A growing body of learning infrastructures and aggregators is making digital learning resources available to any user searching for educational content on various topics, through federations of learning repositories. The fundamental reasons behind this trend include growing educational demands in all countries, the limited capacity of face-to-face education, the effort and cost involved in building multimedia learning materials, and the new possibilities offered by the Internet.
Although well-known search engines can in fact successfully retrieve millions of documents that exist online, based on some keywords, the fact remains that there is no guarantee that the results will contain trustable material which is exploitable in an educational setting. Such information can usually be found in a complete metadata record, which is not the case in many of the aforementioned search results.
Through the vast number of existing repositories, millions of learning resources are being made available; a fact that raises various research topics having to do with, amongst other things, the technology that supports them, the standards being used to describe learning objects, the quality of learning, metadata within the repositories, etc.
Openness of content and sharing of resources are also part of the ethical but also very technical issues that arise for learning repositories and learning infrastructures in general. The general aim of this special issue is to assess the current status and technologies, as well as to outline the major challenges and future perspectives, related to the development of learning repositories and wider infrastructures. It aims to provide an overview of the state of the art in this field by including a wide range of interdisciplinary contributions. Overall, it aims to outline the rich potential of repositories for learning as an application field for advanced metadata- and semantic-driven systems and services.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
- Information standards and specifications
- Metadata schemas and application profiles
- Multilingual vocabularies, taxonomies, glossaries and thesauri
- (Semi-) automatic metadata generation
- Visualisation techniques for metadata, content, repositories
- Metadata metrics
- Learning content search and exchange
- Infrastructures, systems and services for knowledge organisation
- Learning content archives' preservation and maintenance
- Ontology approaches, models, theories and languages
- Semantic representation of learning materials
- Cloud facilities and supercomputing for learning infrastructures
- Attention, usage metadata and paradata for learning analytics
- Quality in metadata
- Multilingual metadata and semantics
Submission of extended abstract (recommended): 1 April, 2012 (by email)
Notification of appropriateness: 15 April, 2012
Manuscript submission: 15 June, 2012 (online)
Notification of acceptance/rejection: 1 September, 2012
Final manuscript due: 1 November, 2012