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Metadata Sprint @ OCWC Global Monterrey

This session discusses how the community can work towards some sort of consensus around metadata

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Sheila MacNeill
22 April 2009

This session discusses how the community can work towards some sort of consensus around metadata. What (if any) are the standards we should be using? What is the minimum set that OCW should be recommending? What tools are people developing that could be shared?  What are the unique needs of OCW materials?

How can we develop and share workflows around institutional course approval processes so that metadata can be generated "for free" as a course develops.



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Jenny Gray
3:55pm 22 April 2009

We ran out of time but I wanted to say that level (which Brent suggested) is an interesting field to add, and possibly duration of the course - our student services people use these fields on OpenLearn all the time to help prospective students decide on course choice. 

 One issue with these though would be fixing a vocabulary for level (under grad, postgrad or easy, difficult for example) and a unit of measure for duration (hours, days, weeks, months).  Without a fixed vocabulary we won't be able to search with these across OCWs.

Sheila reminded me that there's a new Dublin Core subset "education" which contains these fields - the OCW technical group should investigate when these are going public and include them in our metadata required/optional lists.

Jenny Gray
3:57pm 22 April 2009

Rather than deciding/inventing which fields we'd like to add, I wonder if we'd be better off looking at the LOM standard and working out a required/optional best practice for OCW around these.  We've not done that so far because LOM is much more complicated to implement, but if people are doing IMS exports then LOM is the right tool for metadata as Allyn said.

Sheila MacNeill
4:11pm 22 April 2009

Might be worth chatting to the DC Education Appliation profile folks as I'm sure there is quite a bit of commonality.

Sheila MacNeill
8:27pm 22 April 2009

I asked the twitterverse about sequencing information being included in metadata - response below.

sheilmcn Should content sequencing info be included in metadata?

repetej@sheilmcn If you want to describe the sequence of some items, independently of items themselves, then you need some metadata to "say" that?

sheilmcn@repetej ta came up here re people searching open courses and wanting to find info about what course to take next/what courses are related

repetej@sheilmcn That sounds like metadata to me :-) But I'm aware that some communities put different labels on different categories of descriptn!

# David Daviesdaviesda@sheilmcn If I understand what you mean by content sequencing I'd say no because sequencing info is a component of content data not metadata

daviesda@sheilmcn This may help

# sheilmcn@daviesda that was my initial reaction tooabout 3 hours ago from TwitterFon in reply to daviesda

sheilmcn@daviesda but in OCW world there seems to be an interest in providing info re related courses/content

# David Daviesdaviesda@sheilmcn ok if you mean sequencing of separate objects then you can capture the relationship info in metadata e.g LOM 7.x

# David Daviesdaviesda@sheilmcn but the sequencing between separate objects is perhaps best handled by a cp manifest, or, never thought I'd say it, IMD-LD ;)about 3 hours ago from Tweetie in reply to sheilmcn

# daviesda@sheilmcn or better still just make a web page with sequential links to required/recommended resources ;)about 3 hours ago from Tweetie in reply to sheilmcn

scottbw@repetej that depends on whether the sequence is itself a first-order object rather than emerging from the properties of the sequencees?




Sheila MacNeill
2:00pm 23 April 2009

The CETIS Metadata and Digital repositories SIG has produced a number of guides/briefing papers on various metadata standards which might also be of use.

Metadata guides available @

Briefing papers including IEEE LOM and OAI harvesting protocol available @

 More information on the SIG @



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