TrAgLor - Turkish Agricultural Learning Objects Repository

USER'S GUIDE

Introduction

Turkish Agricultural Learning Objects Repository (TrAgLor) is a kind of learning content management system which stores and manages learning objects and their associated metadata. Learning object metadata, consisting of the descriptive data elements from 9 categories such as general, educational, technical and classification formed according to IEEE LTSC Learning Object Metadata (LOM) Draft Standard.

Membership Process

Since TrAgLor is a open content system membership registration is not required for:

  • searching objects,
  • browsing and listing objects,
  • reading news,
  • viewing upcoming events
However, membership registration is required for these basic operations:
  • adding objects,
  • building or uploading metadata,
  • downloading local Traglor objects,
  • using Traglor Web services
  • being a content and technical support partner

How to sign-up to be a member of TrAgLor

To sign up to Traglor, click signup to be a member link in MEMBERS AREA section of the navigation panel on the left side of the homepage of TrAgLor. In registration form you should enter the information you are asked for on the registration page you reach by clicking Sign-up link. In TrAgLor, since an e-mail based users accounting method is applied you must enter your e-mail address as your user account name. In order to complete your registration, you should activate your account by clicking the link sent to your e-mail address after you submitted your membership details. During registration you are kindly advised to enter a password reminder question and its answer that you will use in case you forget your password. Please click to sign-up now.

Logging in the system

To be able to do operations exclusive for TrAgLor members, you are required to login in the system. For logging in the system, click Repository login link in the MEMBERS AREA section of navigation panel on the left side of screen. Then, enter your e-mail address (as your account name ) and password on login page you reach by clicking Repository login link.

If your e-mail address and password are correct, then Traglor will start a session for you, and your name will be displayed on top of navigation panel. But if your e-mail address and/or password is incorrect, then a warning message will appear on the page. You can tick "remember me in this computer" checkbox in login page if you want your computer to remember your login information for next sessions. If you are a member of the system, but don’t remember your password, then click "Remind me my password" link. This link is shown as a warning message on login failures. Here, please type and send your password reminder question and its answer to Traglor. The system will send your details to your e-mail automatically.

Browsing Objects

Object browser of Traglor enables users to access the metadata stored in the repository by a hierachical categorization system. The categories are arranged in an easy and simple way that users can reach objects by the disciplines and/or subdisciplines of learning objects. In TrAgLor there are many browsing options that make objects access is very easy. Some of these options, you will reach on the BROWSE OBJECTS section of navigation panel are:

  • Browsing objects by subject directories,
  • Browsing objects by title,
  • Browsing objects by date of entry into database,
  • Browsing objects by their popularity (users hits)

Browsing by Subject Categories

Clicking on BROWSE OBJECTS link on the navigation panel, you will access the objects on TrAgLor by their category. At the top level of you will see main categories after you displayed the browsing page. You need to click the category name, you are interested in to access the objects and other subcategories under it. If there is any object in a top or sub-category displayed, number of objects in it is shown in paranthesis near the link. Clicking on BROWSE OBJECTS panel, you will access a browsing page on which all the main subject categories are listed. Here you need to click the category name which you are interested in to access its objects and other subcategories. In each category line the number of objects is shown in paranthesis if there is any object in the category. Please note that this number only shows the number of objects which are located in the top category not in the subcategories. In a category accessed you will see a list of data which introduces the objects. These data are:

Such information as:

  • Name or title of object
  • Category (discipline) of object
  • Technical format of object
  • Date of entry to TrAgLor
There are four links at each line’s rightmost end in the list:
  • Object summary
  • Object metadata
  • Metadata in XML
  • Discussions
Among these actions, as "object summary" is clicked, a short list of technical and educational information including the screenshot for selected object is displayed in "Object Summary" page.

Via "XML" link, all the LOM-standard complied details of the relevant object is accessed. To be able to understand the metadata listed in XML format, some information about LOM metadata standard may be required. In TrAgLor the reason behind showing object metadata in XML format is to display some advanced details which cannot be given in form format, and also to provide the possibility to copy the object metadata as raw document to those who want to use it.

Via "Discussions" link, discussions or annotation about the object are reached and a new one can be added. But registration is required to add new discussions for any object.

Lists of objects are arranged as 25 objects per page. If the number of objects in a category you are viewing exceeds 25, then page numbers are shown at the bottom of the list. Clicking on the page numbers, you can directly access the page you wish.

The categories accessed by categorical browsing is displayed in red as All>Category>Sub-category on the top left hand corner of the listing. In that case, to reach top category, you are required to click on top category name in that line. On clicking on "All", you return the top level, namely, root category.

