Share and share alike

I'm interested in being able to share my learning resources with you and if you're willing to do the same then maybe our institutions might be able to spread the risk and burden of developing web-based teaching and learning materials.

The components of my teaching and learning materials, images, video clips, text, questions, are called reusable learning objects (RLOs). These RLOs are stored in databases and each RLO has its own metadata, data that helps you find it when searching for particular RLOs. My database systems can send you an XML file that describes each RLO and links to it on the web.

One of the problems surrounding sharing RLOs is that the system you use may be different to the system I use. There are initiatives looking at how we might embed each our RLOs into our respective systems.

Another problem is resource discovery. Before we can embed an object we must first know where it is. If it's deep inside my institution's virtual learning environment (VLE) then are you going to be able to find it?

I'm approaching this from a very simplistic angle as I'm not able to answer some of the big questions. I am however chipping away at one of the edges. I use a tool called Radio Userland to think about how we might achieve interoperability and resource discovery. Rather than try to describe how I use Radio Userland in this context, it might be easier to show you.

To take full advantage of these couple of demos you need to be running a copy of Radio.

http://medweb5.bham.ac.uk/databases/resourcePage

http://medweb5.bham.ac.uk/databases/interop/mcqs

The first example shows you that by clicking on a special icon embedded on the page you can fire up an outline document in your local copy of Radio. This outline can be embedded into an instant outline or repurposed before re-publishing back to the web.

The second example shows how cross-platform RLO databases can be linked together via XML-RPC.

These are projects I'm working on so if you'd like to know more or to get involved then please get in touch.

These examples use my assetManager tool for Radio. I've just updated it so if you'd like to try any of the examples mentioned then either download it here or if you already have a copy, select 'Refresh code…' from the assetManager menu under the Tools menu in your copy of Radio.