Lincoln Repository of Learning Materials (LIROLEM)
Repositories Start-up project
The University of Lincoln is developing a repository in which research outputs, exemplars of student outputs in non text based disciplines, and teaching materials, including copyright cleared digitised texts will be stored.
The rationale for the project is twofold. Firstly, there is a concurrent 'Virtual Studio' project in the school of architecture, which aims to recreate the concept of an architectural atelier in electronic form. One of the distinguishing features of an atelier is that those working in it are surrounded by current and project work. In common with most universities, space is at a premium in Lincoln, and it is neither practical to provide this physical environment, nor is it easy to index and catalogue physical artefacts. Secondly, the project shares an aspiration with the wider repository movement, which is to demonstrate the interconnectedness of research design, practical resolution and to make ideas, information and illustrations more widely accessible.
Aims and Objectives
The primary aim of the project is to lay the groundwork for the establishment of an institutional repository that will support a wide variety of non textual materials, e.g. digital animations of 3-D models, architectural documentation such as technical briefings and photographs, as well as supporting text based materials. By 'groundwork' we mean an infrastructure that includes both software and supporting documentation including a service definition, setting out what the repository will offer users, a model of content organisation which will set out how material will be organised within the repository (for example, where an object in the repository consists of multiple parts, how these parts link to each other), and a specification describing how object metadata will be created.
More specifically the objectives of the project are to test the suitability of existing repository software, (such as e-prints) as a medium to store multimedia products, and to make such a repository publicly available, to document the four principal business processes associated with the repository, (depositing, cataloguing, searching, and retrieval), promote awareness and encourage use of the repository among academic colleagues, initially in the School of Architecture, and to provide training and documentation for users.
While the project will initially be located in the School of Architecture, there is a longer term aspiration to develop a service that will allow all members of the academic community at Lincoln to develop and make available the content of their research work, and make it available to the wider HE community.
Anticipated Outputs and Outcomes
A major outcome of the project is that it will increase awareness of the uses of repositories, and by implication, learning objects to enhance teaching and learning.
A second outcome is that of a working repository, and in some respects more importantly, a repository service model and appropriate documentation. If this is successful in architecture, the model should be exportable to other disciplines – certainly for print resources, but we also have other disciplines that make extensive use of multimedia – animal behaviour, media production, drama are examples and so we see the existence of a successful business model is extremely important in promoting the idea of creating, storing and re-using learning objects in teaching among all staff. The easier it is to use, the more likely it is to be adopted, but ease of use is as much about developing appropriate business processes as it is about technological innovation, and so this is an important part of the plan.
Technology / Standards used
- IMS Content Packaging Specification
- Simplified Dublin Core