Friday, 20 February 2009

Bootstrapping the culture of sharing: refining our understanding of learning objects

or oooer as I like to think about it....

Bootstrapping a Culture of Sharing to Facilitate Open Educational Resources
, Davis, H., Carr, L., Hey, J., Howard, Y., Millard, D., Morris, D. and White, S. (2009) Bootstrapping a Culture of Sharing to Facilitate Open Educational Resources. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies . (In Press)

We have been working on a paper for the IEEE Trans on Learning Technologies on some of the cultural change aspects of our experiences of working with repositories. Its about our experience of developing EdShare, but also reflects a rather richer back catalogue of experiences of establishing and using repositories, plus a few insights into the heady world of technology enhanded learning.

We are really proud of the progress we are making with the EdShare repository of educational resources, and its kid sib language learning repository called Faroes.

Thanks to shed loads of hard work on scholarly repositories led by Stevan Harnad and Les Carr from right here in ECS at the University of Southampton, we have built ourselves a real track record in that very important area.

EPrints is an open source repository which has blossomed thanks to the the hard working EPrints team with support from JISC. Our paper is not concerned with the technical aspects of the software, but more importantly about the organisational learning which we have derived from our intense usage of EPrints respoitories - probably most importantly because, compared to other well know repositories, we observe that EPrints users not only install their repository, they actually populate it.

Here at Southampton we have EPrints repositories for academic publications in ECS, and across the whole institution (University of Southampton). We are also using EPrints to drive our eTheses repository, and our EdShare repository of resources used educationally for teaching and the support of learning.

We not only have ground level experience of installing and running the repositories, but we are also getting increasingly sophisticated in our understanding of the most effective organisational drivers which can not only get the repository established but also get it used.

Many different colleagues have identified advantages from using the repositories, each individual will have a personal priority list. Findability figures big on the list. People like to be able to find their own stuff irrespective of moving on to new machines, or new institutions. We also like the fact that items in the repository are findable - classic search engines index the repository, and even if the paper is not world visible, will provide a pointer to its existence, often resulting in individual approaches for further information - thereby enhancing and enriching the scholarly knowledge network.

well that's enough of me blowing our trumpet, take a look at the paper if you want a little more information, oh and why don't you take a look at EPrints....

Potential users can find out more about the system and set in train further contactvia the software site hosted at

No comments: