The following showcases are all centered around learning resource descriptions. They involve annotation of resources who are uploaded into or linked from the EntryScape (Confolio) web application as well as enhancement and contextualisation of metadata which is harvested from other repositories.
The goal of the now successfully completed Organic.Edunet project was to facilitate access, usage and exploitation of digital educational content related to Organic Agriculture and Agroecology. The combination of the SCAM framework and the Confolio web application was used from the very beginning of the content population process.
The Organic.Edunet federation consists of numerous EntryStore and EntryScape installations which are harvested using OAI-PMH by the Organic.Edunet portal on a regular basis. More than 11.000 educational resources have been described with educational metadata by several hundred contributors so far. Roughly half of the learning resources were already described with some basic metadata without educational information. These already existing metadata instances were harvested using OAI-PMH and converted and mapped into RDF and DCAM. Additional educational metadata was added in the Organic.Edunet repositories.
This approach is greatly supported by the ReM3 model, which allows a differentiation between local and external resources and metadata. Such a differentiation in combination with the use of separate metadata graphs is used to enhance harvested resource descriptions from e.g. the Intute repository. In this case, two metadata graphs are used per resource: one with cached external metadata (in simple DC format harvested using OAI-PMH) and one with local educational metadata using LOM/DCAM. If Intute modiﬁes the metadata in its repository this will be reﬂected in the EntryStore repository after the next re-harvest. The locally annotated educational metadata remains untouched, which is only possible by keeping metadata from different origins in separate graphs.
Following up on the results from Organic.Edunet and as proof-of-concept for the general applicability of ReM3 and the reference implementation, the OAI-PMH target of the ARIADNE foundation was harvested and tripliﬁed, resulting in around 50 million triples within 1.2 million metadata graphs in an EntryStore repository. The provided LOM metadata was mapped into the DCAM and converted into RDF during the harvesting process. As in the case of Organic.Edunet, a scaffolding approach to describing learning resources can be taken. The surrounding context of a learning resource can be bootstrapped using Link References, e.g. by providing different descriptions for different learning scenarios.
Another beneﬁt of having all ARIADNE metadata in RDF is the possibility of running SPARQL queries against a large amount of learning resource descriptions. SPARQL can be used to formulate complex queries based on the LOM/DCAM elements to query and build graphs in the repository. An example is requesting a list of all LOM Learning Resource Types that a speciﬁc person has used when annotating learning materials. More complex queries can be formulated by using additional metadata elements and advanced query logic. A use case is the contextualisation of learning resources, to get information on how different persons described the same resource with different metadata to reﬂect their speciﬁc use within various educational (or other) activities. The amount of triples will increase in the future as the implementation of the LOM/DCAM mapping is reﬁned and completed.
The authors participated in the "Hack4Europe!" competition in Stockholm which has been arranged by the Europeana project. The goal of the competition was to show the potentials of the Europeana content by building applications to showcase the social and business value of open cultural data. During the hack day the authors developed another showcase to demonstrate how heterogeneous metadata can be managed using ReM3.
Like in Organic.Edunet, a combination of the EntryStore and EntryScape is used. Both applications were extended in a way so that they can search in Europeana and extract Europeana metadata from the search results. This allows for adding resources directly from a Europeana search result to a user's personal portfolio for further annotation with contextual metadata.
The demonstrated use case was to search for resources which are suitable to be used in an educational context and to turn them into learning resources by annotating them with educational metadata in Confolio. Technically this means searching and caching metadata described using the Europeana Data Model and adding educational metadata (e.g. in LOM/DCAM) using a ReM3 Link Reference in the EntryStore. Everything is integrated into the EntryScape interface and the end user does not have to know anything about where the metadata originates from or which formats that are used.