On 20-21 March 2007, MELT Consortium partners took part in the second full project meeting hosted by Professor Erik Duval at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL). MELT is a content enrichment project funded under the European Commission’s eContentplus programme. The aim is to create more and better metadata for a critical mass of learning resources from 17 public and private sector content partners in order to enhance their discovery and cross-border reuse.
In the first six months’ of the project, the focus has been on creating the conditions to ensure technical interoperability between the various MELT content respositories. Federated search based on the Simple Query Interface (SQI) will make it possible to search for learning resources in all the connected repositories. The project will also use the open archive initiative for metadata harvesting (OPI-PMH) in order to allow metadata to be copied between repositories. As part of this work, KUL and EUN are on target to provide MELT partners with the first production version of an open source, content enrichment toolbox by the end of March 2007.
The other major activity since the start of the project last October has been to carry out a detailed audit of approximately 37,000 learning resources and 100,000 learning assets being provided by MELT content partners. Led by the Spanish Ministry of Education, the audit is looking at the quality and types of resources/assets, copyright and IPR issues, and current partners’ application profiles and vocabularies. in April 2007, experienced indexers will start adding metadata to these resources and assets so that they are in line the MELT application profile.
The project meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss work that has been carried into folksonomies or social tagging. Led by Riina Vuorikari, a group of MELT partners has completed a review of the state-of-the-art related to folksonomies and has been working for several months with a small team of teachers in order to develop specifications for a social tagging tool that teachers and pupils will be able to use in order to add their own tags to MELT resources. Work will now start in April on the development of of a prototype of the tool that will be tested during a summer schools for teachers in Tampere. in September 2007 an operational version of a social tagging tool will then be implemented in the MELT portal for use by the 80 schools taking part in the MELT validation exercise.
A major deliverable on the MELT content audit including the project’s approach to social tagging will be available on the MELT public web site in mid-April 2007.