Following on from Simon’s, my fellow learning technologist, blog below I’d like to talk about some of the things I feel I’ve learnt from this project. Obviously I learnt that it was fantastic being part of an award winning team who love nothing more than a bit of shameless promotion!
To be more serious and following on from Simon’s point about the ‘polishing’ aspect that arose when gathering the initial content, I would say that the OERs we have produced are primarily text based. There is nothing wrong with this as they are all fully functional and have a purpose and use but perhaps they are not the most interesting of file formats.
Coming from a web design and development background I do perhaps get a little carried away with all the innovative ways to digitise content for example: an interactive flash resource, an mp4 file, or a Flickr stream. I think that when digitising the material it was important to decide what would work and in which file format, for example, some smaller text based files could work well when transformed into audio files. However this is not the case with the majority of text based files and I think that this is part of the reason that we decided to include .epub files as part of the standard file formats we would release.
So the lessons learnt here would be compromise on my part, not letting myself get too carried away with the options for content when digitising and also an (hopefully) important lesson on planning for the future. Why is this important? Well the e-book industry is just starting to develop and thanks to lessons learnt in the other project (DUCKLING) that I’m involved with, I can produce industry standard e-books in the .epub format.
This file format will hopefully become more popular and important with the introduction of the Apple iPad as well as the evolution of the Sony Reader. This will lead to us being ahead of the game in the file formats that we include as standard in our OER repository.