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1 Sue White, Project Manager, On-Line Services Coleg Sir Gar, Llanelli, South Wales 30 th May 2003

2 2001 Research, Development & Collaboration South West Wales e-Learning Consortium 10 local FE & HE Institutions SME Training Needs Analysis – 150 companies Research into Pedagogy and Learning Styles Materials development – 8 Institutions Distance learning delivery – 5000+ hours Pedagogy effectiveness evaluation through questionnaire and focus groups Consideration of materials development costs -v- effectiveness

3 Collaboration – does it work? Does Collaboration work? DISADVANTAGES Historical rivalry Different cultures Different strategic objectives Different specialisms

4 Collaboration – does it work? Does Collaboration work? ADVANTAGES Minimises duplication of materials development Reduces costs associated with development Expands the materials resources available to partner colleges Enables exploitation of each individual institutions area of expertise Avoids duplication of resources Different specialisms and development focus IS IT WORTH IT? We think so

5 Partners Collaborations & Funding Partners Higher EducationFurther EducationFunding

6 2002 – The Main Problem? The Problem We had the materials, an identity and 7 VLEs how could we share them? JISC South West Wales Content Interoperability Project This involved testing IMS Metadata and Content Packaging Specifications and the concept of using a Digital Repository 10 partners:5 FE Colleges 4 Vendors 1 Digital Repository

7 Content Interoperability What is Content Interoperability? The ability to share content between different learning environments without the need for amendments How? Using the XML driven IMS content packaging and metadata specifications which enable content to be stored in the VLE or digital repository and allow it to be searched using a variety of search-strings such as: Keywords Date produced Developer Subject Taxonomy Contents

8 Interoperability, The Objectives To test content interoperability between all consortium materials and participating VLEs To work with vendors to identify and action opportunities to improve interoperability To demonstrate the re-use of interoperable learning objects stored in a digital repository Interoperability: The Objectives

9 HOW? Removing the Mystery The first step Learning the specifications - we set about removing the mystery from metadata and content packaging What is metadata? The data needed to describe a learning object that makes searching for it in a Digital Repository or VLE more convenient What is Content Packaging? A learning object has to be packaged in order for it to be stored in a repository. The package will be in XML format which will allow interoperability

10 What can interoperability do for you the learning technologists and institutions? The Impacts It can enable you to share resources with partner colleges and businesses through a digital repository Prevent institutions being tied in to one vendor With the right standards and specifications it can allow accurate and timely monitoring of student progress It can allow you to mix and match generic content enabling the development of be-spoke courses Correct development can prevent problems associated with the changing requirements of awarding bodies Ultimately, it can water down development costs through re-use of content in distant and blended learning

11 2003 – The Next Step Research & Development 3 Training Networks in Wales South West Wales E-training Network – 11 HE & FE Partners Science & Technology at Levels 3 and above Focus on materials interoperability, digital repositories, pedagogy evaluation, instructional design master classes, accessibility & bilingualism

12 Want to find out more? Further Information Contacts: Professor Tony Toole, Head of On-Line Services Sue White, Project Manager Graham Ashman, Project Officer

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