Statement of Need

The Learning Linked Data project, led by the Information School at the University of Washington and funded by a one-year IMLS planning grant, began as an investigation of educational needs of library and museum professionals in the technologies and practices of open availability of collection materials and descriptive metadata via the W3C’s Resource Description Framework (RDF). A core project group of twenty instructors, students, and technology experts met to develop an Inventory of Learning Topics outlining a target set of basic analytical and software skills needed across a wide range of pedagogical contexts. The draft inventory was posted online for input from a larger circle of colleagues, resulting in modifications of and additions to its topic list. The effort generated and clarified a vision of an online learning environment in support of instruction in the principles and practice of Linked Data — a “language lab” of software-supported methods for data processing and analysis.
Learning Topics and subsequent implementation planning.

Original Project Description

The Learning Linked Data Project, a one-year planning activity funded under the National Leadership Program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) from October 2011 through September 2012 [1], took a first step towards developing a software platform to help instructors, students, and independent learners interpret and create Linked Data. The platform was envisioned to be of use to anyone offering training and education in Linked Data principles and practice, whether in academia or professional settings, for online instruction or in classrooms. The project held a workshop in February 2012 to define the needs and requirements of such a platform.

The workshop covered a wide range of perspectives. Participants included iSchool faculty members (Mike Crandall and Joe Tennis of the University of Washington, Jane Greenberg of the University of North Carolina, and Marcia Zeng of Kent State University); metadata community organizers (Tom Baker, Diane Hillmann, and Stuart Sutton of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative); information system consultants (Joseph Busch, Karen Coyle, and Marjorie Hlava); graduate students (Riley Stoermer, David Talley, Karen Wickett, and Craig Willis); library systems developers (Corey Harper of New York University and Ed Summers, then of the Library of Congress), and online university instruction coordinators (Randy Orwin of the University of Washington).

Based on an analysis of essential knowledge and methods learners will need to master in order to interpret and create Linked Data, the workshop jointly formulated an Inventory of Learning Topics and identified types of software tools needed for learning those topics [2].

The Inventory of Learning Topics, with its analysis of required software components, was available for public review through 30 June 2012. Comments received were incorporated into a revised document and final report [3] published in September 2012. This report was used as the basis for a subsequent IMLS project proposal, submitted in 2014, for implementing the platform specified.

The partners of the Learning Linked Data Project are the University of Washington, Kent State University, the University of North Carolina, JES & Company, and 3 Round Stones, Inc. The project lead and contact person is Mike Crandall of the University of Washington.

[2] Inventory of Learning Topics
[3] Original project final report