Archive for 'Repositories'

We see data

Approximately a year ago we contributed a suite of learning resources into Jorum for HE consumption. They were tagged with AUOER .  The video below depicts the contributions tagged UKOER into Jorum by everyone involved in that funded project. Stunning data visuals by Martin (Mashe) Hawksey.


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TED’s new addition

I’ve long been a fan of the diverse range of informative and inspiring TED Talks. Today they’ve announced a new member of their family – TED Ed – which will be officially lanching as a YouTube channel in April. The idea is simple – teachers across the educational spectrum can team up with professional animators to share their resources in a short video not exceeding 10 minutes.  As always with TED, the video says it all…

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Understanding of IPR

Intellectual Property Right

Image released by Joseph Robertson

University College Falmouth have released a free Intellectual Property Right course, IPR4EE, aimed at anyone who produces learning and teaching materials for students.

IPR4EE is an Open Educational Resources (OER) project funded by HEFCE and supported by JISC and the Higher Education Academy. It seeks to raise awareness of intellectual property rights for higher educational lecturers and staff developing online and/or openly available learning resources.

Aston is due to release a suite of resources under the O4B ‘Open For Business’ OER OMAC project. The CLIPP deparment have been busy repurposing existing learning objects to be released under Creative Commons licence, suitable for a range of subject disciplines. More of this later in the summer, when we’ve uploaded all learning objects.

All resources created by Aston will be deposited in Jorum under the meta tag AUOER

OER & Copyright


CC cleared image : attribution: not quite clear on the concept

The above image was sourced using the FLICKRCC image search engine. This effectively allows you to quickly locate and use (under Creative Commons) images shared by the FLICKR photo sharing network.


During a recent OER  SCORE workshop organised by the OU we learned more about their strategic plans to create Open Education Resources (OER) suitable for repurposing.  An annual budget of approximately 80 mi££ion for their online learning resources, provides a focus for continual rationalisation. Their Open Learn and LabSpace initiatives continue to be refined and updated, and provide a rich source of learning objects open to all. Whilst not quite on the scale of the ground breaking MIT OpenCourseWare program, the OU continues to pave the way for the rest of UK HE to emulate. Here at Aston University we are working on an OER project called “Open For Business” lead by Oxford Brookes University, who have developed the impressvie RADAR repository.

The long running HEFCE-JISC funded OER programme enters its second phase with many Learning Objects (LOs) being placed into Open JORUM .  Another project gaining wider use is the innovative HUMBOX repository aimed at primarily humanities disciplines. This recent JISC OER webinar is worth a look to find out more about current projects. While the  launch of the JISC Infonet Infokit covering OER should be your one stop shop to learn all about this area of creating, sharing and repurposing LOs. Whilst the JISC/HEFCE Web2Rights wiki compliments the Infokit by providing a wealth of articles and resources to help academia develop more shared learning resources within the confusing confines of copyright compliance.

During our day at the OU, Mrs Bernie Attwell (OU copyright expert) ran a session explaining the main areas of copyright compliance using a greeting card analogy. This workshop video by Bernie is the best explanation I have ever seen covering  the intricacies of copyright compliance.  The greetings card exercise can be accessed online, to run in your own workshops, to reinforce copyright guidance.

Equella update

Hard DiskApologies for the short notice, but there will be a period of down time for Equella this afternoon from 1500. ISA expects the work will take 30 minutes. This is to increase the storage space available for items in the repository.

Equella Upgrade

Equella Logo

ISA will be upgrading Equella, which powers Blackboard’s Resource Centre, on Monday 5th October.

What does this mean for users?

  • Users will not be able to upload any items to the resource centre while this is taking place.
  • The viewing of resource centre items already added to modules in Blackboard should see little to no disruption.

Why are we doing this?

The new version of Equella brings a number of improvements with regards to adding your content into the resource centre and into your Blackboard modules. Details of which we’ll give when the upgrade is complete.

Update 05/10/2009. Equella has been successfully upgraded to the new version and contribution rights are restored.

Diverse2009 – Broadcast Your University: YouTube and the global classroom (key note 2)

Obadiah Greenberg, YouTube Strategic Partnerships.

YouTube has started a new service that is part of the YouTube concept called YouTube EDU. Originally developed as one of Googles 20% projects, it was created internally by staff who were inspired by the content that was being put onto YouTube by universities, one of the main players being Berkeley.

Berkeley were one of the first to move into a new realm of openness and sharing their materials through YouTube. They decided to allow the public to openly comment on their channel, a brave move, but one that worked for them. The kind of positive PR that they obtained from this you can’t pay for and so combined with YouTubes world wide network meant that their PR coup went global. After seeing how well this worked for them, many unis followed suit including USC & Duke.

Berkeley had their own system called Web Cast Berkeley. This was already an open system, admittedly this was not one of altruism, but more to do with not really understanding the technical issues. This made them put things out into the open domain under creative commons licenses. As this developed it became a driving factor of their philosophy so they decided to go with other services on top of their own so they could increase their reach and really get the material out there. It was not just lip service to openness they really wanted to share things.

The thing I find very inspirational about this story is the way that they embraced new technology and ideas is such a positive manner. Their were bold and just had a go at stuff providing a shining example to the rest of the world. I think there are many lessons that Aston could learn in how we can move forward into a future were Aston is leading and not catching up. After all the best way to predict the future is the make it.

ECHO360 Presentation Recording

Stuff to check out:

Problems Uploading files to Equella: Solution

Until a permanant fix is implemented in Equella, you can continue to use the file uploader if you disable Java’s next-gen plug-in support in the Java control panel. There’s an article on the Java website on how to achieve this. This is only necessary on Windows.

If you are unsure you can contact your school support.

Problems Uploading files to Equella

Update (8th May): A workaround is available

It has been discovered that users are unable to successfully upload files to Equella if they have the latest version of the Java runtime environment installed as their web browser will crash after uploading. You can check if you have the latest version of the Java runtime environment, the only version known to cause problems (at the time of writing) being  ‘Java 6 update 13′ on Windows XP and Vista.

As an interim measure, until a fix is deployed, we have made changes to the upload form in Equella so you can still upload content.

Equella Temporary Upload Form

Single Files

Attach files in a similar way to attaching them to an e-mail. Click the ‘Browse’ button to locate your file, and click attach to upload it to the server.

Multiple Files

You can also attach multiple files using this form. If you have several files or need to upload directories of content you can upload them as a ZIP and the server will extract it for you.

If your computer doesn’t have the latest Java Runtime Environment, you can ignore the above method and upload as normal, using the ‘Launch File Manager’ button at the bottom of the form. We recommend that if you are prompted to update Java you postpone it until a fix for this issue is found. If you are unsure or are experiencing problems you can contact your school support.

Equella and the Blackboard building block

Over the last few months we have noticed what one might term to be some “short comings” in the functionality of the Blackboard building block for Equella. For those who have no idea what they are reading about right now Equella is our media repository and the building block is what allows us to place links into Blackboard to material stored within the repository. See the list below for some things that you should be aware of when adding content to Blackboard:

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