Project Outline

The University of Worcester will start up a new repository for learning and teaching materials based on the “LearningBox” repository system developed through the JISC EdShare and Faroes projects. We will do this in partnership with and support from Southampton University which developed the software. And with the aid of some project funding from JISC.

Based on several years’ experience of trying to encourage sharing of materials for learning and teaching, the team at Worcester strongly believes that the conventional repository structure and metadata system is not suitable for the management of the day-to-day online materials used in learning and teaching. However the LearningBox approach takes a fresh direction which we feel meets users’ needs far better. It adopts a Web 2.0 style, uses tags rather than conventional metadata, has engaging user-centred management facilities and offers flexibility in use, adaptable to the individual’s way of working.

A number of universities have had similar experience to ours so there will be several of us becoming involved in this approach. Though a conventional repository can be useful for centrally managed collections of resources, it seems to be far less appropriate for general learning materials used on a daily basis by teachers and students. To achieve successful management of these resources a new type of repository is needed. LearningBox is a new style of repository and one which promises to be ideally suited to purpose. What is learnt from its deployment will be of considerable interest to the whole JISC community.

Worcester set up a repository for research and publications some time ago and this has become firmly established. Also we set up a conventional repository for learning materials which is under-used. We are looking forward to the LearningBox project which aims to get us started on the process of embedding, sustaining and developing the new repository.

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