Project Information

In May 2007, the Texas Center for Digital Knowledge (TxCDK) at the University of North Texas (UNT) received a grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) under the Texas Course Redesign Project to develop a proof-of-concept application of a learning object repository (LOR). The goal of the awarded project is to demonstrate a LOR’s capability to leverage the course content developed through the Texas Course Redesign Project for reuse and repurposing.

A learning object repository is a software application that provides flexibility in storing course content at whatever level of granularity is considered most appropriate. It provides a storage environment for both learning objects and descriptions of the objects to help users find, identify, select, and obtain relevant and useful learning objects. The digital objects that comprise the course content for this project include text, images, audio, video, flash animations, and multiple-choice quizzes. A learning object repository (LOR) system must provide the functionality to support both administrative and end-user services.

Upon completion of Phase I in December 2007, the research team developed a proof-of-concept learning object repository that contains 277 learning objects from U.S. History I course offered at the University of North Texas. We have since moved forward to the next stage, with THECB’s approval of our request for an extension to the project to lay the groundwork for a production-level LOR system and set of services. Work on that application is underway.

The goal of Phase II is to lay a solid technical, organizational, and policy ground for a production-ready Texas Course Redesign Learning Object Repository and sets of services. This requires both research and development activities as reflected in the following project objectives:

  • Develop and implement a near-production ready LOR application reflecting enhancements based on Phase I outcome and insights.
  • Design and customize the LOR user interfaces (end user interfaces and content submitter interfaces) and assess those interfaces using accepted practices and criteria for usability.
  • Examine and implement where appropriate computational methods and processes to assist in automatic metadata generation.
  • Develop, in consultation with THECB staff, draft operational and administrative procedures for a production-level LOR system.
  • Explore opportunities for the Texas Digital Library (TDL) to serve as host for the LOR by implementing the near-production ready LOR on systems operated by the TDL.
  • Initiate, coordinate, and lead discussions, in consultation with THECB staff, with potential stakeholders of the Texas Course Redesign Learning Object Repository, related to intellectual property rights, licensing, and related policies, resulting in a draft of such policies for consideration of THECB and the stakeholders.
  • Ingest learning objects into near-production ready LOR drawing on course content from 4-6 of the redesigned courses (as available for the proposed project).
  • Develop an appropriate training program and/or training materials to assist end users and content submitters in using the LOR.
  • Develop a draft plan, in consultation with THECB, to market the LOR to intended users and other potential customers.
  • Assess the achievement of project goal and objectives, and develop a plan for ongoing evaluation of the LOR when it is in production.

The project is under the direction of Dr. William E. Moen and Dr. Vandana Singh.

Dr. Moen is a Fellow of the Texas Center for Digital Knowledge (TxCDK) and associate professor at UNT <http://www.unt.edu/wmoen>. He has participated in state, national, and international efforts to develop Z39.50 application profiles for use by libraries and served as chair of a National Information Standards Organization committee to develop an American National Standard Z39.50 Profile for Library Applications.

Dr. Singh is a Fellow of TxCDK and assistant professor at UNT <http://www.unt.edu/slis/people/faculty/singh.htm>. Her research areas include Human Computer Interaction, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Knowledge Management Systems, Open Source Software, Usability and User Experince.

Please go to the Documents links to access project documents, including the project proposal. Feel free to send questions and comments on the project to Dr. Moen <wemoen@unt.edu> or Dr. Singh <vsingh@unt.edu>.