Project

General

Profile

Feature #14170

Collecting OER Metadata

Added by Laurie Hurson 4 months ago. Updated 2 months ago.

Status:
New
Priority name:
Normal
Assignee:
-
Category name:
-
Target version:
Start date:
2021-03-15
Due date:
% Done:

0%

Estimated time:

Description

Hi All,

In a previous Commons meeting we discussed a mechanism for collecting metadata about OER and open access materials in use on the Commons. Ideally, using this metadata we would be able to surface sites/groups using OER and open access content, as well as courses that are listed as completely open/OER.

Some notes on this from the Feb 2021 meeting:
OER metadata collection? For CUNY OER hub
An item or checkbox during creation process
Then a filter or way to present OERs to users
How fine-grade is the designation? OER repositories and courses as well, also zero-textbook-cost. Need language that user will

Members of the subcommittee brought up good points about issues with users self-identifying as "oer" site or group. I thought we might continue the conversation about adding a question or prompt in the back end of the site where a user can id open content. For example:

Open Content?:
- Uses some OER content
- Uses some open access content
- OER course
- ZTC course
- other

Or something else along these lines?

meta.png (28.5 KB) meta.png Colin McDonald, 2021-04-28 11:10 AM
Screenshot_2021-05-25_15-25-01.png (37.1 KB) Screenshot_2021-05-25_15-25-01.png Boone Gorges, 2021-05-25 11:31 AM
Screenshot_2021-05-25_15-30-43.png (53.4 KB) Screenshot_2021-05-25_15-30-43.png Boone Gorges, 2021-05-25 11:31 AM

History

#1 Updated by Laurie Hurson 3 months ago

Hi All,

I'd like to circle back to this to provide an updated/streamlined idea for this.

Perhaps we could start by surfacing OER content and sites that has been created as part of the CUNY/SUNY OER initiative.

So, rather than tagging for any OER/open content, we could create a meta data tag specifically for content on the Commons stemming from the CUNY OER Initiative so, for example, course sites, repository sites,etc. I could then reach out to campus oer reps and encourage them to tag content that has stemmed from initiative work on their campus.

This would be really helpful for me as I am trying to add content from the Commons to the CUNY OER hub but it is hard to know what has been created in connection with the OER initiative and what is organic.

I know we are on a dev pause but I wanted to update and add this idea for future discussion.

Thanks!

#2 Updated by Colin McDonald 3 months ago

Hi Laurie, thanks for keeping this going. Thought I'd jump in, especially because of my connection to the Brooklyn College OER development team. Are you talking about a new field in the attached area, on a Site's Wordpress general settings, or somewhere else?

And for the hub, if you mean opened.cuny.edu, I know my team is required to submit our OERs there ourselves already. Perhaps at least part of this is making sure OER teams like mine properly tag/organize their submissions to give the Commons credit? Then would they still have to update tags in Wordpress, if the end goal of getting Commons tags in the OER hub is already achieved? Wondering if this could save them work and you, too.

https://opened.cuny.edu/browse?f.keyword=cuny-academic-commons

I guess the requirements here may change if we want to feature more OER work on the Commons itself, but if the most immediate thing is getting content added and Commons-tagged on opened.cuny.edu maybe we focus on getting teams to post things there directly or alter what they've already put up.

#3 Updated by Laurie Hurson 3 months ago

Hi Colin,

Thanks for this insight. Some follow up thoughts below...

Are you talking about a new field in the attached area, on a Site's Wordpress general settings, or somewhere else?

Yes, I was thinking that this metadata tag could be a field in the settings area of a site or group on the Commons.

And for the hub, if you mean opened.cuny.edu

Yes. I know teams like yours submit work there but to your point, I don't know if the commons is always tagged. My aim with the meta data point on the commons is to be able to:

1. Cross reference what we see on the commons and check against the CUNY Open Ed hub. Then...
-- If a Commons site indicates it is on the hub I can search it and if not tagged, I can tag it since tagging is possible on the front end even on projects I did not add.
-- If a OER project is on the Commons but not in the Hub, we could reach out to the campus to get the commons site onto the hub.

In both instances, I think this may help to increase commons representation on the hub.

2. By adding a metadata tag on the commons we could also eventually surface and showcase the OER work happening on the commons in connection with this initiative. I think surfacing this oer work on the commons is potentially the more important aspect of adding this metadata point on the commons and where I see it saving me the most work. Rather than searching through sites and courses looking for models, this would allow me to find and showcase OER projects and also allow us to feature new oer projects as they emerge.

