Sunset over Galway BayI had a really interesting meeting this morning with Paul Gormley & Michelle Tooher, staff at CELT, NUI Galway. We were swapping notes on our respective teaching material repositories. On the face of it the projects are very different but as we discussed there are lessons to be learnt from each other and ideas to pinch!

The National Digital Learning Repository (NDLR) is a national project bringing together all Irish universities & Technology institutes. It is similar to the UK’s Jorum in some respects and also based on the Intra library software. I don’t know much about Jorum but a key difference to the NDLR approach has been to base it around communities of practices and devloping these communities first in the hope that the use of a shared repository will follow. The guys at Galway are the leads for the Modern Languages’ Community of Practice. Each community has a blog (see previous link) which acts as a focus for the community. Before ‘selling’ the repository across the institutions the MFL team populated it with 100 locally avialble resources (mp3s, PPT files etc). The collection has now grown significantly (I forget exactly!).

I was introducing them to our more informal joint project with the University of Columbia which is being piloted with LSE French teachers having worked successfully in NYC with other languages. Earlier this week we held the first training session for teachers so that they could start uploading resources. The repository is based on drupal and is open to all to browse resource titles and descriptions but retrieving a resource requires a login.  It uses a predefined taxonomy which staff use to ‘tag’ their resources.  Items can be located by searching or by browsing the tags.

The NDLR Galway team mentioned they are looking at introducing creative commons licensing for the repository and this is something we should look at too as well as joining in there existing community of practice.

The other area we touched on and both want to explore further is how we encourage staff to provide feedback on how they’ve used each others’ resources without diminishing their desire to make their stuff available and subject to comment.