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TRACK OER use case

Cloud created by:

Patrick McAndrew
10 October 2012

Use Case

Summary: This use case considers the inhibitions and restrictions on OER projects and the associated impact on the educator community from restricted tracking data.

  • Context: In the Bridge to Success ( project materials have been generated that take OER from the Open University and make them available as reworked OER with a focus on use in US Community Colleges. The content is released in OpenLearn’s LabSpace. This material is available for use on other systems under the CC-BY permissive form of the Creative Commons licence. Transfer to other servers is permitted and supported by the release of downloadable content packages and clear messages that material can be copied and reused as permitted by the CC-BY licence.
  • Requirements: The project is funded by the Next Generation Learning Challenge ( with requirements that we research use in identified pilots and reach targets about the use and impact of B2S content. Some pilots need to manage their registered students through the content and would like to provide access to B2S content from institutional VLE. We also are actively investigating other platforms such as Peer-to-peer University, iTunesU and OERGlue.
  • Existing approach: Information on use is available as long as content remains on the LabSpace system through analytics and support for groups in the Learning Club. If content transfers we may then have no data about the use of the content and be unable to learn more about the use or report back to our funder.
  • Solution: The Track OER system provides information back to the originator of the content to show the content that is reused and the location in which it now operates. The scale of reuse can now be monitored and further information sought if needed.
  • Success criteria: A programme of testing will demonstrate the capability to track and provide accurate data into the system. Impact will be assessed during the period of the project through use of the tracking data within existing reporting of OpenLearn performance. Further benefits are expected for example identification of reuse cases and interfaces that reveal where alternative content can be found, these may occur after the project.
  • Community: The need for a tracking system appears repeatedly in OER projects and providing sites, particularly as it is common to need to show impact to funders and institutions. For the educator community the challenge to correctly attribute and meet the intent in sharing content is enhanced. We will specifically explore this with the Community College educator community. For the learner community the benefits will come from more flexible use of content and the potential to use the data provided to connect groups learning in different online spaces.
  • Engagement: the idea for tracking has been considered for some time, including in the context of JISC CETIS, OLnet and work by MIT. In addition Creative Commons have identified the need for tracking as important in extending use of the CC licence for Museums and Art works and are interested in this activity and how it could work with the embedded licence.
  • This use case is released under CC-BY-SA.

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