meeting on European Cultural Heritage on the Web
European Schools Treasury Browser
European Treasury Browser Offers:
- Entrypoint to European-wide educational resources on the Web
- Multilinguality, accepts submission of resources in any language
- Provide a simple search interface, Thesaurus browse and free text search
- Can be used by anyone
European Treasury Browser brings existing European wide web-based educational
resources within reach of the teachers and pupils. This will be provided
by the ETB-network, which educational repositories, i.e. servers holding
educational resources, can join with minimum cost and technical requirements.
Each educational repository joining the ETB network will maintain their
own identity and editorial policy. For European educational repositories
ETB means that their local users will have access to more material from
different European educational sources in their own interest fields while
still being assured of quality of the resources.
Repository can decide what kind of educational material or collections
they want to make available for the network. In the same way they can
select material from the network that is convenient for their users' profiles
and needs. Only the data about resources, i.e. metadata, is circulated
over the network.
Other major asset of ETB is the possibility to search through all the
resources submitted into the network. The EUN native repository provides
this. It will have an easy-to-use multilingual look supporting different
ways to search. It will also be possible to submit resources to the network
through the EUN native repository.
ETB is one of the ICT projects within the European Schoolnet (EUN), which
is a network of networks, supported by 23 national Ministries of Education
and the European Commission. EUN promotes the use of new information and
communication technologies (ICT) in schools and offers Internet-based
services to European schools.
on Quality Assurance and Selection of resources
for the ETB network
2. Multilinguality and the ETB Thesaurus
on Quality Assurance and Selection of resources for the ETB-network
ETB-network will have participants from local, national and European wide
repositories of educational material in different subject areas. ETB is
offering users the possibility to search multilingual, classified, high
quality educational material within all the repositories in the network.
This enhances the results and adds a European cultural and lingual flavor
to the use of ICT in educational settings.
of resources is a key factor in ETB. There are recommendations on quality
assurance procedures provided by the workpackage dealing with the Quality
Assurance of the project. These recommendations are aiming at two different
groups: there are guidelines on quality processes and recommendations
for (1) teachers and (2) repository managers.
The first set of recommendations aims at teachers working
in the educational settings using web-based material. On one hand the
recommendations deal with the aspects educators must keep in mind while
creating the content of their own material. In other words these recommendations
are focused on the process of developing the resources. The recommendations
are also to consider when a teacher or a student wants to submit material
to the ETB-network through the EUN native repository.
On the other hand these recommendations are good to keep in mind when
searching and selecting already existing material or products from the
Web. (Note the differentiation between quality of development process
and product itself, this is what CEN/ISSS Learning Technology Workshop
- Quality Assessment Group is looking into. )
The recommendations on the developing process of material are much in
agreement with GEM's indications and with DESIRE :
· Accuracy: the resource must be reliable, valid and
produced by a Trused source; information should be impartially presented;
resource must not contain biases, mistakes or omissions.
· Appropriateness: the resource should contain information
for the intended learners' level; the resource should use an appropriate
and suitable vocabulary, language or concepts, avoid mistakes or stereotyping.
· Clarity: information should provide a clear tie between
the purpose (goals, objectives) and the content and procedures suggested.
Correlation should be comprehensive and obvious. Redundancy is usually
unwelcome and isolated activities without a relationship are superfluous.
· Completeness: the resource should be complete, i.e.,
offer all essential information and elements, as well as inclusion
of such components as self-contained activities, materials required,
prerequisites, information for obtaining related resources, assessment
criteria, links to quality indicators and standards. The resource
should offer wide and in-depth information related to the topic.
· Motivation: the resource should achieve the active
engagement of the learner and be interesting, innovative and appealing,
build on prior knowledge and skills, and promote relevant action on
the part of the learner.
· Organisation: the resource should be easy to use and
logically sequenced, with each segment of the resource related to
other segments. It should flow in an orderly manner, using organising
tools (i.e. headings, a map, etc.) and avoiding use of unrelated elements
that are potentially ineffective or overpowering; it should provide
for references, bibliographies and other supporting materials available
for the users.
set of recommendations is for repository owners, i.e. managers, curators
and/or administrators of an educational server . This group is strictly
responsible for submitting and administrating the metadata records circulating
on the network. The recommendations will deal with issues that matter
for the network; i.e. what kind of material is wanted for the ETB-network.
