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Metadata

One of the first meetings staged was on Metadata: the way the educational material will be marked up before loading up to the online repository. Each module or content package that will be made available to the public via the Open Exeter project must be described using metadata to allow it to be searchable. Information such as module title, description and langauge should be stored with the actual learning object to describe what it is.

To host the content packages, a DSpace repository will be used, especially created for the Open Exeter project. DSpace repositories are split into Communities which hold Collections of Objects. By having a specific repository for the project we will be able to make full use of all three levels in the DSpace hierarchy (instead of having to name the Collection ‘Open Exeter’ if the repository was shared with another project).

Regaring Metadata, DSpace uses a schema called Dublin Core. This has its own headings for describing learning objects. However, LOM is another schema specifically created with Learning Objects in mind and it was decided to use this instead. This presented the problem of choosing the relevant fields from the LOM schema and ensuring that they can be mapped not only to the Dublin Core fields but also to the IntraLibrary schema, used by Jorum (the content packages are also to be loaded into the Jorum online repository).

A draft of the suggested schema to be used in the Open Exeter project can be seen at:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=rJZg7S1A4Z6h0s-UyBh5J2A&output=html

Ian Wellaway

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