Browsing by Title

Clicking on browse "by title" link seen on the navigation panel, you reach the objects by their titles.

In each object list page, these are available:

  • The name or title of object
  • Category (discipline) of object
  • Technical format of object
  • Date of entry to TrAgLor
  • Location of object (local TrAgLor file or external file)
  • Access-count of object (hits)
The function of the four action links, located on right end of each line is the same as the one explained before for browsing on categories.

Browsing by Date of Entry

Clicking on browse "by date of entry" link on navigation panel, you reach the objects stored in TrAgLor by their entry date to the repository. Besides sort direction can be changed, default sorting is made from the newest one to the oldest one.

Browsing by Popularity

Object popularity is the access count of a given object, in other word it is hit counts of the object. Clicking on "by popularity" link seen on the navigation panel, you will reach the objects stored in TrAgLor by their hits in descending order. Sorting direction may change, however, default sorting direction is in descending order, from the most viewed to the least viewed.

Browsing on Category Map

AGRICOLA category mapping is used for object disciplines in TrAgLor. AGRICOLA is the category system developed by National Agricultural Library (NAL) at United States Department of Agriculture. For classification of the objects, currently, AGRICOLA goes into further details than others do. Moreover, in NAL, the bibliographic databases for agriculture and relevant disciplines research works have been used AGRICOLA for a long time.

To get more information about AGRICOLA categories and its codes:

TrAgLor uses AGRICOLA codes and categories at its beta stage; however, there will be other classification systems in the forthcoming versions of the system. Besides, Turkish agriculture ontology studies, based on AGROVOC of FAO will be adapted and used in the repository. TrAgLor is also open to category suggestions by users, as well. To do this, please click on "suggest a category" link seen at the end of categories listing, and give the required information to TrAgLor administration.

Search Objects

Search object option in TrAgLor enables its users to search and locate the objects by their title, keyword, and any word included in their metadata. To search for an object, you are required to choose one of the options below which is suitable for your case:

  • Object search
  • Basic search
  • Advanced search
  • Search on LOM fields
  • Fulltext search
OBJECT SEARCH on navigation panel serves as a quick search option to find objects according to well known elements of the objects, i.e. title, keywords, description, tecnical formats etc. These metadata elements are:
  • Title
  • Keyword
  • Disciplines
  • Technical format
  • Technical requirements
  • Learning resource type
  • Intended end user role
  • Lifecycle contributor
  • Description text

After selecting a search field from the list, the word or words about the selected field should be entered into the "word(s) to be searched" box by adding commas between the words. Then a matching option should be checked for relation between the words. Possible matching options are:

  • All words
  • Any of words
  • Exact phrase

"All words" is selected to find the objects containing all of the words entered into "word(s) to be searched" box. To illustrate this matching options, if "title" is selected as search field and "fruit, cultivation" are entered as the words to be searched, then the objects whose titles include both "fruit" and "cultivation" will be listed as the results of search process. In this search, for example, the objects titled as "cultivation of fruits", "fruits cultivation in asia", "hard-seed fruit cultivation issues in Turkey" will be found.

If "any of words" is chosen as a matching option, then the objects which include at least one of the requested words will be searched. For example, if "title" is selected as search field and "fruits, cultivation" are typed in search box, then the objects which include either "fruits" or "cultivation" in their title will be found. In this search, for example, such objects titled as "fruit cultivation", "hard-seed fruits cultivation", "fruits desiccation", "vegetable cultivation" will be found.

"Exact phrase" is an option which enables users to search the words as the way they are written. For example, if "title" is selected as search field and "fruits cultivation" is input in the search box, then only the objects containing "fruits cultivation" in their title will be displayed but not "cultivation of fruits". In this search, also the objects containing "Fruit Cultivation" or "FRUIT CULTIVATION" in their title will not be listed because even if previous search types are not case-sensitive, "exact phrase" option is case-sensitive.

After selection of a search field and entering the words to be searched, on clicking "search" button will start the search operation, then the objects matching search criteria will be displayed in result pages. These elements are listed in every line of results:

  • Object title
  • Object discipline
  • Technical format
  • Date of entry to TrAgLor

There are four action links which perform the same actions explained in browsing objects in each lines’s rightmost end in search result list:

  • Show object
  • Object metadata
  • Metadata Xml
  • Discussions

Page numbers are shown at the bottom of search results for page navigation. Any desired result page can be accessed quickly by clicking on these page numbers.

