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Getting Meta: How a metadata librarian will assist with the Open Online Courses Project

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many post-secondary institutions and instructors to move their face-to-face courses online. The Open Online Courses (OOC) initiative at BCcampus will address B.C. post-secondary educators’ need for online or blended delivery materials by collecting, curating, and organizing open educational resources (OER) into course packages that can be adopted and customized.

However, building the collection is only the start. The next step is describing and tagging the courses and OER in such a way that instructors and teaching and learning centre staff can find materials and assess pedagogical fit for their particular offerings. They might need certain topics, media, activities, and resources to compensate for student experience gaps with online learning (especially now).

BCcampus is working with Elizabeth Padilla, a metadata and digital scholarship librarian at BCIT, to ensure that OER in the new collection have the right kinds of metadata (i.e., data that describes data) to make them more findable. Elizabeth brings her expertise in describing educational artifacts and a depth of knowledge in the search tools used by instructors, instructional designers, and librarians. Using FAIR (findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability) principles for metadata, and working collaboratively with partners on OER metadata standards, she’ll help the software development team build a framework for collecting metadata and assist subject-matter experts with describing their OER.

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