Thursday, October 18

Global Learning Objects Brokered Exchange (GLOBE)

The Global Learning Objects Brokered Exchange (GLOBE) is an international consortium that strives to make shared online learning resources available to educators and students around the world. The consortium provides a distributed network of learning objects that meet quality standards. GLOBE aims to connect the world and unlock the ‘deep web’ of quality online educational resources through brokering relationships with content providers ...more

The Global Learning Objects Brokered Exchange (GLOBE) alliance has been established between the following founding members: the ARIADNE Foundation in Europe, Education Network Australia (EdNA Online) in Australia, LORNET in Canada, Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) in the US, and National Institute of Multimedia Education (NIME) in Japan. These organizations have committed to work collaboratively on a shared vision of ubiquitous access to quality educational content ...more

The first steps of the alliance are to develop use cases, specifications, business rules and technologies which will enable searches across the repositories that the partners involved have developed over the last 5 years. In this way, more resources will become more easily available to the communities involved. Moreover, other organizations in the world will be able to join and contribute to the global network. The GLOBE website will provide updates on GLOBE’s progress. The alliance aims to create a critical mass of learning resources readily discoverable by leveraging the investment that governments around the world have made in publicly accessible content ...more


Joseph Hart's Review : "The Global Learning Objects Brokered Exchange (GLOBE) contains links to many federated search sites that contain search engines covering online instructional resources. As such, it's an efficient starting point for searchers because they can utilize searches that extend across content repositories rather than searching individually by visiting every site. The GLOBE is also a good reference site for professionals in the field who want to keep up with news about standards, collaborations, and research. _____JH"

Currently the 'Globe' integrates the following content repositories (or federated search sites) in its search engine:

When looking for educational resources, you can select which content repositories (above 5) to include in your search (Checkbox style!). Also, I like the fact that you can sort your results by Priority (Interleaved), Source, Relevance and Title. Interestingly, you can easily jump from one repository to another during your exploration, thanks to the tabs function (or direct links!). Though, I would like to see how it works when they integrate more content repositories into this GLOBE project (perhaps a dynamic drop-down menu would do or simply 1, 2, 3 or 4 additional rows of links/checkboxes/tabs).

In addition, it is great that we do not see all sorts of metadata for each resource item found after a search, and instead are provided only with information about its' Relevance (%. Yes, I would love to know the algorithm(s) for this one), URL, Category, and a chunked Description. If you ask me that is good enough for starters (Less is more!). Perhaps in the future, it could have an advanced search option (if needed), where we can be bombarded with all sorts of metadata about each learning resource (if any). Hmmm, I suppose by showing less metadata about each resource item also speeds up the search results (A non-scientific guess!) . Coming to think of it, I suppose the search speed could be improved a bit, as I found it sometimes a bit slow (compared to other major content repositories such as Google, Yahoo and MSN) :)

Finally, I suppose if the 'GLOBE' could add a bit more social spice to its search services, such as ratings, comments, peer-reviews, links to authors and/or experts in the field, and communities this engine might engage and connect even more educators and learners. Hmm, maybe by doing so it will also loose focus on its main goal!

As Joseph Hart says, it's an efficient starting point... :)

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