TrAgLor - Turkish Agricultural Learning Objects Repository

Invitation

Dear Visitor,

In February 2007, just six months ago it was only a project funded by TUBITAK with a small amount of budget around 1OK USD. Now, in the beginning of August, hottest month of year it became into reality. We are very happy to announce that Beta 1.0 version of "The Turkish Agricultural Learning Objects Repository" or shortly "TrAgLor" is now in service at http://traglor.cukurova.edu.tr and http://turkonde.cukurova.edu.tr since August 8th, 2007. As the first multilingual and multicultural learning objects repository of Turkey and probably the world, TrAgLor is currently running with its Turkish, English and German translations while the translation works for other languages, i.e. French and Azeri are being continued. TrAgLor can also be considered as one of the frontier applications of IEEE Learning Object Metadata (IEEE LOM) standard in agriculture and related sciences. It has been designed and developed with a repository architecture that is full compatible to IEEE LOM draft standard. As an educational support system for e-learning TrAgLor enables learners to build, store, browse, query and use any digital learning objects which have been developed for agriculture, food, veterinary, fishery, environment, forestry and other related basic and applied life sciences such as biology, botany, zoology, genetics as well as such social sciences as rural development and agricultural economics.

Digital learning objects can be defined as any simple or complex electronic materials developed to be used by teachers, instructors and learners for educational purposes in e-learning. Besides, a digital object can be an image of simpliest level (atomic level) such as a picture exemplifying a topic or an entity, a photograph, a figure, an illustration; it can also be a music file like mp3 or vaw file; textual materials like a text file, a pdf file; a multi-part material like a power point presentation; a video, an HTML web site giving information for one or the whole parts of a lesson. What’s more, by learning object, flash animations and applets presenting information animatedly with audio, video, image, text and drawings is understood in general.

TrAgLor is a repository system that stores the digital objects produced for formal and/or informal learning for agriculture, food and other disciplines of life sciences. The metadata of the objects are built and indexed according to their general, educational, technical and taxonomic features with compatibility to IEEE LOM. The capability in indexing characteristics of objects such as semantic depth, educational age groups, and difficulty level is the most distinctive superiority of LORs when they are compared to traditional search engines. In TrAgLor metadata is accepted after a review mechanism. Currently, at its beta stage, the technical features of objects submitted to the repository is validated by the project team. But educational content quality of the objects is checked and rated by by academic staff of the Faculty of Agriculture at the Çukurova University, Adana, Turkey. For future versions of TrAgLor we also planned to develop a search engine logic and architecture in order to harvest learning objects on the Internet via webbots which will be developed.

TrAgLor is currently an open system for the individual and intitutional conributions from the universities, research and application centers, educational institutes and extension services around the world. You can contribute us as a subject editor, reviewer, writer, and/or even a member.

As it grows with your contributions day to day, TrAgLor will proceed to be a gateway providing one-point access to the objects required to form e-courses. We hope that it will significantly improve your difficulties in finding the relevant objects for your purpose as a learner or teacher. Providing metadata by TrAgLor will also be possible by accessing via web services, which is available in the system and possessing the feature of being the first academic based service in Turkey. Besides, metadata exchange with the world’s leading learning objects repositories within the frame of parnership we planned in Beta 2.0 version in order to realize realtime systems interoperability. Within the system, SCORM based course production & packaging tools will be developed and distributed. When they are completed, the possibility of creating fast, cheap and educationally high-quality learning materials will be available for e-learning systems and/or people who wish to create their own course material and/or package.

As it is known well, one of the most important factor for the improvement, progress and maintenance of non-profit learning support systems is the interest and contibutions of relevant parties to such systems. We invite honourable instructors, teachers, lecturers, engineers and students who engaged in the fields of agriculture, food, fishery, veterinary medicine, environment, forestry and biology to use and contribute to TrAgLor system.

Believing and wishing it be beneficial,

Best regards.

Prof.Dr. Zeynel Cebeci
Project Leader

Adana, August 12th, 2007