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International 2015 Materials Education Symposium

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jsMaterials - An Open Source HTML5 Repository for the Materials Education Community

Dr Mark Endean and Andrew Green | The Open University and Materials e-Learning Technologies, UK

jsMaterials - An Open Source HTML5 Repository for the Materials Education Community

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The Open University postgraduate engineering team is revitalising a longstanding distance learning module in manufacturing technology. The goal is a module that reflects current trends in manufacturing and motivates the learner through frequent interactions with models of processes. The project has involved critically appraising the potential to incorporate existing online learning resources in the new module. A considerable range of resources exists in a variety of formats in a number of different repositories. From the early work of the MATTER project on CD-ROM to that of individual institutions such as Cambridge University (DoITPoMS, MAP), European Aluminium Association (aluMATTER) and WorldSteel (SteelUniversity), and the JISC funded CORE-Materials project, many of these resources are available to the whole materials community. Whilst CORE-Materials addressed both technical and legal challenges in making compiled Flash movies available for reuse, it did not extend to the modification of the source code, data or design. Out of our review has come a clear need to establish a truly reusable, customisable, open source e-Learning resource library for the Materials community to share. To achieve this goal we have identified a number of essential steps. Establishing an open-source development and hosting environment. Developing frameworks and/or templates for the resources. Developing a resource gallery front-end. Building a community of contributors and users (from education, commerce and third sector). Making appropriate licensing arrangements. Establishing curation and documentation principles. Developing business models for sustainability. We will demonstrate in our presentation how we are redeveloping existing works for our current project and use these as exemplars to show how others could contribute to an evolving resource library for the whole community. Issues we will explore include how to fund such an initiative, when not attached to a specific teaching project, curating the gallery of resources, and intellectual property rights.