Every joining repository carries out documentation processing (source
selection, documentary processing, information processing and diffusion)
in relation to its target users whose needs have been analysed. However,
it is important to emphasise that repositories are not supposed to submit
all of the records of resources and collections to the network; quality,
European level and good practice of resources is a priority issue of ETB
rather than sheer numbers.
to represent a European documentation system, where the actors use documentary
standards (metadata), selection criteria and quality assurance procedures
which are common to the system and established in advance.
Submission of records is based on the policy that all the records have
to pass a local quality assessment before being submitted to the network.
This is in the responsibility of each member repository and highly emphasised
by the ETB when member is joining the network. This allows ETB to state
that a repository becoming a member of the ETB-network already indicates
that resources are of a good quality.
the repositories shall make their quality assurance policy and quality
assessment procedures available for everybody on the Web. This allows
users to evaluate weather the quality assessment policy of resources meets
their demands whilst assure them about the material found through the
ETB. These two requirements create the base principal for "Trusted
sources" in the ETB-network.
ETB judges four (4) factors valuable for quality assurance of the learning
resources that are submitted to the network. These factors are Trusted
Source (as explained above), Usefulness, Attractiveness
and Satisfaction. These four factors of quality of material are
top level terms containing several sub-factors, which are, in their turn,
again linked back to the top-level factors (see Figure 1). These factors
don't pretend to be exhaustive standards of quality, but more acting as
methodological guidelines and recommendations for achieving better quality.
Usefulness, for example, is linked to the "Information quality"
and "Learning capability" (see Figure 1), what kind of skills
learner gets from using the material. Since each learning situation is
different it is impossible to define one set of quality standards that
will fulfill all the needs of end users. This is why the metadata records
of learning material, i.e. documentation system of resources, attempt
to describe the frame and setting as well as possible.
This is where the factor Usefulness is linked to the metadata issue;
how well and detailed the metadata records of learning material are described,
structured and if they are consistent. Naturally, if all the elements
of the ETB datamodel are used (look at http://www.en.eun.org/eun.org2/goto.cfm?did=5874),
the information of the material is more complete and more informative,
hence of higher quality.
This emphasises the importance of use of factor Satisfaction too.
ETB believes that if the end user is provided with enough information
of the resource s/he will be able to decide weather a piece of material
in concern meets the standards s/he has in mind. Thus, the overall satisfaction
to the material, and also to the documentation system, will be enhanced.
The factor for Attractiveness of resources might sound pretentious
and outplace in the list of factors judged valuable. But the playfulness
and attractiveness is not to neglect, after all it is an important asset
of using ICT in the educational setting. ETB promotes explorative, innovative
and enjoyable learning material that can make educational setting appealing
and attractive to its audience.
The two sets of recommendations introduced in this chapter are described
in a very general way. They will be further developed and completed in
the document D 3.2 Recommendation on Quality Assurance and Selection
of resources for the ETB network, which will come out in the beginning
of ETB Quality Concept Sub terms Top level term
Figure 1: Factors judged valuable for ETB and sub-terms.
participation of audience:
· Virtual ETB Quality Forum
o Starting on the 17th of September for 3 weeks period
o Available through the ETB website at http://etb.eun.org
o Subscribe for a reminder at firstname.lastname@example.org
and the ETB Thesaurus
multilingualism: everyone should be able to have learning material in
their own language. Therefore it is possible to insert educational material
into the ETB network in all languages. The user's interface will be provided
multilingually. Users can browse through the indexing elements of the
Thesaurus. This allows users to find multilingual material. For example
even if the search is done only in one language it gives results in another.
There is also a free text search possibility. Searches can be made in
all ETB languages, which are, for the moment English, French, Spanish,
German and Italian. Extensions to Swedish, Danish and Greek are will be
done by the end of the project.
included a multilingual thesaurus in the implementation of its information
system. In this way a good balance between the numbers of retrieved documents
and their relevance is assured. A multilingual thesaurus:
the effective control of the indexing language, covering each selected
concept with a preferred term in each language and ensuring inter-language
equivalence among these descriptors;
2. Provides a systematic display of the descriptors, making navigation
through the terminology easier;
3. Allows indexing and searching by combining several descriptors ex
post, in order to refine and personalise both the semantic description
and the information retrieval.
in mind on one hand the importance of standardisation in an international
setting and, on the other hand, the opportunity of creating a logical
and coherent searching tool decision to establish a new ETB thesaurus
was made. Refrain from using one of the existing multilingual thesauri
in the field of education came from the consideration that none of them
encompasses the scope envisaged by the ETB project, i.e. the content of
educational multimedia materials, in a satisfactory way. Although potentially
useful for gathering terminology, they cover either the educational system
or even teaching contents, but only at a university level.
