LRMI Implementation: Overview Issues and Experiences

Link: Implementation: Overview issues and experiences (PDF)
Link: LRMI Implementation: Overview issues and experiences (MS Word .docx)

This paper presents a summary and synthesis of ten Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) implementation projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates and William and Flora Hewlett Foundations between 2012 and 2013. Funding was allocated to ten OER platforms, through Creative Commons, as part of the Gates funded LRMI project. Cetis were commissioned by Creative Commons to produce cases studies on each project, and to undertake a synthesis of their experiences and outputs.

This synthesis outlines the methodology undertaken, before presenting a brief introduction to each OER platform along with an overview of platform functionality, scope, and technologies deployed. All ten platforms adopted different approaches to implementing LRMI, which are examined in the context of metadata creation and curation workflows. A summary of the implementation projects’ interaction with the Learning registry is also included together with the outlook for sustainable LRMI implementation.

Since its establishment in 2011, the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) has aimed to make it easier to publish, discover, and deliver quality educational resources on the web. From 2011 to 2014 the initiative was co-led by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) – the 501(c)(3) division of the Association of American Publishers, and Creative Commons, and funded in three phases by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In October 2014 the leadership and governance of LRMI passed to the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, a long-established metadata community with expertise in metadata design, implementation and best practice.
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HEDIIP New Subject Coding Scheme: Impact Assessment and Requirements Definition

Link: New Subject Coding Scheme Impact Assessment and Requirements Definition (PDF)

The New Subject Coding System project was commissioned by HEDIIP (the Higher Education Data & Information Improvement Programme) to develop a replacement to JACS for classifying the subjects of courses offered in UK Higher Education. Cetis (assisted by Alan Paull Services Ltd) were engaged to undertake stage 1 of the project, which involved extensive stakeholder engagement examining the requirements and impact relating to a new subject coding scheme. The findings of this work are presented in this report.

The response of stakeholders to the consultation of stage 1 of the NSCS suggests that, provided a case for change can be stated clearly, it is desirable to introduce a new subject coding scheme. In order to progress that development, the report recommends that:

  • both prototypes be developed further with an expectation to converge them into a single prototype, depending on further feedback;
  • a new governance model be developed under the auspices of an existing sector organisation, with broad representation;
  • a subject coding framework be developed alongside a specific core scheme.

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What is

Link: What is  (PDF) is a joint initiative of the search engines Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex aimed at making it easier to index web pages in such a way that facilitates the building of sophisticated search services. metadata may also be used for other applications e.g. in eBooks and as stand-alone metadata records.

This briefing describes for a technical audience. It is aimed at people who may want to implement markup in websites or other tools they build but who wish to know more about the technical approach behind and how to implement it. We also hope that this briefing will be useful to those who are evaluating whether to implement to meet the requirements of their own organization.

This briefing has been produced as part of the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI), which is concerned with extending and applying to the description of educationally relevant properties of resources. Other briefings in this series will provide an in-depth overview of LRMI.

[If you wish to take advantage of the CC-By licence and edit your version, there is a copy on Google docs that you may clone, or you may download a zip archive of the files used to create the PDF in Scribus, this archive includes the plain text and the images.]


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Learning Resource Metadata Initiative: using to describe open educational resources.

Link: Learning Resource Metadata Initiative: using to describe open educational resources (PDF).

This paper, presented at the Open CourseWare Consortium Global Conference in Ljubljana in April 2014, discusses the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI), an international project that aims to facilitate the discovery of educational resources through the use of embedded metadata that can be used by search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yandex) to refine the search services they offer. LRMI has extended the metadata vocabulary with terms that are specifically relevant to aiding the discovery of learning resources. In order to understand LRMI metadata it is necessary to first introduce metadata. LRMI was later funded to assist a number of services providing open educational resources in modifying their display interfaces so that they included relevant embedded metadata. In addition to synthesizing the lessons learned from these implementations, the current phase of the LRMI project is engaging with potential users, including search providers and learning resource developers, with the aim of extending the uptake and implementation of the specification.

Also available: video and slides of presentation from conference web site.
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Activity Data and Paradata

Illustration of activity data and paradataLink: Activity Data and Paradata (pdf)
Link: Activity Data and Paradata (MS Word .docx)

This briefing introduces a range of approaches and specifications for recording and exchanging data generated by the interactions of users with resources.

Such data is a form of Activity Data, which can be defined as “the record of any user action that can be logged on a computer”. Meaning can be derived from Activity Data by querying it to reveal patterns and context, this is often referred to as Analytics. Activity Data can be shared as an Activity Stream, a list of recent activities performed by an individual. Initiatives such as OpenSocial, ActivityStreams and TinCan API have produced specifications and APIs to share Activity Data across platforms and applications.

