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Newcastle University’s Dynamic Learning Maps1 system (developed with JISC funding) is now embedded in the MBBS curriculum, and now being taken up in Geography and other subject areas. Interest from the Royal Veterinary College and University of Bradford is beginning to see wider uptake of this innovative approach to curriculum delivery, which already collects sophisticated ‘paradata’ (usage information about educational resources).

Rapid Innovation Dynamic Learning Maps-Learning Registry (RIDLR)

Project Background

Newcastle University’s Dynamic Learning Maps system (developed with JISC funding) is now embedded in the MBBS curriculum, and now being taken up in Geography and other subject areas. Interest from the Royal Veterinary College and University of Bradford is beginning to see wider uptake of this innovative approach to curriculum delivery, which already collects sophisticated ‘paradata’ (usage information about educational resources). The Learning Registry2 is a US funded initiative with an experimental UK node (The JLeRN Experiment3) designed to share paradata to encourage networks and communities built around shared interests, with the possibility to increase uptake of open educational resources and practices.

Project Aims and Outputs

In RIDLR we will test the release of contextually rich paradata via the JLeRN Experiment to the Learning Registry and harvest back paradata about prescribed and additional personally collected resources used within and to augment the MBBS curriculum, to enhance the experience of teachers and learners.

Digital resource discovery is difficult for teachers and learners because high quality educational resources are widely distributed. Finding open educational resources (OER) and other materials related to specific topics is difficult and time consuming because meta data and categorisation is frequently only done at subject level. In RIDLR we will apply innovative approaches to help address this issue with dynamic harvesting of OER for specific topics displayed within the context of the curriculum and personal learning maps enhanced with semantic matching techniques, drawing together terminology from both formal metadata and common language (aka ‘folksonomy’).

RIDLR builds on existing JISC-funded projects; Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM), interactive curriculum and personal learning maps; and a JISC-CETIS miniproject to prototype OER-specific social bookmarking and seeks to integrate with Learning Registry data to encourage personalised learning and teaching experiences. The team will draw on its extensive expertise with OER including leading five projects in the JISC UK OER programmes to work closely with the JLeRN Experiment and its early adopters.

We will develop open APIs to harvest and release paradata on OER from end-users (bookmarks, tags, comments, ratings and reviews etc) from the Learning Registry and other sources for specific topics, within the context of curriculum and personal maps. These will in turn be openly released to the community, and use cases documented and shared. Teachers and learners will benefit from contextualised curricular access to topic-specific OER and from more sophisticated searching for resources and viewing related paradata, augmenting prescribed resources and enabling a more cohesive and personalised experience.

Project Staff

Project manager:

  • Simon Cotterill, School of Medical Sciences Education Development, Faculty of Medical Sciences,Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, tel. +44 (0)191 246 4540, simon.cotterill@ncl.ac.uk

Summary
Start date
19 March 2012
End date
19 October 2012
Funding programme
Academy/JISC Open Educational Resources Programme Phase 3
Strand
OER Rapid Innovation
Project website
Lead institutions

Newcastle University

Topic