Among the major criteria orienting decisions for descriptors the following
1. Equal status of all the linguistic areas is a very important
issue in a European context. Accordingly, each language will have a
complete display of the thesaurus. Even if English was chosen as a working
language, no language is to be considered a priori a leading language;
the possibility of some feed-back from one language to another in establishing
inter-language equivalents will always be open;
2. European conceptual approach. The terminology is supposed
to reflect a European rather than a national or local approach. That
doesn't necessarily mean denying access to information from a local
point of view: thanks to the typical thesaurus structure, it can be
guaranteed to some extent through specific non-descriptors;
3. Importance of combining deductive and inductive approaches in establishing
the terminology. If existing thesauri and/or glossaries can give
a general outline both of the content of education and of educational
methods/strategies, only a terminological analysis of available European
educational repositories can provide direct and updated evidence of
the concepts circulating in the field;
4. Necessity of creating a friendly documentary tool, in order
to encourage access of non-specialists to relevant information.
thesaurus (alphabetical, systematic, rotated display) can be downloaded
http://etb.eun.org or http://www.en.eun.org/eun.org2/goto.cfm?did=7208.
It is now
available in five languages which are English, French, German, Italian
and Spanish. Extensions in Swedish and Danish are currently under way
and will be implemented in the 1st phase of the internal pilot. At least
a Greek version will also be developed.
criteria and methodology for constructing the ETB multilingual thesauri
have been established and consolidated through an ISO standard (ISO5964/1995)
and rich technical literature.
See more on this on the ETB website in the article written by Marisa Trigari
ETB thesaurus includes 1053 descriptors. It overlaps with
EET + Ortelius: 62% (countries and language descriptors excluded)
· EUN thesaurus: 22,50% (almost totally included in the above
of ETB thesaurus:
· Content of multimedia educational materials subordinately,
· Content of teaching, guidance, evaluation, and administration
includes 25 micro-thesauri:
o individual development
o learning / research
o school activities
o leisure activities
o teaching / training / evaluation / guidance
o educational system
o content of education: 8 sub-groups, see the graph pie
o facilities / equipment / materials : 3 sub-groups
o communication / information / document
o political /social / interpersonal relations
o health / safety / handicap
o international organisations
o countries and geopolitical areas
Click jere for Figure 2: Content of education by subject
ETB thesaurus will be used in the ETB native repository and it will also
be encouraged to use it in the existing repositories which enter the ETB
If the repository is using already a classification system or a thesaurus,
this will be mapped into the ETB thesaurus to allow the interoperability
with the network.
participation of audience in:
Testing ETB thesaurus
· Feedback on usability of terms for possible changes, adjustments,
for deeper revision of terms and possible scope notes by terminological
· Accessible through http://etb.eun.org or directly at http://www.en.eun.org/eun.org2/goto.cfm?did=7208.
is based on the Network News Protocol (NNTP).Each
resource is described by a metadata record, which contains a pointer to
the Internet resource. The ETB metadata standard is defined; it is based
on Dublin Core. In the network the records will be send in XML format,
which will facilitate interoperability.
independent record is defined as an XML DTD and transferred across the
network. The repository will be provided with an API to allow a plugging
to a local management software. The cross-walk or mapping system to reference
each particular schema to the standard ETB metadata schema is contained
within each record through a <meaning> tag. This tag contains the
URI of a given attribute semantics and can in this way be mapped to the
standard ETB Metadata format.
It is a large challenge to the project to connect up disparate repositories
supporting both local metadata schemes and local classification schemes
to cerate a network of rich added value at the European level. Therefore
it is essential that an ease of integration and flexibility is maintained
so that repositories are willing to join the network, while always maintaining
a simple and transparent view of the resources to the end user.
A major feature of ETB is the adoption of a multilingual thesaurus, which
will be transmitted across the network. The thesaurus is essential for
multi-lingual searching and for metadata classification. The thesaurus
itself is being defined as an XML object based schema, cross-linking terms
through broader, narrower and related links.
