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Results of content creation

The quantitative results of content creation are presented in Figures below. The number of SCOs was roughly 500 at the end of the project; about 100 of them are available in two languages, so the number of different SCOs is about 400. Figures show how there were divided between the different subject areas and languages, and the activity of the different organisations in creating them. Subject area "Print media production" has the largest number of SCOs. They deal with the different printing technologies. Little less than half of the SCOs are available in English, with Finnish as the clearly second language group.

The Finnish partners, AEL and EVTEK produced little over half of the SCOs.

19 % 2 %

47 % 3 %

15 %

12 % 2 %

Prepress Digital media production Print media production Finishing Materials Management Products and services Figure 20. The distribution of SCOs into the subject areas.

English 46 %

Finnish 38 %

Dutch 9 %

German 7 %

Figure 21. The languages distribution of the SELEAC SCOs

AEL 20 %


15 % HdM 17 %

LCC 13 %

Figure 22. The contributions of the project partners in creating the SCOs.

More content is needed into the community for it to really gain momentum. The community must be able to offer comprehensive packages on different topics so that either a whole course or a large enough part of it can be based on the SELEAC materials.

There are good prospects for getting more content, if the teachers within SELEAC community import the materials they create anyway, and improve and translate existing material as part of their normal work. It is important to get as much material as possible translated into English and validated – this will enable further translations into other languages.

4.5.1 Chief editors and validation

Publishers apply extensive quality assurance methods, like copy editing, proofreading, statements from experts and test use in schools, before publishing the material. The SELEAC system includes two such functions: Review, which allows any user to attach comments and feedback to any SCO, and validation, in which authorised experts assess (and approve, if applicable) three quality aspects of the SCO: pedagogic, factual and language.

To facilitate content creation and validation, the content area "Graphic and media communication technology" was divided into seven different areas, and a chief editor was nominated for each of the areas. The chief editors were responsible for organising and supervising content creation in their respective areas and choosing validators for checking the quality of content. Chief editors were also required to manage the assessment of CustomDP content, upgrade of the relevant parts and import it into the SELEAC system with new metadata.

Subject area Chief Editor Institution Country

Prepress Lars Gardberg AEL Finland

Digital media production Barrie Lindford LCC United Kingdom Print media production Marianne Bultman GOC The Netherlands

Finishing Seija Ristimäki EVTEK Finland

Materials Pentti Viluksela EVTEK Finland

Management Andrea Wenzel HdM Stuttgart Germany

Products and services Carole Dische LCC United Kingdom

Table 2: Subject areas and the respective chief editors.

Most of the chief editors only covered part of the assigned responsibilities during the project (see 4.5 for the amount of created and validated SCOs in each subject area), and there are big differences in the number of SCOs in the different subject areas. However, the chief editor work will become easier as more users and validators join the community, and the co-operation between members improves.

Comment: Chief editors play a very important role in content creation. They felt that the requirements were somewhat daunting in a project set-up, because the resources in the chief editor’s own organisation were not available in all cases, and the potential resources in other partner’s

institutions were not known. The multi-language environment complicates things, too. There may be a need in the future to consider nominating subject sub-editors in each language group.

The chief editor should assign suitable validators for each of the SCOs. In theory, a pedagogic expert, a linguist and a technical expert should each validate her/his part of the SCO. In practice, one person may validate all three aspects.

Not all of the content in the SELEAC portal has yet been validated. This shows that the emphasis during the project was on creating the content – validation comes later. Multiple languages also complicate the validation: the initial idea was that first a version in English would be created and validated, and the translations would be made later. In practice, many content creators had some other language than English as their first language, and they wanted to create the content in their own language. There was no point in delaying importing the content, so the validation need to be carried out in that language. This means that there should be enough expertise in all languages that content is being created.

Finding validators is made somewhat easier by the fact that one person need not validate all three aspects (facts, pedagogy, language).

Comment: The validation process is another important element of SELEAC.

It must be strict enough to ensure that the content is as good as any commercially available content, but not too strict to altogether discourage content creation. An additional aspect is the level and target group of the content: a validator with university background may not be the right person to validate content for vocational education. The validation system must recognise these aspects and try to achieve a balance between the variables.

This may also create needs for modifying the metadata vocabularies.

All of the content creators who participated in the final survey were aware of the validation process. Two persons replied that they revised material concerning language issues, pedagogical issues or updating summaries and metadata.

The number of validated SCOs per validator is between 10 and 40, with an average time for validation of 10 to 45 minutes.