Perhaps at least part of this is making sure OER teams like mine properly tag/organize their submissions to give the Commons credit?

Yeah, I think if there a way to tag it as OER on the Commons, I can reach out about this new Commons feature and also encourage adding the CUNY Hub and tagging it as Commons.

Then would they still have to update tags in Wordpress, if the end goal of getting Commons tags in the OER hub is already achieved?

I am not exactly sure what you mean by this, can you clarify?

I guess the requirements here may change if we want to feature more OER work on the Commons itself, but if the most immediate thing is getting content added and Commons-tagged on opened.cuny.edu

I think both of these goals are encompassed in adding a metadata point on the Commmons but yes, I do hope it would help surface OER work on the Commons.

Maybe this is metadata point is unnecessary? Overall, my aim was to be able to surface OER and open courses more easily on the Commons since there is no streamlined way to do that currently.

#4 Updated by Colin McDonald 3 months ago

Thanks for the responses here, Laurie. I follow your points about adding the OER tagging to the Commons, rather than relying on opened.cuny.edu, especially for surfacing OER work on the Commons itself. It seems like a planning issue from here, figuring out where this tagging should happen and what it should look like, and then development of course. I'm not sure if this fits in the budget scope right now or not, so we should discuss that.

On my point about still updating tags in Wordpress, I had been wondering how necessary Commons-side tagging was if the end goal was surfacing Commons content on cuny.opened.edu -- but now I see that we're trying to surface things both ways, from the Commons to there as well as OER work on the Commons, so OER teams need to do tagging in both places since the two platforms don't talk to each other automatically.

#5 Updated by Laurie Hurson 2 months ago

Hi Boone and Colin,

Thinking more about where to add and surface the OER metadata. I am wondering if we want to consider adding the OER metadata into an already existing structure rather than trying to add it as an additional option or field.

Do we want to consider making the OER metadata part of the "purpose" selection by adding an "Open Educational Resources" purpose? See below.

Metadata fields currently:

- Campus
- Purpose
Add "Open Educational Resources" here

If Teaching
-- Academic Term
-- Disciplinary Cluster

If we went this route people could mark a site as "teaching" and "OER". Or "Project" + "OER".

However, this would required making multiple purpose selections possible. I don't think allowing multiple purposes would cause too much of an issue but interested to hear what you both think about this idea.

#6 Updated by Colin McDonald 2 months ago

Thanks, Laurie. I could see the OER "purpose" selection working. From there, we talked on Friday also about how we plan to expose this new data. What is the end goal, etc. Do we want the public to be able to see this automatically, or is it more for our tracking purposes and building the separate showcase page?

I guess we'll also want to be planning for this selection to be part of new creation, and also an option in the backend for admins to alter/add to already-existing spaces.

#7 Updated by Laurie Hurson 2 months ago

Hi Colin,

thanks for your feedback.

how we plan to expose this new data. What is the end goal, etc. Do we want the public to be able to see this automatically, or is it more for our tracking purposes and building the separate showcase page?

Both. If "OER" is added as a purpose metadata point, "OER" will be a searchable field in the already existing "purpose" search filters. So users can search it on the front end, and we can also track OER (courses, projects, etc) on the back end.

I guess we'll also want to be planning for this selection to be part of new creation, and also an option in the backend for admins to alter/add to already-existing spaces.

Yes, OER metadata purpose option would be added in the creation portal in "purpose" for both groups and sites and added as an option in the backend of already existing groups and sites.

Right now users can edit the purpose in Site Setting or Group Manage areas. It would just require changing the input field for "purpose" to accept 1 answer (as it is now) to accepting multiple answers (the way Campus metadata field currently functions).

#8 Updated by Boone Gorges 2 months ago

Hi Laurie - Thanks for the interesting idea. I am wary of using the 'Primary Purpose' field for this, though. A couple of reasons:

a. We currently use Primary Purpose to show secondary fields; in the case of 'Teaching', we show additional fields during creation/editing. How would this be handled if you allowed more than one Primary Purpose?
b. There may be a time in the future when we add functionality to Primary Purpose that makes multi-select difficult to handle. For example, if we decide at some point in the future to pre-select a specific site layout based on the Primary Purpose. Or if we decided to apply certain default settings to the new site/group based on the Primary Purpose. It may not be possible in these cases to reconcile multiple Primary Purposes.
c. There are some technical limitations to the way that Primary Purpose is currently stored in the database that would make it difficult to allow multiples. Not impossible, but it would take a bit of work.
d. More generally, it doesn't feel semantically correct to allow more than one 'Primary Purpose'.
e. It doesn't seem to me that 'OER' will be the (or "a") primary purpose for some sites that would otherwise qualify. In many cases, the main purpose of a site will be to teach a course. The fact that it uses or features OERs is a secondary property of the site.
f. Using Primary Purpose for this doesn't help us with future cases where we might want to introduce other kinds of "flags" to Commons items. Say you wanted "HyFlex" or "Writing-Intensive" flags for your Commons courses. In my mind these are similar to "OER" in the sense that it's an on-off toggle that you might apply to a course. But it seems increasingly unwieldy to shoehorn more items like this into Primary Purpose.

