The JLeRN Experiment

JISC's Learning Registry Node Experiment at Mimas

JLeRN Reporting: Recommendations for Future Learning Registry Work in the UK

This is one of a series of posts from the JLeRN Experiment, forming sections of what will be our Final Report. Please send feedback and discussion in the comments section, as your own blog post response, via Twitter (hashtags #jlern #learningreg) or on the OER-Discuss and Learning Registry email lists. To see all the posts, click here

JLeRN Draft Report: 5. Recommendations

Current context: JISC

When these recommendations were originally drafted in June 2012, with the help of JISC CETIS and Amber Thomas, we were just at the start of a period of flux within our funding body JISC. We are well into the changes now, so we share these recommendations in the knowledge that we do not yet fully know the future shape of the new JISC and its community, nor how it will make funding decisions, nor what its priorities will be. Nevertheless, we put these ideas out there for discussion and posterity. The final version will take into account community feedback, so please fire away!

Current context: The Learning Registry

Equally, the future of the Learning Registry itself in the U.S. past October 2012 is unclear; it is likely that it will continue in some form, perhaps with a different funding structure. Moreover, much of the interest and exploratory work that has emerged in the U.S. is in the schools sector, around curriculum-related paradata.

JLeRN’s final days

JLeRN will finish at the end of October 2012, alongside the end of the JISC OER Rapid Innovation projects who are working with the Learning Registry. Several small-scale tasks will be carried out by keen contributors to JLeRN by the end of October (including taking part in a small end-of-JLeRN Workshop at Mimas on 22 October 2012):

  • ENGrich project case study from the University of Liverpool.
  • Pat Lockley’s four Pgogy tools for easy exploration of the Learning Registry.
  • Terry McAndrew from JISC TechDIS will provide an accessibility paradata use case.
  • David Kay of Sero Consulting will provide a Broader Context Report.
  • The RIDLR project will report to the JLeRN Final Workshop on its findings.

All of these outputs, plus the final version of the report these JLeRN Reporting blog posts will feed into, will be made available here on the JLeRN blog.


As noted in the Skills and Capacity section of this report:

“[…] if we are to close the gap between the strategic enthusiasm for the potential wins of the Learning Registry, and the small-scale use case and prototype testing phase we are in, we will need a big push backed by a clear understanding that we will be walking into some of the same minefields we’ve trodden in, cyclically, for the past however many decades. And it is by no means clear yet that the will is there, in the community or at the strategic level.”

The recommendations below are still just putting the pieces together for a unified vision around sharing and using paradata in education; we are not yet ready, technically, or as a community of Learning Registry followers, to support that “big push”.

5.1 Recommendation: Synthesis of JLeRN, OER Rapid Innovation and related UK findings on Learning Registry.

This should include input from Liverpool University and others who have expressed an interest by attending Learning Registry / JLeRN meetings and workshops to date, perhaps carried out via a survey and/or other formal methods. Current developments within the U.S. Learning Registry project should be noted. There was also a whisper at one point that there was interest at the BBC, which would be worth looking into.

5.2 Recommendation: Explore benefits of the Learning Registry for UK sectors with well-defined curricula, e.g. schools, work-based learning and FE/Skills.

Educational sectors where there is a well-defined curriculum have been closely involved in the U.S. Learning Registry project. One UK HE project with a strong commitment to exploring the Learning Registry to date has been RIDLR, which is looking at the affordances for sharing paradata within and around a well-specified and mandated medical curriculum. It is therefore likely that there will be interest in the Learning Registry in sectors outwith UK HE that work with defined curricula.

5.3 Recommendation: Building on the experience of JLeRN and the current UK task group

There are likely to be ongoing explorations that projects, institutions, services (e.g. Jorum) and interested individuals (e.g. Pat Lockley) would like to do. Funding small well-specified projects to work on these tasks would be useful. Deciding whether JLeRN as a project providing a node or nodes, and expertise, will still be needed to support these (as opposed to them using U.S. Learning Registry nodes) would be a necessary part of planning this.

5.4 Recommendation: Explore mutual affordances with Activity Data work and other JISC Programmes

Those interested in activity streams, activity data, library circulation data, research data management, linked data, Semantic Web, and so on have noted an interest in JLeRN and the Learning Registry, and JLeRN lead Sarah Currier has kept in touch at a high level with key developments. JLeRN has commissioned a brief on the Learning Registry in a broader context than educational technology, which could support future thinking in this area. It may be worth exploring more in-depth tasks or projects to tease this area out.


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