ADLRR2010: Breakout Groups: Future Directions

Challenge: Where should ADL spend 10 mill bucks now on repository stuff? (Or 1 mill bucks, instructions to groups varied, and spending some money on a cruise was an option.)

Group 1:
We're back to herding cats
* Do we understand the problem statement clearly yet? Lots of discussion this part 2 days all over the place? Need to work out the grand challenge with the community still
* Need awareness of the problem space; lots of terms used loosely (repository vs registry), ppl don't know what they're trying to solve yet. What's happening in other domains?
* Harmonise, explore what's going on in the space, work with what you've got instead of reinventing solutions
* More infrastructure support: if solutions are out there, what we're missing is the market for it. What good is a highway system without any cars to go on it?

Group 2:
* Understand business drivers and requirements, formally (40%)
* Models for embedding and highly usable systems (25%) (widgets, allowing people to adapt their current systems of choice; don't end up in competition with grassroots systems that are more usable)
* Create mechanisms to establish trust and authority, in terms of functionality and content (15%) (clearinghouse? means of rating? something like Sourceforge?)—this is where the value of a content repository is
* Virtualise content repositories and registries (Google) (10%)—ref what Nick Nicholas was talking about: allow grassroots generated content to be a layer below Google for discovery: middleware API, Web Services, Cloud Computing: essentially data mining
* Study systems (Content Repositories, LCMSs) that already work (10%)

Group 3:
Most time spent on defining what the problem is
* Some thought there is no single problem, depends on what is being asked
* Some thought there is no problem at all, we'll take the money and go on holiday

There are two engineering problems, and one cultural problem:
* Cultural: Incentives for parties creating and maintaining content are diversifying, and are at odds with each other (e.g. more vs less duplicate content)
* Engineering 1: Need to discover repositories: registry-of-repositories (ASPECT). Sharing is the driver: without sharing, no reuse, and content is underutilised. Repositories are not discoverable by Google (Dark Web). Also need evaluation of repositories, what their content is, and how to get access to them. Second, need to make services coming out of R&D sustainable, including identifying business models. Third, need to capitalise on untapped feedback from users, and exchange.
* Engineering 2: Teaching the wrong thing because of lack of connection between teaching, and learning content. Learning content has much context; need to disambiguate this information to improve relations between content and users. Portfolio of assets must be aligned with student needs: need all information in one place. Don't want learning resources to be out of date or inaccurate.
* If you have 1 mill, get 100 users together and observe them, and find out what their requirements are. Don't just survey people, they'll say "Sure", and then not use the new repository because it has the wrong workflows.

Group 4:
* Research. Biggest thing needed is federating the various repository options out there
* Analysis of end user needs: both consumers and producers of content; both need refinement over what is currently available to them
* Systems interfaces to exchange content in multiple systems and multiple ways, including unanticipated uses: open-ended content exchange
* User feedback mechanisms: easier and faster collecting of metadata

Group 5: (My group)
* User Anonymity and security, for
* User Context to
* Drive discovery, which
* Needs data model for user context: typology, taxonomy
Crucial insight is: we're no longer doing discovery, we're going to push out the right learning content to users (suggestion systems), based on all the user behaviour data we and others are gathering—and aggregating it. The Amazon approach on recommending books, finding similar behaviours from other users. Becomes an issue of which social leader or expert to follow in the recommendations. (This is what repositories are *not* already doing: it's the next step forward)
Balanced against security concerns—stuff in firewalls, stuff outside, less reliable stuff in Cloud, etc

Group 6:
* Not everyone needs a repository: what is it for?
* Life cycle maintenance of content: don't focus on just the publishing stage
* Rethink metadata: too much focus on formal metadata, there's a lot of useful informal user feedback/paradata, much can be inferred
* Rethink search; leverage existing search capabilities: The Web itself is an information environment, explore deeper context-based searches (e.g. driven by competencies)
* What will motivate people to work together? (business drivers)
* Standards: how to minimise the set? (not all are appropriate to all communities)
* Exposing content as a service (e.g. sharing catalogues—good alternative to focus on registries, which is premature)
* Focus on domain-specific communities of practice (DoD business model not applicable to academic, constraints on reuse)
* Look at existing research on Web 2.0 + Repository integration

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