Building OER Curriculum-Alignment Networks Across States and Higher Education Libraries

Project Start Date: 

ISKME’s work in open education over the last decade has revealed that a principal barrier to use of openly licensed course materials, or Open Educational Resources (OER), by educators is the difficulty in finding the resources that they need. Although existing OER platforms and a growing number of institutional repository projects provide access to high quality OER, often they do not include metadata on learning outcomes or alignment to local course requirements—making the task of identifying relevant OER time consuming and ineffective for the faculty end user.

Currently working with six library consortia partners selected for their strong commitment to finding solutions to OER discoverability, and recently awarded a three-year IMLS-NLG National Digital Infrastructure grant, ISKME will design and pilot a network service, called the Open Metadata Exchange, that makes it possible to exchange peer reviewed and curriculum-aligned OER across multiple institutional repositories. The information architecture of this network service will consist of a suite of API services on top of an interoperable metadata framework that can provide integration points with institutional repository softwares such as Dspace, ContentDM, and the Hyku project. The service will be offered as a standard feature within ISKME’s public digital library, OER Commons, and our partner repositories, to enable cross-repository sharing at scale. We will also develop supporting user interaction (UI) components and software libraries, which will assist external platform developers in building on top of the network service.

The project’s approach will entail gathering input from faculty and library staff across the six consortia to assess their decision making processes and metadata requirements when searching for and selecting OER. We are partnered with LOUIS, VIVA and OhioLINK to co-design and pilot test the OER alignment network service within the OER Common infrastructure, and further partnered with three consortia outside of the OER Commons infrastructure—the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI), the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium (PALCI), and the Digital Higher Education Consortium of Texas (DigiTex)—to ensure design input on how external OER repositories and learning management systems can best access and ingest course-aligned OER that is being exchanged within OER Commons.

The overarching goals of the Open Metadata Exchange is to increase efficiency and scale at which participants in the network can leverage the OER curation and development work of others in their network as they build their own local collections aligned to local courses. This in turn, increases access to more diverse sets of high quality, low or no cost course materials for all.



Image Attribution: Licensed CC BY