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At present Moodle has a repository which does not have functionality for uploading and tagging resources. It is also not searchable. This project is designed to develop a repository module for Moodle that will allow, uploading, tagging, sharing and searching. As Moodle is fast becoming the most popular VLE in the FE sector as well as being increasingly used in the HE sector it is hoped this will have a significant impact in promoting sharing of resources in many institutions.

Moodle Repository Create, Upload, Tag and Embed (MR-CUTE)

Rapid Innovation Project

MR-CUTE has recieved extra funding for a second phase of the project.

Overview

The core version of Moodle has a repository which does not have functionality for uploading and tagging resources. It is also not searchable. MrCute was initially designed to develop a repository module for Moodle to allow uploading, tagging, sharing and searching. As Moodle is fast becoming the most popular VLE in the FE sector as well as being increasingly used in the HE sector it was believed this will have a significant impact in promoting sharing of resources in many institutions.

The original MrCute was delivered as a “patch” to Moodle and disseminated as required by 31st March 2008. However, a continuing overview and development site remained open and it became clear that although MrCute answered many needs, and was widely taken up, there were further improvements which could be made.

This document adds new material to the original MrCute outline in order to describe the second development phase. Original content from phase 1 is retained in italics to enable comparisons.

Aims and objectives

Phase 1

This project aims:

  • To encourage and simplify the sharing and exchange of materials between institutions delivering HE (including Foundation courses) by provide a simple mechanism to automatically convert resources in document and image formats to IMS compliant packages and to upload them to the Moodle Repository. It will include a method for keywording materials both by the author/uploader. A second function will, where considered necessary, allow materials to be examined and authorised (and if necessary further keyworded) by Learning Resources or other relevant staff
  • To encourage the embedding of elearning by providing an intuitive search mechanism to allow users to find materials which might be relevant to their courses - even where the title of a piece of learning material would not suggest such usefulness. For example, an interactive package dealing with "body language" might have been created in the context of a business studies degree, but may have relevance in a Social Care context. At present, only a "browse by title" facility is available
Phase 2

This project aims to:

  1. Evaluate perceived strengths and weaknesses of the MR CUTE repository as it now exists
  2. Identify and build further functionality into the MR CUTE repository
  3. Investigate and develop best practice models for institutional and cross institutional engagement with the MR CUTE repository.
  4. Work with the Jorum team to examine ways of linking up MR CUTE with Jorum
Phase 1

The project objectives are:

  • Develop uploading and tagging functionality in Moodle repository
  • Develop search functionality in Moodle repository
  • To beta test the repository in a number of institutions
  • To release the final repository under an open source licence to the moodle community.
Phase 2

The project objectives are to:

  • Survey users of MR CUTE regarding strengths and weaknesses of the MR CUTE repository
  • Build a list of features that users would like to see developed
  • Develop those features in MR CUTE
  • Work with a small group of organisations using MR CUTE to investigate effectiveness of different models of implementation of the repository, especially in terms of staff involvement
  • Research the literature on repository implementation to identify best practice
  • Develop an implement a best practice strategy for embedding a repository in an organisation. (MR CUTE at Worcester College of Technology)
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the best practice model developed at WCT and at least three other FE institutions
  • Enable searching of the Jorum repository from MR CUTE
  • Enable adding content from the Jorum repository to Moodle courses
  • Enable adding content to the Jorum repository from MR CUTE
  • Work with the Moodle organisation to ensure that MrCute functionality is eventually included in Moodle core

Anticipated outputs and outcomes

Phase 1
  • Moodle modules to be made available on moodle.org under a GNU General Public License.
  • Full coding and data storage specifications and documentation.
  • User guidance and documentation
  • Online dissemination event

Phase 2
  • MR CUTE 2.0 with enhanced functionality.
  • A paper which develops a research based model of best practice for embedding a repository within an educational organisation.
  • A case study of embedding MR CUTE within an FE College (Worcester College of Technology) using the best practice model
  • Comparative case studies of embedding MR CUTE in 3 other organisations.
  • Website with project documentation, case studies, best practice model and download facilities for MR CUTE
  • Incorporation on MrCute (or equivalent functionality) within Moodle core code

Project methodology

Phase 1

The project will be managed by Peter Kilcoyne, Director of ILT at Worcester College of Technology. The repository will be built by Richard Goddard and Alastair Hole. The software will be alpha tested by the project team and once ready beta tested by a number of institutions that are using Moodle.

Phase 2

The project will be directed by Peter Kilcoyne, Director of ILT at Worcester College of Technology, but managed by Richard Goddard who will also design the coding specification and author the Administration and Teacher Manuals. A substantial research and development role has been created, which will be taken by Helen Brady. Alastair Hole has been re-appointment as lead programmer. The software will be alpha tested by the project team and once ready beta tested by a number of institutions that are using Moodle.

Research will begin in July 2008 and will inform the creation of the initial specification and Teacher Manual which are expected to be ready in draft form by the end of August 2008, when coding will begin. Research and revision will continue throughout the development stage. The bulk of the coding will be completed by the end of December 2008 in order to allow testing, investigation af usage and usability, modifications and bug fixing by the time of final release in March 2009, at which time (or earlier) research findings will also be published and disseminated.

Technology / Standards used

The project will follow IMS standards

Lead Institution

Worcester College of Technology

Project partners

Richard Goddard (Learning Objectivity)

Project Staff

Project Manager
Project Team

Documents & Multimedia