Authenticated Networked Guided Environment for Learning
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Resource Manager: Overview
Author: Nicole Harris
What is the Resource Manager?
The Resource Manager (RM) is one of three components that form the core Angel middleware structure. Its primary role is to control metadata about information resources.
What tasks will it perform?
The Resource Manager holds information about resources in one central location (database). Every time a course instructor adds a resource to their course pages within a VLE, the Resource Manager can learn about the resource, and help maintain it. The Resource Manager can also be used to display and maintain resource lists in other interfaces, including institutional web pages and portals.
Resources used by instructors within UK HE generally fall into the following categories:
Many of these resources are handled, very efficiently, by HE libraries within the library catalogues, but the continuing diversity of available resources makes this task more complex. Solutions to this problem of resource management are being offered from all angles (VLE vendors, MLE solutions, library management systems, content management systems). In practise, the different users of different systems within a University want to be able to access this information through their interface of choice. The Angel Resource Manager looks to solve both of the problems highlighted: providing a place to describe material not typically catalogued by the library (a single article within a journal, a powerpoint slide for course EC101), and enabling this central manager to interoperate with a variety of different interfaces.
The Resource Manager also addresses access management issues by offering appropriate copy solutions. In addition to metadata about the resources themselves, the RM also includes metadata about the access management of a resource (including both rules and technical means of accessing a resource). This allows a library to direct different users to different resources depending on which groups they belong to. This would allow an institution to permit postgraduates to be guided to an ILL form for unavailable material, but direct undergraduates to discuss alternative sources with their tutor. It would also allow individual departments to buy e-access to a resource for only their students without having to worry about restricted access terminals or complex password systems to make sure this is achieved.
How does it work?
The following scenarios are examples of how the Resource Manager might offer benefits to a user:
What technology does it use?
Details concerning beta releases of the ANGEL middleware applications can be found at: http://www.angel.ac.uk/inside/
| pages maintained by Nicole
page last updated: 22 July, 2002