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The effects of discipline on the application of learning object metadata in UK higher education : the case of the Jorum repository

Balatsoukas, P. and OBrien, A. and Morris, A. (2011) The effects of discipline on the application of learning object metadata in UK higher education : the case of the Jorum repository. Information Research, 16 (3). ISSN 1368-1613

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Abstract

This paper reports on the findings of a study investigating the potential effects of discipline (sciences and engineering versus humanities and social sciences) on the application of the Istitute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers learning object metadata elements for the description of learning objects in the Jorum learning object repository. Method. A survey was conducted that examined a stratified sample of 470 metadata records and surrogates used for the description of learning objects in the Jorum repository. A quantitative data analysis was performed based on the sample. This included descriptive statistics as well as a set of Chi squared tests for the identification of differences in the application of learning object metadata elements between disciplines. The results of this study showed that some metadata elements tended to be more frequently applied for the description of learning objects in the humanities and social sciences than in sciences and engineering. These were: interactivity type, difficulty, aggregation level, coverage, structure and semantic density. The findings of this study could have implications for the design of metadata editors and annotation tools, as well as the development of metadata training programmes.