The spirit of (f) can be dangerous, because I don't want to overengineer a complex system for tags that we might never use. That being said, I wonder if we might think about baby steps in that direction. For now, say, something like this: If you select Teaching as Primary Purpose (we could add other Purposes to this list as well) we can prompt the user with a checkbox "This site/group uses Open Educational Resources" or something like that. In the Groups/Sites directory, we expose this with a 'Tags' button (alongside 'Campus' and 'Purpose') which would have a single checkbox, 'OER'.

Then, in the future, if we want to add more "tags" alongside "OER", we change the interface during creation/editing so it's something like: "Select from popular tags" with a couple of items they can optionally click. (This might be a simple list of checkboxes when we only have a few, or an auto-suggest field as the list gets longer. And we might allow for user-entered tags at some point, though this poses a bunch more problems.) Then these additional tags will appear in the 'Tags' filter in directories.

Again, I want to tread lightly when it comes to introducing completely new types of item taxonomies (Tags alongside Campus, Purpose, etc) but I feel like it's more semantically correct, and it provides a generic framework for more items of this type down the road.

#9 Updated by Laurie Hurson 2 months ago

Hi Boone,

Thanks for this explanation. I understand you point of not conflating the OER information with the "purpose" field. I thought we were trying to avoid tags but I agree this seems like the correct way to go. We can tread lightly and not start introducing tags for everything...

"If you select Teaching as Primary Purpose (we could add other Purposes to this list as well) we can prompt the user with a checkbox "This site/group uses Open Educational Resources" or something like that. In the Groups/Sites directory, we expose this with a 'Tags' button (alongside 'Campus' and 'Purpose') which would have a single checkbox, 'OER'."

I like that the OER tag is made visible once already within the Teaching purpose, plus as a tag check box for overall sites. I imagine this might help on the backend to differentiate between open courses and open projects.

Minor edit - I think OER should be spelled out - "Open Educational Resources" - in each instance. And if possible, we should add a tool tip in both locations (within Purpose>Teaching and in site/group creation) that links to documentation to help users determine whether or not they should select the OER tag. This adds a pedagogical layer for what OER is and provides guidance for whether or not your course or project really is open.

#10 Updated by Boone Gorges 2 months ago

I've attached a few mockups of what the creation/edit interface might look like, as well as what the directory filter might be.

I continue to find the use of the term "OER" to be unclear. I've phrased the help text as "this group uses OERs" in an attempt to be fairly generic. But I think there are some who would say that their group is an OER, while others might say that their course focuses on OERs, or uses OERs exclusively (ie uses no paid materials). I don't think we can or should differentiate between these, but I think we should keep them in mind as we come up with copy for the UI and documentation.

#11 Updated by Laurie Hurson 2 months ago

Hi Boone,

Thanks for these mock ups. The "tags" drop down in the search bar looks good.

I understand your point about whether a site "uses" OER or "is" an OER. I think that this might be resolved somehow with the language/word we choose to put before OER (e.g. - "uses" vs. "hosts" vs. "offers").

But, I also don't want to complicate this any more. If "uses" is descriptive enough for everyone, I think that would be fine.

#12 Updated by Colin McDonald 2 months ago

I agree that "uses" is the best word choice we have so far. After a certain point we'll have to trust people to self-classify correctly. Hopefully the documentation tooltip will help. In case others haven't seen it, this is a pretty good overview from the OpenEd CUNY site:

https://help.opened.cuny.edu/support/solutions/articles/42000048879-introduction-to-oer

#13 Updated by Laurie Hurson 2 months ago

Thanks for sharing the open ed page Colin, it is helpful. I will plan to build out the commons page on OER and link to the CUNY Central open ed site from there (linked below).

If others agree -- the tool tip on this new tag could link to our page here: https://help.commons.gc.cuny.edu/using-oer/

#14 Updated by Colin McDonald 2 months ago

Sounds good to me. Thanks, Laurie!

Also available in: Atom PDF