Research ∕ Learning

Learning object repositories

Lorcan 1 min read

A review of six learning object repositories from EduTools has been made available. It appears as a Word document and an associated Excel spreadsheet with feature comparisons.
Six products are chosen for comparison: HarvestRoad Hive; Intrallect Intralibrary; NorthPlains Telescope Enterprise; Ex Libris Digitool; Concord Masterfile; Dspace.
They are compared under ten broad headings: Discovery Tools; Aggregation Tools; Community & Evaluation; Meta-tagging; Content Management; Digital Rights Management & Fulfillment; Presentation and Consortia Issues; Integration and Interoperability; Technical Considerations; Pricing/ Licensing/Other.

As institutions start to make their way down the road of reusable and shareable learning objects they are also facing choices on how to store, locate, and share this content and are struggling with the new field of Learning Object Repositories (LOR), or more generally digital content repositories. A brief survey by the EduTools team found not fewer than a dozen competing LOR packages aimed at post-secondary education, far more if one expands the list to include Learning Content Management Systems and digital archive software that some institutions are choosing to address similar problems.

Repository is one of those words which it is now difficult to use without qualification if we want to ensure shared understanding. Interestingly, even learning object repository seems to be a moving target. The list above is not restricted to software which, say, understands IMS content packages.
As universities and other institutions begin managing more digital assets a major issue seems to be the balance between generalized repository frameworks and the specialized demands of particular categories of material.
Link spotted on EdTechPost.

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