While Activity Streams record the actions of individual users and their interactions with multiple resources and services, other specifications have been developed to record the actions of multiple users on individual resources. This data about how and in what context resources are used is often referred to as Paradata. A specification for recording and exchanging paradata has been developed by the Learning Registry, an open source content-distribution network for storing and sharing information about learning resources.
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Writing in Book Sprints

Link: Writing in Book Sprints (OER13 Conference Paper) (PDF)
Link: Writing in Book Sprints (OER13 Conference Paper) (MS Word .doc)

Outlines a novel approach taken by Jisc and Cetis to synthesise and disseminate the technical outputs and findings of three years of HEFCE funded UKOER Programmes. Rather than employing a consultant to produce a final synthesis report, the authors decided to undertake the task themselves by participating in a three-day book sprint facilitated by Adam Hyde of Over the course of the three days the authors wrote and edited a complete draft of a 21,000 word book titled “Technology for Open Educational Resources: Into the Wild – Reflections of three years of the UKOER programmes”.
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The Learning Registry: social networking for open educational resources?

The Learning Registry: social networking for open educational resources? (OER13 Conference paper) (PDF)
The Learning Registry: social networking for open educational resources? (OER13 Conference paper) (MS Word .doc)

This paper reflects on Cetis’ involvement with the Learning Registry and Jisc’s Learning Registry Node Experiment at Mimas (The JLeRN Experiment), and their application to UKOER initiatives. Initially funded by the US Departments of Education and Defense, the Learning Registry (LR) is an open source network for storing and distributing metadata and curriculum, activity and social usage data about learning resources across diverse educational systems.
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New approaches to describing and discovering open educational resources

Link: New Approaches to Describing and Discovering Open Educational Resources (OER13 Conference paper)(PDF)
Link: New Approaches to Describing and Discovering Open Educational Resources (OER13 Conference paper) (MS Word .doc)

This paper reports and reflects on the innovative technical approaches adopted by UKOER projects to resource description, search engine optimisation and resource discovery. The HEFCE UKOER programmes ran for three years from 2009 to 2012 and funded a large number and variety of projects focused on releasing open educational resources (OERs) and embedding open practice. The Cetis Innovation Support Centre was tasked by JISC with providing strategic advice, technical support and direction throughout the programme. One constant across the diverse UKOER projects was their desire to ensure the resources they released could be discovered by people who might benefit from them; if no one can find an OER no one will use it. This paper will focus on three specific approaches with potential to achieve this aim: search engine optimisation, embedding metadata in the form of microdata, and sharing “paradata” information about how resources are used.
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Into the wild – Technology for open educational resources

Reflections on three years of the UK OER Programmes.

Between 2009 and 2012 the Higher Education Funding Council funded a series of programmes to encourage higher education institutions in the UK to release existing educational content as Open Educational Resources. The HEFCE funded UK OER Programme was run and managed by the JISC and the Higher Education Academy. The JISC CETIS “OER Technology Support Project” provided support for technical innovation across this programme. This book synthesises and reflects on the approaches taken and lessons learnt across the Programme and by the Support Project.

This book is not intended as a beginners guide or a technical manual, instead it is an expert synthesis of the key technical issues arising from a national publicly-funded programme. It is intended for people working with technology to support the creation, management, dissemination and tracking of open educational resources, and particularly those who design digital infrastructure and services at institutional and national level.


Published by University of Bolton, Deane Road, Bolton, BL3 5AB

ISBN: 978-0-907311-35-5 (print on demand: book (£3.36) printed by Lulu; or free pdf to print yourself)
ISBN: 978-0-907311-36-2 (ebook, Kindle: free download; or from Amazon (77p))
ISBN: 978-0-907311-37-9 (ebook, ePub: free download)
ISBN: 978-0-907311-38-6 (ebook, pdf: free download)
(All prices are the minimum for the distribution channel)

Licence and source

Creative Commons Licence Into the wild – Technology for open educational resources by Amber Thomas, Lorna M. Campbell, Phil Barker and Martin Hawksey (Eds) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

You are free to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work) to remix (to adapt the work) and to make commercial use of the work under the proviso that you attribute the origin of the work (if possible please include the title, the names of the editors / authors and a link to this page).

To help you re-use this work editable formats are available. We originally wrote the book using the BookType, an online collaborative authoring and publishing platform. Booktype will allow you to clone our source, contact Phil Barker if you would like to do so. There is also a Word .docx file that we used for the final published versions.

Errors and bugs?

There are some minor bugs in some versions: bullet points don’t display well on the kindle version, reference links are erratic on the ePub version (more for some readers than others), the images on the print pdf have white lines on them. We hope none of these are serious problems for you. If you do find a serious problem please contact Phil Barker.

JISC Observatory Technology Forecast Literature Review

Link: JISC Observatory technology forecast literature review (doc).

This report is a summary of technology themes extracted from the major technology forecasting publications from business and other sectors that could conceivably be relevant to the UK higher education system. We do not attempt to make evaluative comments concerning these trends, and specifically we do not attempt to speculate on the importance of the technologies identified for education.
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