OER Metadata - what are you using? how is it working? can we work together?

This is a very interesting question! Thank you for bringing it up. We are using LRMI in the Finnish Library of Open Educational Resources. Before choosing what to use, we compared a few of the most used metadata models, but unfortunately we have information on the comparisons only in Finnish. Mainly we chose LRMI because it has possibilities to describe the OERs with curriculum related information and it is not overly complicated. This is important because we do not have experts making the metadata but it is generated by the creators and users of the OER. We made a national profile of LRMI with translations and recommendations for vocabularies. During our work we also tested it with teachers from different educational sectors and we found some needs for improvement that we have since implemented. We also cooperate with libraries and this has brought some further additions. We are happy to share our experinces with implementing LRMI with interested people.

We are currently also testing an AI-solution to further enrich the metadata (it’s called Annif). According to our current test it would enable more metadata, but not necessarily metadata that helps in searching OER. It might come to it that more development is needed for it to be useful for educational resources.

I will also discuss about this briefly in my lighting talk today in a few minutes: :sync: Designing an OER Platform to Support Continuous Learning and All Educational Sectors

1 Like

Thank you for you lightning talk, @annalin. It was very interesting, as we also have similar questions about how to deal with different education levels in germany.

We are also testing Annif at TIB, but not yet in OER context. So I would be really interested in the results of your tests and possible further steps for development.

Sure! We have a meeting on the first results and continuation of steps to improve metadata mid-December. I could send you an email after that to recap on our findings? Just need your email!

University of Jyväskylä has already implemented Annif with their repository for theses’. For them it has apparently been an improvement. Osma wrote about it and other implementations in this publication: https://www.doria.fi/handle/10024/169004

Thanks @annalin - sounds like great work underway!

I wanted to share with you a new tool that I encountered - the R3 Conclave Platform. I’ll do my best to describe it here, though my Partner is really the technical expert in this domain.

Conclave is an interesting platform as it allows for running AI models on private data sources without the need to disclose the data (data is held in a secured memory and only approved code is allowed to execute). This raises interesting opportunities to run AI on HSPII (aka. Highly Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information) data sets, such as Student Information System data, without disclosure of the actual data. My partner @iwonajs is really the technical expert in this area.

I’d be happy to discuss further if you’re interested.


Good to see so much interest in OER Metadata! Just a quick note that my colleagues at hbz did some interesting work on this as well. They set up a professional environment for the development of metadata standards based on Github and Respec (see https://github.com/dini-ag-kim/oer-stoeberspecs, in German, but google translate will do the job) as well as a SKOS-based metadata editor: https://skohub.io/.


Here is a link to a talk at DCMI Virtual from my colleague Adrian about how they are developing a common metadata profile based on JSON-LD and schema.org: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UZVHNZ_zLA (slides). See also information on the whole LRMI session at https://www.dublincore.org/conferences/2020/presentations/lrmi_metadata_in_use/. If you want to learn more about SkoHub that is heavily used in creating the metadata profile and controlled vocabularies, you will find plenty of material in the workshop repo my colleagues currently prepare for SWIB20 which will happen next week. https://github.com/skohub-io/swib20-workshop/blob/main/resources/README.md


Thank you for the interesting links and info @Shawn and @trugwaldsaenger! There is so much interesting going on that I seem to be running out of time to get to know everything, but I marked a slot in my calendar later to get to know these initiatives :slight_smile: It’s also a good chance to practice my Deutsch! Great to see LRMI in use and also to read about the struggles in implementation. With the Finnish Library of Open Educational Resources we use oai-pmh-protocol to pass our metadata to libraries, so that means we had to express LRMI in xml which had a few problems that we hopefully found an okay solutions to.

Thank you for those great links. I will take a closer look in the near future. Germany invests in initiatives that make OER more sustainable. One of which is the inter-operability of the OER system to avoid silos. Great model! @Shawn could you share the link to that organization that creates an OER University Network in Germany?

Yes, this is a complex problem and yes this is important to address. I have done quite a few projects on OER metadata (and still am):

  • Last year at OE Global I did an action lab on OER and recognizing quality, where my statement was: If an OER is metadated properly, it will give you information on the quality of the resource. I think that quality OER should meet a number of universal quality standards that you can simply find in the metadata, without having to analyse the resource itself. I would also argue that improper metadated OER is inherently bad OER (which does not mean it is a bad teaching material). The issue we couldn’t solve in this action lab was again the variety of metadating standards and the variety of content that requires different metadata.
  • We have analyzed open source metadata sets of a number of open textbook repositories, to get an extensive overview of all of the open textbooks that are available. While these textbooks lacked quite a lot of metadata, we did find lcc identifiers for most of them, so we are close to having an exhaustive overview of open textbooks per knowledge field.
  • We are involved with different teaching communities that produce OER on a regular basis. An important aspect of pubklishing OER as a community, is designing a taxonomy for the OER. This way, it is easy to navigate the OER collection for anyone who is interested in the field, teacher or student

I am very much interested in conversations on open standards for OER metadata. Please do not hesitate to contact me to collaborate.

1 Like

Certainly @iwonajs , here is the link to the original white-paper design for their OER repository from 2011. In addition, I’ve included the WIkipedia page on the company an the companies URL.

What I found interesting about this initiative was the use of “Communities of Practice” model as the foundation for building the product features. This is closely aligned with my research published in 2008 (link below as well).


Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edu-sharing

Company: https://edu-sharing.com/jobs/?lang=en

Shawn Berney - Chapter 19: Building Communities of Practice (Book: “Education for a Digital World”): http://oasis.col.org/handle/11599/52

Hello, here are some answers from some French colleagues: “As far we know, there is no specific standardisation effort for OERs’ description. However, the ISO has normalised a description norme of pedagogical resources (19788 family called MLR pour « Metadata for Learning Resources »). OER being pedagogical resources, their description would for sure benefit from ISO normative works. Yolaine Bourda (Centrale Supelec) is co-president of CN36 commission for learning technologies (this commission being the miroir of SC36 of the ISO), working on long term for the modernisation of supl-lom-fr” @Jacques_Dang

1 Like