Maximizing Collaborative Learning and Work in Digital Libraries and Repositories: A Conceptual Meta-Case

Maximizing Collaborative Learning and Work in Digital Libraries and Repositories: A Conceptual Meta-Case

Shalin Hai-Jew (Kansas State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-878-9.ch011
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Digital libraries and repositories aren’t often thought of as virtual learning environments. However, in function and designs, they are. A wide range of digital artifacts are archived on both private and public open-source digital libraries and repositories. There are digital collections of texts, maps, photos, sound files, geospatial resources, video, and 3D objects. There are repositories for particular fields of study as well as multi-discipline ones. These may be structured as ontologies or taxonomies in particular knowledge (or cross-discipline) domains. Recently, designers of digital libraries and repositories have been focusing more testing and design on making such spaces usable for collaborative learning and building networks of communities. This chapter will explore how to maximize collaborative learning and work in digital libraries and repositories by applying pedagogical strategies.
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Setting The Stage

Some contents in digital libraries and repositories are public and socially relevant; some are private. In the latter set, there are individual repositories of journals, notebooks, and family histories formed over a lifetime of computer usage (Callan, Smeaton, Beaulieu, Borlund, Brusilovsky, Chalmers, Lynch, Riedl, Smyth, Straccia, & Toms, 2003). Such repositories may be subjectively categorized and sufficiently scalable to handle tens of thousands of documents, photos, papers, emails, and books for individual document collections (Janssen, 2004). Private businesses maintain repositories of corporate records, patent specifications, designs and blueprints, computer coding, datasets, and reports. Some repositories are interoperable with a variety of systems and are networked for wider resource offerings; many of these are free and accessible via the WWW and the Internet. Others are proprietary, closed, subscription-only, and accessible only to those who’ve been vetted and approved. Most inaccessible are those that are “dim” or “black” databases for consumption by those with security clearances.

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