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Teaching and Learning Multimodal Communications

Alyssa Arbuckle, Alison Hedley, Shaun Macpherson, Alyssa McLeod, Jana Millar Usiskin, Daniel Powell, Jentery Sayers, Emily Smith, Michael Stevens, Authors

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2. Metadata

During our meeting on January 19th, we discussed various types of metadata, including administrative, structural, and descriptive metadata. We also chatted a bit about the use of metadata for resource discovery and data structuring. Here, libraries (including the work of Howard Besser) were at the center of our discussion. So, too, were notions such as serendipity and speculation.

This module should give you some practice with Dublin Core (DC), one of the ontologies we discussed. It helps that Dublin Core is integrated into the Scalar workflow and is intimately linked (pun intended) to the Resource Description Framework (RDF).

Learning Outcomes

For you to:
  • Develop a familiarity with the DC ontology,
  • Encounter some common issues faced when assigning metadata to digital images, video, and audio,
  • Articulate how you addressed those issues, and
  • Begin thinking (if nothing else) about your project for this seminar.
What You Should Include in Your Response (500 – 1000 words + two images and one video or audio file)

First, to Scalar, please import two images and one video or audio file that are somehow related to your ongoing research in English and/or CSPT. (Ideally, they are also related to a possible project for this seminar.) At least one of these three resources must be created by someone other than you, and it must already exist on the web.

Next, in Scalar, please assign the following fifteen DC “legacy” elements to each resource:
Title, Subject, Description, Type, Source, Relation, Coverage, Creator, Publisher, Contributor, Rights, Date, Format, Identifier, and Language
When editing a resource in Scalar, these DC elements are accessed by clicking “add additional metadata” (below the page’s title, description, URL, and default view fields but above the authoring pane) and then selecting the element you want from the “Dublin Core legacy elements” list. See this screenshot for an example.

As you add these elements, you should thoroughly review the guidelines and examples provided in “Using Dublin Core – The Elements.” (Note: the title, description, and content type for your actual Scalar page may differ from the DC title, description, and type for the resources you import. Also note: not all elements may necessarily apply to your resource. See the guidelines above to determine what elements are relevant.)

Once you have imported all three resources and added the appropriate legacy DC metadata, please—in your own Scalar post(s)—address the following in 500 – 1000 words (including your three resources alongside your text):
  • Why did you pick the images and video/audio you did? How are they relevant to your research program?
  • When assigning metadata to them, what issues did you encounter? For instance, what decisions were difficult?
  • Generally speaking, what have you learned about DC metadata and the practice of assigning it? How (if any) of that learning relates to our discussion of McGann and McCarty? In the last instance, why bother with metadata?
Thanks! See me with questions or concerns.

Author: Jentery Sayers
Word Count: 489
Original Prompt: "Metadata"

Example student responses follow in this path.
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