Basic search

Basic search is a very quick search option which might be used for the words in titles of the obejcts only. In general, searching for the words in object title is offen enough in the most of searches in practice. To launch "basic search", user should click on basic search on navigation panel and then type the "word(s) to be searched" in object titles into the search box, and finally a "matching option". Then "search" buton should be clicked on.

Advanced search

Advanced search in TrAgLor is a search type which has been combined into many LOM metadata fields. In the page accessed through "advanced search", users can search in these fields:

  • Title
  • Description text
  • Keywords
  • Disciplines
  • Technical format
  • Intended end user role
  • Lifecycle contributor
Some of these fields have values determined in LOMv1.0 vocabulary and the ones which are suitable for purpose are chosen from the option list. Requested words should be entered in such search boxes as title or description. As an example to advanced search, let’s assume that a user wishes to search for objects containing "olive" in their titles in "food processing" subject. In that case, after typing "olive" in title box, then "food processing" category should be chosen from dropdown list for disciplines.

In advanced search, if search operation is launched without selecting anything or typing nothing into the text boxes, then all the objects in TrAgLor repository will be listed by their entry date in descending order.

The way advanced search results are displayed and the information to be displayed, page order and listing of object details are the same as the search actions explained above.

Search on LOM fields

In this search type, the words typed in words to be searched box are queried in any element existing in metadata files of objects. So it is a slow but useful search method. LOM-based Xml files found at the end of the search operation are displayed as a list. Users can access relevant metadata clicking on the requested file.

Adding Objects

Registration as member is required for adding object and/or metadata to TrAgLor. For that reason, if your session is over or you do not login, you will be redirected to "repository login" page. After logging in, you can perform any action in "ADD OBJECT" panel. Adding actions are:

  • Add objects
  • Add new objects
  • Add metadata (classic)
  • Add metadata (TreeLom)
  • Upload metadata

Add Objects

This option is an alternative for those who do not have enough experiences about IEEE LOM metadata standard. Each file on the page accessed via this option describes itself; however, these documents are recommended to read in the case of adding objects or metadata to TrAgLor.

Add metadata (Classic)

This adding option is an entry level method for adding objects and their metadata to TrAgLor. In this option, object's metadata elements is entered in web forms. With the panels for each LOM elements category the unused categories can be hidden easily and that makes data entry fast.

Add Metadata (TreeLom)

With this adding method, object metedata can be entered with TreeLom, a tree-view Xml editor which hase been developed for LOM metadata. Even if it seems hard to use it at first, it offers convenience in an object’s metadata entry. Since TreeLom metadata editor has English interface, data entry with this option may be preference by TrAgLor editors. (See Tree view editing learning object metadata about TreeLom editor at IJKLO)

Upload Metadata

Object metadata can be done by uploading metadata files created with any XML editor complying with LOM Standard. To do this, after clicking "browse" button in the local system, an XML file is chosen from local file system and uploaded to TrAgLor system. For a succussful operation, file type should be XML and file size should be smaller than 200K. When the file reached to the system, it is checked for LOM compatibility by LOM supervisors and then it is saved on TrAgLor as metadata.

Reviewing Process for Submitted Objects

All metadata contributions that have been submitted by our users are reviewed by editors who are the experts in a particular subject field. Evaluation of the submitted resources is very similar to the review process performed by scientific journals. At TrAgLor, our system managers login to the our administration site, display the contributor-submitted metadata and/or other stuff posted to TrAgLor, and assign the subject specialists to review and grade the resource. Our subject specialists are informed for new contributions periodically. When they logged into TrAgLor's editorial site they see what submitted materials are waiting for their evaulation. Also they are informed the tasks which are waiting on the task list for them once in a week. The subject specialists evaluate the submitted resources according to the "Editorial Guidelines of TrAgLor" and finally decide that the resource is suitable or unsuitable for publishing at the repository. If they find the reviewed object is valuable for learning they transfer it from temporary location into the repository. After that the object becomes visible to the users of TrAgLor. . The main criteria of this guideline are consist of the following titles:

Traglor is predicate on these principles:

  • Content: Content should be educational. There should be free from spelling or grammar errors.
  • Educational quality: The level of an object should encourage the students. It should facilitate learning.
  • Technical quality: An object should be up-to-date and applicable with widespread software and hardware.
  • Reusability: An object should be reusable with different systems and purposes, and also be easily accessible.
  • User interface: An object should work without any problem and designed as easy-to understand and easy-to navigate.
  • Standard: Object metadata should be created in LOM standard.
An administration and operatinal model for TrAgLor will be studied at the end of the project by March 2008. A sustainability analysis is done by project administration currently.