I am taking part in an e-Conference on Learning Repositories in Agriculture Food & Environment: Quality Promises & Considerations in Learning Repositories and Portals, October 6-20/10/2010. This is open to anyone and the discussions will fall into two phases. During Phase 1, I am jointly moderating a topic which asks: Providing quality metadata: Is the gain worth the effort? My co-moderator in the e-conference is Steph Taylor from UKOLN. (As some of you may already know, she has initiated the Metadata Forum and you can keep up to date with this on her blog).
The areas up for discussion in our Topic are:
1. Have you described in the past, your learning resources using metadata (description, title, keywords, tags, etc)? Which are the metadata elements that you mainly use?
2. Do you feel that providing metadata for resources is useful? What are the incentives that drive you, to provide the metadata?
3. What constitutes high quality metadata for a resource? Is it completeness for all metadata elements? Is it the clarity and correctness of the language used? Other aspects?
4. What are the benefits you see in providing metadata for learning resources in practice?
From the comments so far, people see an obvious value in metadata but this is difficult to quantify. There are many more questions than answers at the moment. People have also mentioned the importance of standards and an interesting point was made that correct adherence to a minimum set is more important than completeness. For some interesting and entertaining thoughts about standards, see Pat Lockley’s blog post on Learning Technology at the University of Nottingham.