also working with Jorum on their development of an Open API (Application Programming Interface) upon which we can build a bespoke search portal. This work, in turn, builds on a prototype developed in collaboration with the Xpert repository at Nottingham University.

This approach will have the benefit of digital assets being preserved in one location (an institutional repository) while providing multiple points of access as well as allowing the ALPS branded web-site and the institutional repositories to “piggyback” on Jorum’s Google pagerank thereby improving discoverability.

The presentation will comprise a summary of the ACErep project to date; the emphasis will not be technical though technical implications and requirements will be discussed.

Attendees: eLearning professionals in health related fields