Repository interoperability is a hot issue internationally and a number of important projects are currently underway in this area. Meanwhile we have an immediate practical need to learn about the potential for linkages between the primary research resources deposited in TARA and the university's teaching needs 'on the ground'. A seamless interface between Dspace-based TARA, the College VLE (WebCT or equivalent) and the National Digital Learning Repository (NDLR) would be great, but before thinking about building system solutions we need to understand more about the needs and behaviours of potential users.
Selected images from the Nicholas K. Robinson Collection of Caricature have been uploaded from TARA directly to Flickr (via Flock). This is a test demo examining a Web 2.0 method - quick, simple, user-generated and free! - of repurposing TARA repository-based resources for use in teaching. This method allows direct upload of the web images as they are being viewed in TARA, and image cropping, rotation, addition of description and tagging at the point of upload using the Flock browser's special features. The usual Flickr facilities may be used as required: addition of notes to image, creation of 'sets', creation of slideshows, facility for comments by viewers/students, restrictions on access. There's an even faster way to do this: downloading Bill Conan's handy Firefox extension allows you to right-click an image in TARA (or any website), and send it straight to your Flickr account.
The advantage is simple and pretty basic: a learning resource is built 'on-the-fly' as a lecturer browses images in TARA. The Flickr slideshow link may be subsequently added to WebCT & Moodle courses and deposited in the NDLR as a reusable learning object. Of course, there are more high-tech/better ways to achieve this kind of thing - this is just a zero-cost start for us to explore the spaces within and between these systems. (The demo is for the TCD School of Histories and Humanities Digital Image Project).
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