University of Nottingham (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Page: 2280
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
The University of Nottingham is working with a number of partner institutions to progress the vision of a distributed architecture for the development of interactive learning content, and the submission of that content into open access repositories. The demonstration will show how recent developments to the Xerte suite of tools are allowing several partner institutions to jointly produce content for publication in open-access repositories, and show how many of the issues involved in the creation and distribution of open access resources are being identified and addressed.

Xerte Online Toolkits is a suite of open-source browser-based tools that allow content developers to develop rich, interactive and highly accessible content quickly and easily and to seamlessly publish that content online. Collaboration with other content developers is facilitated, and it is easy to share and re-use content with other users. The system is extensible by developers, and provides a proven, flexible and powerful solution.

Recent developments add to this by making it easy to add metadata to the learning resources, and to expose learning resources for harvesting by open-access repositories. The content is exposed to the repository through an RSS feed bearing the necessary metadata, allowing the repository to add value to the content through the providion of functionality allowing, for example, resources to be rated and shared. Crucially, resources remain with the institution that developed them, removing many of the barriers to repository use that other initiatives have encountered when requiring that the content itself be submitted.

The demonstration will highlight the benefits of a distributed repository over more traditional models and demonstrate how Web 2.0 techniques - such as allowing users to rate and share the repository's content - are able to add value. We will also show how we enable content to be easily re-purposed and re-used. Building on the work done with a number of partner institutions, we will explore a range of cultural, technological and organisational issues associated with developing open-access content in general and the adoption of such a system in particular.