Technical course on agricultural learning repositories

Service Type/Sector: Training event

Client: Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations

Client profile: The Food and Agriculture Organization was founded in October 1945 with a mandate to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living, to improve agricultural productivity, and to betterthe condition of rural populations. Today, FAO is the largest autonomous agency within the United Nations system with 180 Member Nations plus the European Community (Member Organization) and more than 3 700 staff members. Since its inception, FAO has worked to alleviate poverty and hunger by promoting agricultural development, improved nutrition and the pursuit of food security - the access of all people at all times to the food they need for an active and healthy life.

Description: This is a Technical Course on Federation of Learning Repositories for Agriculture, Food & Environment (more info:

The goal of this 4-day course was to provide to developers of learning content, tools and repositories with technical expertise necessary to connect to federations of learning object repositories such as Organic.Edunet, the Learning Resource Exchange (LRE) or ARIADNE, using best practice and state-of-the-art standards as recommended in Best Practice Networks such as the ASPECT project. Focus was given to owners of existing content collections, content development and organization tools/processes, and repositories of agricultural and rural interest. To this end, the case studies presented particularly focused on examples from the agricultural sector.

Participants had some intensive, hands-on training on current Learning Technologies (LT) standards, specifications and technologies. It helped them get a good grip of the current state-of-art in this field, and be able to quickly and easily interconnect their institution’s or initiative’s learning repository with other agricultural ones. Many participants set up a demonstrator of federating their repository. The Programme topics of the course covered the following areas:

  • Learning resource discovery and exchange
  • Reusable learning content: An overview
  • Major federations of learning resource repositories: An overview
  • Describing learning resources: Metadata standards
  • Metadata Application Profiles
  • Metadata bindings and validation
  • Open Archive Initiative – Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH)
  • Implementing, describing, and harvesting an OAI-PMH target
  • Structure of a query service
  • The Simple Query Interface (SQI)
  • Describing an SQI target
  • Query languages and result formats (PLQL, LRE Context Set, IMS LOM Context Set)
  • The IMS LODE Registry data model
  • Describing learning resource collections
  • Building a registry-driven federation
  • Agricultural project case studies