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Press Release: More Publishers Are Tagging Their Resources with Metadata, Says New Learning Resource Metadata Initiative Survey

Most Educators Want Publishers to Tag Their Resources

Philadelphia, PA, July 22, 2014 – Nearly 6 in 10 learning resource providers (58%) are now tagging their resources with metadata, according to a new survey published by the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI). The LRMI Survey Report: July 2014 Update details findings of two separate online surveys targeting educational publishers and educators.

The publishers’ survey targeted traditional commercial publishers, online educational content providers, and organizations that provide open educational resources. Results will help inform the LRMI as it continues to promote the use of metadata tagging in order to improve the discoverability of educational resources and online content. Key findings from the publisher survey include:

• More than four out of five publishers surveyed (82.5%) were aware of metadata tagging initiatives, and 71.9% were specifically aware of the LRMI.
• Of those publishers who currently tag resources, 31% use tagging for external purposes, 8% use it for internal purposes, and 61% use it for both internal and external purposes.

• Nearly half of the publishers who are already familiar with the LRMI (46%) predict that all or most of their resources will be tagged with LRMI metadata by the end of 2014; 54% believe that some of their resources will be tagged by then.

Notable results from the educators’ survey include:

• Five out of six educators (84%) believe filtering of search results would improve their level of satisfaction with online searches.
• Nearly two out of three educators (66%) think learning resource providers should tag their materials with metadata.

Although the surveys targeted different groups, opinions overlapped on several significant points. Both educators and publishers view content/subject area and grade level as the most useful search criteria for finding educational resources online. Alignment to specific standards and intended user are other key criteria cited by both groups. Moreover, both groups cited faster, more productive searches and access to resources educators might otherwise not have known about as top advantages of more precise search and filtering methods.

Additionally, telephone interviews were conducted with seven district-level leaders across the U.S. to collect qualitative comments regarding opinions, ideas, and experiences with online educational resource search. Interviewees were probed on their level of familiarity with metadata tagging, their impressions of the LRMI, and more.

When asked what the benefits of improved online search would be, an assistant superintendent of curriculum in Tennessee stated: “Number one is time. … I would say quality. I would say alignment.” A computer technology director in Texas added: “We’re just flooded with so many results…. It has always been an initiative in education to make sure that people can get to resources quickly and efficiently.”

For the full list of quotes, along with the detailed survey report, click here.

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and co-led by the Association of Educational Publishers and Creative Commons, the LRMI is working to make it easier to publish and discover quality educational content and products online. In April 2013, Schema.org, a consortium of search engines Microsoft Bing, Google, Yahoo!, and Yandex that is working to establish common metadata tagging across the Internet, adopted the LRMI schema. This means that the LRMI properties can now be indexed as part of the structured metadata that major search engines crawl in their searches.

To learn more about the LRMI, visit www.lrmi.net. Receive project updates directly by signing up for the free monthly LRMI newsletter, LRMI Update, here.

About The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative
The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) aims to make the educational resource search experience richer for educators and learners and improve the discoverability of resources for content creators. The Association of Educational Publishers—the 501(c)(3) arm of the Association of American Publishers—and Creative Commons have co-led the project since its founding in 2011.

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