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EdReNe – Current state of educational repositories – national overview



Lithuanian LOM Repository

Lithuanian governmental Learning Object Metadata (LOM) repository is based on reusability concept. In this concept the notion of Learning Object (LO) is 'any digital resource that can be reused to support learning'. It should be possible to use LOs in different learning environments and to use, modify and improve existing LOs to suit specific learning situations.

The Lithuanian concept for flexible Digital Library of Educational Resources and Services (DLE) is based on the proposition that it should consist mainly on 'ultimately reusable' LOs and their metadata repositories as well as appropriate services to create, modify and manage LOs, e.g. modularised highly adaptive open source VLEs.

In conformity with this concept ultimate reusability of LOs should be ensured by their partition to two main separate parts (Learning Assets – LAs and Units of Learning – UoLs) which should work independently and should have clear different functions:

LAs are considered not to be directly interconnected with particular pedagogical activities / designs, and therefore it should be possible to reuse the same LAs to implement different learning designs;

UoLs are conversely considered to be LOs containing learning activities / designs reusable for different subjects and different LOs / LAs.

DLE scheme based on flexible, modular architecture and as small as possible open source reusable e-content and e-services components is presented in the illustration below.

The scheme of components of flexible DLE

In this way pedagogical and organisational flexibility can be ensured as well as a reduction of costs per LO for a specific user.

An overview of the repository:

Central LOM repository for schools

  • A user-friendly interface to aggregate LOs metadata into LOM repository was created.

Interface to aggregate LOs metadata into LOM repository

  • Metadata for more than 1200 Lithuanian learning resources was created by specially trained indexers in conformity with LOM AP and aggregated into LOM repository,
  • All approved distance learning courses were disaggregated to smaller courses and even to LOs level and were described in conformity with LOM. Disaggregated smaller courses were introduced as SCORM 2004 packages to reuse in different VLEs. All these LOs are available in centralised LOM repository.
  • The LOM repository is connected to European Learning Resource Exchange (LRE) system via Simple Query Interface technology and Brokerage system.

In 2008 LOM repository was enriched with additional services. Additional services of its open / informational part are presented in the illustration below:

Additional services of closed / administrative part are: (1) metadata import in XML format; (2) fixation of LRE AP version used; (3) portrait of LRE AP versions’ comparison; (4) classifiers’ management by desirable elements; (5) metadata elements creation using classifiers; (6) management of users’ comments; (7) extended LO search; (8) legal mark if LO could be exported to LRE; (9) administrator’s guide.

Lithuanian LOM repository development is part of national ICT in Education Strategy and Program for 2008 – 2012. The vision of the Strategy is to create qualitative new and flexible students and teachers learning environments which would provide them personalised (customised) learning possibilities in electronic space and stimulate creation and implementation of modern ICT based teaching and learning methods. There are four objectives emphasized in this Strategy:

  1. To create digital learning content and to develop modern teaching and learning services.
  2. To form digital teaching and learning infrastructure, to improve schools provision with hardware and software, and increase access to ICT.
  3. To educate schools communities competencies, to effectively apply ICT for education, to improve teaching and learning quality, and to develop digital teaching and learning culture.
  4. To apply ICT in educational process organisation and schools management.

The following tasks are planned to achieve the 1st objective:

  1. To create convenient digital learning resources (objects) search system to integrate curriculum with resources (objects) and e-services.
  2. To prepare interactive teaching and learning content with the help of different institutions, active teachers and scientists.
  3. To create open and safe teaching and learning space for storage of curriculum compliant learning content for different subjects which would provide possibilities to consult, discuss and exchange ideas.
  4. To implement international digital learning resources (objects) metadata standards, and to stimulate international cooperation to create learning content and e-services.
  5. To prepare and confirm legal acts (to protect authors, publishers and users rights) which would motivate pedagogues and publishers to create and disseminate digital learning content and services.

LOM repository additional services scheme (open part)

Implementation of the 1st and 4th tasks requires large scale research and development.

The Lithuanian LOM repository is a part of national education portal. Currently all the documents necessary for the repository usage are under validation by interested institutions. The most important ones are special "Method on Repository Usage" and Lithuanian LOM AP based on EUN LRE Metadata AP v3.0 and 22 controlled vocabularies (classifiers). Currently they are under the approval in the ministry of Education and Science.

The main challenges for LOM repository at the moment are:

  • It is planned to ensure metadata harvesting from main Lithuanian publishers’ repositories, but currently no special requirements for search protocols and query language exist and there are no concrete plans to approve them.
  • Currently no automatic metadata creation tool is implemented in Lithuania.
  • Lithuanian LOM repository development documents contain no special decisions concerning publishers and DRM.
  • Finally, there is no special document on Lithuanian repository development strategy prepared and approved at the moment. There are no special editorial and technical quality assurance strategies.

Future objectives could be:

For repositories:

  • Implementation of repositories interoperability based on ability to integrate with other repositories (OAI-PMH compliance), and ease of integration with systems such as VLEs.
  • Implementation of IMS Common Cartridge (CC).

For metadata tools:

  • Implementation of Topic-Goal-(Learning) Activities (TGA) ontology-based curriculum mapping in main subjects to search for LOs in the repositories and VLEs.
  • Implementation of main controlled vocabularies (e.g., Topic and Competency taxonomies).
  • Implementation of social tagging and bookmarking tools to enrich LO metadata with the learning practice experience.
  • Implementation of LOs digital right management system based on localised and approved Creative Commons licences.

More information
EdReNe member
ITC - Centre of Information Technologies of Education

Creation af Lithuanian library og digital educational resources and services