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IntraLibrary slots into Australian interoperability research project

The Collaborative Online and Information Services (COLIS) interoperability demonstrator project, now continued as the Interaction of IT Systems and Repositories (IISR) project, is to swap out its existing learning object repository with Intrallect's IntraLibrary.

The IISR project has been taken up by the relatively new Macquarie E-Learning Centre of Excellence to continue the success of the COLIS project. COLIS demonstrated what can be done with standard compliant Digital Repositories, Learning Object Trading Exchange, a Digital Rights Management Infrastructure, VLEs and Cross Domain Resource Discovery Systems managed within a Single Sign On environment. An example MLE, if you like.

Within COLIS, each of the systems was assigned a 'slot'; essentially a category of system such as a VLE or learning object repository. The idea was to demonstrate that these systems could be swapped out by substiting one piece of software with a similar one from a different vendor. This substitutability is continued in the IISR project, as are the demonstrator system and continued research into the useability of the system by teachers and learners (check the CETIS Pedagogy Forum for the UK input on this).

What COLIS had not substituted so far was the Learning Object Repository slot. Previously occupied by IPR systems' LOX (Learning Object eXchange), it will now be filled by IntraLect's IntraLibrary digital repository.

Though the replacement is not a reflection of preference of one over the other -swapping systems is the point-, the choice for IntraLibrary reflects a shift of focus from digital rights to asset management. Where IPR systems (Intellectual Property Rights) is a vendor of the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL), and several Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems that implement that language, Intrallect is mostly focussed on their lead digital repository and learning object management product, IntraLibrary. As such it is slightly more of a replacement than a swap.

More generally, COLIS project director, Professor James Dalziel of MELCOE, said: "We were looking for a digital repository system which conformed to the latest international standards for e-learning interoperability, and Intrallect’s solution met our needs. The fact that the software has been proven in the academic sector is a tremendous benefit as the Intrallect team know and understand the requirements of the educational world."

Initial response has been positive, once the installation and integration catches had been dealt with. Jonathan Clare, the substitution expert, reckons that "it has proved to be strong in demonstrating the features one expects of a 'national repository'."

Other slots in the COLIS framework have been occupied by a larger roster of vendors: the VLE slot, for example, has been taken by no fewer than six systems by vendors as diverse as WebCT's Vista and Blackboard 6 to a homegrown system by Auckland University.

More extensive reports about the results of the COLIS project are expected in February. In the mean time, information about both COLIS and IISR can be viewed on the MELCOE website.

More information about IntraLibrary can be had from the Intrallect pages.

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