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D2.1 ASPECT Approach to Federated Search and Harvesting of Learning Object Repositories

Summary: The objective of this work is to foster adoption of standards and specifications necessary to support educational content discovery scenarios (discovery & evaluation, obtain). This deliverable focuses on best practices for connecting various learning object repositories to the ASPECT Service Centre (ASC) through federated search and harvesting. The ASC will provide a set of support services that will facilitate the interoperability of learning content.

This deliverable includes an overview of existing standards and specifications for Metadata and Educational Content Discovery. In terms of metadata schema, the deliverable introduces IEEE Learning Object Metadata (LOM), Dublin Core (DC) and ISO/IEC MPEG-7. It also analyzes the role of application profiles proposed to support their application in particular contexts. Similarly, in relation to educational content discovery, the document includes commented references to search specifications (SQI, SRU/SRW, Z39.50, OASIS Search Web Service, Open Search, O.K.I. OSIDs), query language specifications (VSQL, PLQL, CQL, QEL, XQuery), harvesting specifications, publishing specifications (OAI-ORE, SWORD, SPI, AtomPub), and publishing syndication formats (RSS, ATOM).

The main contribution of this deliverable is the description of two usage scenarios for connecting content providers to the ASPECT infrastructure. Content providers normally use a custom format for describing their metadata. Therefore, it is necessary to map this format to an agreed metadata application profile for ASPECT. The two usage scenarios are related to the harvesting of metadata and to federated searches. The document also includes a description of a metadata validation service that will be used to validate the metadata against the chosen application profile. In addition, to facilitate interoperability between the repositories that choose one of these scenarios, the deliverable proposes the adoption of a registry where this information can be stored.

The deliverable concludes with an overview of the next steps towards this ASPECT infrastructure.