Ed Tech UI Guy

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Accessing OCW through DSpace

I just had a meeting with someone working on a project called CWSpace: "CWSpace, a Microsoft iCampus-funded project to investigate the standards and protocols necessary to archive educational material produced under the OpenCourseWare initiative into long-term digital repositories like DSpace." (from MIT Libraries Annual Report FY 2003-2004) Not only will CWSpace store archive materials from OCW, it will open up an API allowing other tools to access them.

It will be great when an instructor working in Stellar or Sakai can pull in useful learning materials from OCW right from their class website. Since Stellar sites are marked with Dublin Core metadata, and DSpace items are marked with Dublin Core metadata, it should be possible to have an automated suggestion. For example, I'm in the website for my Mongolian History class, and I click 'import materials.' I land on a page that has the traditional search fields for finding stuff in a repository, but also has right there a heading saying "here are some materials that might be useful" with the most relevant Mongolian History tagged items from the archive.

OCW has already vetted all of the materials for copy right, so the instructor isn't taking any risk. And OCW becomes an even better way for instructors to share - export from Stellar to OCW, and once the processing is done those materials will be available to other instructors. OCW even has professionals creating useful metadata, so the instructor doesn't have to.

Update: Here's the new CWSpace website.