CLAReT project

Contextualised Learning Activity Repository Tools (CLAReT)

The Contextualised Learning Activity Repository Tools project (CLAReT) addressed two key needs. These were to engage the language teaching and learning community in a body of shared practice in relation to their own online teaching resources and to facilitate digital resource discovery in a shared Learning Object repository (Contextualised Learning Activity Repository, CLARe).

A terminology that derived directly from a shared language and understanding of the teaching and learning context was used to generate a language learning and teaching concept map (folksonomy) through which users could search for and download digital resources (Learning Objects and Pedagogic Assets) stored in the shared repository. They were also able to upload new items to the repository. A FREMA-Style view of the map was available to aid navigation.

A prototype repository with several additional Web 2.0 like features (star ratings and scope for user comments) explored visualisation of the teaching and learning context.

The CLAReT project further developed the regionally-based cross-sector community of practice which focussed on moving towards a shared culture of use, re-use and re-purposing of online resources. The CLAReT project emphasised the sharing and dissemination of good practice. This community-driven approach extended the work already undertaken by the L2O and MURLLO projects.

A series of workshops which involved a growing community of practice informed the development of the concept map and the Web 2.0-like features of the repository. A useful output from the project was a set of 6 user profiles designed for testing the effectiveness of the concept map. These were based on HCI (Human Computer Interaction) research and included detailed personae with related search tasks resembling those likely to be undertaken with the repository in real life. The user profiles included online course designers, HE, FE and school sector teachers and student users.

The CLAReT blog recorded the progress of the project.