Adapted Creative Commons Image by 姒儿喵喵 <- Cool!
The UCT OpenContent directory is enabling and promoting the discovery andaccessibility of UCT teaching and learning resources. Materials which have been shared on OpenContent become more visible because of their listing alongside the keywords (or metadata) that describe what the material is about and the context in which it might be used by others.
OER Commons is currently one of the largest aggregators of OER content from leading institutions around the world. The UCT collection of OER isautomatically listed on OER Commons when entered in the UCT OpenContent directory. We are seeing an increase in inbound links coming from OER Commons. This means people are searching for materials and seeing UCT content alongside other leading institutions such as MIT, Yale, Open University UK as well as other knowledge centres such as NASA, The Library of Congress, and the Museum of Natural History.
So while our content can now be found in OER Commons. OER Commons is also contributing to our ‘findability’ using traditional search engines such as Google as well. People searching from South Africa specifically are more likely to come up with a South African educational resource from UCT, if one exists based on the search terms. This is why it is so important to keep an eye on what people are searching for in the directory.
We recently added the GIPCA lectures to our directory and have found that already Google is indexing and ranking our content quite well based on select search terms. So if one was to search for “Tim Noakes public lecture” in Google, they could find the entry on OpenContent quite quickly.
I believe this is the primary reason people put things online – to share and allow others to discover the content. The UCT OpenContent directory helps to make it more discoverable and therefore accessible by listing it in other major OER repositories, and enabling Google to ‘view’ it more clearly.