In addition to a central metadata repository and thesaurus driven search
interface a EUN native repository will be built which supports the ETB
metadata standard natively, provides a thesaurus driven classification
interface, and allows teachers and external users to submit new records
to the network. The native repository will also be offered to those organisations
without an existing metadata infrastructure.
The key new technology used for the dynamic ETB metadata-network is the
resource description framework (RDF). RDF enables the thesaurus and metadata
records to be send to the network in an unambiguous fashion. This will
then be transmitted over the NNTP (NEWS) network that forms the core of
the ETB with an XML format. The diagram below gives an overview of the
ETB-network. The network will be served by a set of NNTP servers. These
servers are pre-configured according to the ETB rules.
Click here for Figure 3: Architecture Overview
maneuvers are kept minimum in the ETB network. The software toolkit connects
repository to the network and allows configuring the mappings of metadata
and classification where appropriate. This software toolkit is free of
charge, and is based on the open source policy. Technical assistance is
available from the ETB partners if needed.
It is provided that only metadata records circulate in the network. Moderation,
submission and control of these records are performed by the originator
at source, i.e. owner or curator of the member repository.
Software toolkit also consists of a record submission. It allows the repository
owner/curator to post new metadata records into the network and has a
record retrieval system. This retrieves new editions of records posted
into the network by other repositories and informs the local administrator
of the latest updates.
Members of the network can define their own criteria. For example a given
repository may decide a selection on language and/or subject keyword that
they want to accept from the network. In the same way they can chose to
accept resources automatically from all the member repositories or name
their own list of repositories, so called list of trusted sources, from
where they allow the records automatically while preferring to check records
from other sources before letting them to be posted on their own repository.
This guarantees that the end users of the repository are provided with
the larger variety of European resources in their own interest field.
Members receive feeds of records submitted by others. These records are
translated to the local format and can be input into the normal record
submission system used at the local repository. Records appear just as
if submitted for example by a national editor or teacher, and remain under
local editorial control. Likewise records are "posted" to the
network under the full control of the local administrator. So only records
deemed to be of broader European interest or "Best practices"
circulate on the network.
ETB Datamodel and Metadata Mapping
The ETB datamodel is combined from two sets of elements, both dealing
with different levels. ETB Metadata Element set on resource level and
Collection Level Descriptors (CLD) to identify the entire collection of
The first set is the ETB Metadata Elements, which deals with individual
resource level. The ETB Metadata element set is created as a minimal common
denominator set for the exchange of records over the ETB network i.e.
it is not the same as an element set for a repository. The ETB Metadata
Element Set includes 6 mandatory elements. ETB Metadata Element Set can
be extended to include some local fields.
Following the list of mandatory elements:
A name given to the resource.
ETB Obligation: Mandatory
Definition: An account of the content of the resource.
ETB Obligation: Mandatory
Language of resource
Definition: A language of the intellectual content of the resource.
ETB Obligation: Mandatory
Definition: An unambiguous reference to the resource within a given
ETB Obligation: Mandatory
Subject ETB Thesaurus
Definition: The topic of the content of the resource.
ETB Obligation: Mandatory
Definition: The intended users of the resource.
ETB Obligation: Mandatory
six elements are encouraged to use by the repositories joining the network.
The other recommended elements are Label: Type, Label: Publisher, Label:
Creator, Label: Subject Keywords, Label: Rights Management, Label: Contributor,
Label: Source, Label: Learning Situation, Label: ETB User Comments and
Label: Aggregation Level.
In case the six mandatory elements of the ETB schema is not used, a mapping
between the local metadata schema and the ETB schema is essential for
the network to operate smoothly. The software enables an automatic translation
of metadata records extracted from the local database, posts them to the
ETB network and maps them to fit the ETB schema.
There are 12 mandatory elements for Collection Level Description (CLD).
This description of the repository is produced only once and it serves
as an identity card or catalogue for the collection that a repository
holds. CLD improves the user's resource discovery by well defined descriptions
of the network collections, hence it enhances information retrieval and
also overall quality. In addition, the CLD benefit the collections; the
owner or curator of a collection can reveal information about its existence
and availability to users in a standardised manner by using a machine-readable
format that is structured.
List of CLD elements and more information available on the ETB website
· More ETB articles on the website:
o About the ETB-network by Clive Best
o Exchanging metadata by Tommy Byskov:
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