Association for Learning Technology Online Newsletter
Issue 3, January 2006   Monday, January 30, 2006

ISSN 1748-3603

Cover Page »
Case studies
An electronic learning curve: implementing ePortfolios
Literacy through technology: The Sheffield College experience
Hip hop - beats, rhymes and life
Viewed from the other side
Zalatwic - Using MOODLE to accomplish things
Project updates
JORUM Contributor Service launched
JISC infoNet: Freedom of Information survey
Staff ICT and e-learning skills in Scottish higher education
Conference reviews
Designs on e-learning
A clear view and strong signal for m-learning
ALT news
Director's report
Executive Secretary's report
Subscribe / Remove
Privacy policy

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Past Issues
Issue 2
October 24, 2005
Issue 1
August 5, 2005
JORUM Contributor Service launched
by Michael Dodds

JORUM is a free online service for Higher and Further Education institutions in the United Kingdom (UK), supporting the sharing, reuse and repurposing of learning and teaching resources. The venture is JISC funded and run by staff based at the MIMAS and EDINA Data Centres. The JORUM repository (offering a searchable online library of learning and teaching resources for UK teaching staff) uses a system called intraLibrary, procured from Intrallect Ltd.

There will be two main elements to the Service in development: a Contributor Service and a User Service. JORUM Contributor will allow colleges and universities to upload learning and teaching materials, while JORUM User will provide access to the materials for institutions that have signed up. The Contributor Service was launched on 7th November 2005 and the User Service will be available in early 2006.

Why contribute to JORUM?
JORUM Contributor allows institutions and project teams to share learning and teaching materials with colleagues in the UK. JORUM will host materials that have been publicly funded and also materials which have been developed within institutions. The JORUM Team have been migrating content from early adopters to the service system for several months. Many of the JISC X4L Phase One projects have contributed materials, and the Phase Two Projects are beginning to do so.

Twenty institutions have signed the Deposit Licence so far. Projects have approached JORUM with resources to contribute, reflecting a range of reasons to participate. These include the desire to:

  • participate in the advancement, embedding and sustainability of e-learning in the UK;
  • make their content easily and freely available to the community (often, they will have a requirement as part of funding terms to ensure this is achieved);
  • use JORUM as a place for creating communities of practice;
  • promote, showcase and publish content to a national audience of peers;
  • use JORUM as a long-term repository for publicly funded project outputs;
  • help colleagues and peers across the UK by providing content which saves staff time and can be repurposed to suit their own needs;
  • track downloads of contributed content and collect feedback from other users.

For contributors, the Service offers a secure digital repository that requires authentication via Athens. Cataloguing assistance to attach quality metadata is available and contributors can monitor the use of their materials by the wider community. The Service also provides personal advice and training where required throughout the contribution process. For more information, including support on licensing, visit the contributor section of the JORUM website.

How to submit items to JORUM
Contributing projects can customise the way they submit items to JORUM. The standard model for submitting content, developed in conjunction with the Resource Discovery Network (RDN) cataloguing team, is as follows:

  • contributors upload the resource and complete basic metadata fields (title and brief description, other fields are system generated);
  • contributors choose a top level classification in the repository;
  • contributors attach any relevant rights holder information;
  • contributors publish the resource into the repository, making it visible to users;
  • a cataloguer receives notice that a resource has been published;
  • the cataloguer previews the resource and completes the full metadata record;
  • a cataloguing reviewer assesses the cataloguer’s work.

JORUM User will provide access to the shared repository of resources. Teaching and support staff in institutions who subscribe to this Service will be able to find, preview, download, reuse and repurpose materials for use with learners in their institution. JORUM contains both learning and teaching materials. Learning resources in JORUM range from single assets (documents, images, diagrams) to comprehensive learning objects (interactive units and content packages). Teaching resources found in JORUM will support teaching staff, and might include tutor guides, lesson plans, schemes of work and staff development materials. The JORUM team have worked to ensure that the materials are compliant with e-learning standards and are therefore interoperable across a range of platforms.

JORUM User Pilot
A pilot of the Service involving the WM Share Project tested the institutional and end user experience of subscribing to the User Service. The JORUM team collected institutional feedback on licensing, Athens authentication and local support for the Service, and held a full training session with end users. Feedback was obtained on a JORUM overview presentation, an animation of the system in action, training materials, the system interface and functionality, the website and support materials.

JORUM Support
JORUM already provides news, information, guidance, training materials, publications and online help ( The JORUM team will continue to improve support surrounding both elements of the Service.

If you are interested in contributing content to JORUM then contact us via our website. Information on the forthcoming User Service will be posted online soon.

Michael Dodds
JORUM Outreach Officer

Example Resource

Featured Resource

"Out of Darkness" is a learning object, on the theme of Film Noir, produced by one of the JISC-funded Exchange for Learning Phase 1 Projects. Staff working on the E-Studio Project, based at Wolverhampton University, created the resource in Macromedia Flash.

Using this resource, teaching staff can introduce students to the growth of Hollywood and the popularity of Film Noir as a movie genre. Learners engage with the subject matter by playing the role of an LAPD detective in 1936. The resource provides objectives and tasks, as well as film trailers, links and tutor notes. While being highly interactive, the learning object has customisable settings, which improve accessibility

JORUM website and contact: and

JISC Exchange for Learning (X4L) Programme:

Intrallect Ltd:

EDINA National Data Centre, University of Edinburgh:

MIMAS National Data Centre, University of Manchester:


WM Share:


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