Fourth Team Meeting 2016 at Cologne

Our last team meeting for 2016 from the 24th to the 25th November took place at Cologne. Here in holy city of Cologne is the North Rhine-Westphalian Library Centre (hbz) where four people of the OER World Map team are located. So the other members of our geographically dispersed team had to travel this time. The two days were filled with constructive discussions and effective teamwork.

On the first day we talked about the order of the data presented for the different types of entries on the OER World Map. Since the profiles for organisations, projects, services, persons, and stories partially use different fields, a great variety of different data types has to be presented here. Our aim is to make the structure clear and recognizable and to stress the possibility to contact people that are part of the organisations, projects and so on.

A draft of the calendar view
A draft of the calendar view for events on the OER World Map

One topic, we discussed, was how to improve the presentation of events on the World Map. We reviewed some drafts for the calendar view, which will be put on the map in the next weeks. Also we plan to provide a possibility to export selected events into your calendar and a possibility to show the events you plan to visit at your personal profile (“meet me @”).

blue sky
The weather seems to like our team meetings: instead of grey German November sky we enjoyed a bright blue sky and warm temperatures

Although the many traditional German Christmas markets had already opened, we did not feel like winter and drinking “Glühwein”. As the hbz is located in the inner city of Cologne we only had to do a little walk in the evening to find a nice place to eat. We chose a “Kölsches Brauhaus”. There some colleagues eat a “halven Hahn” what has to be translated as “half chicken”. This is traditional cologne food and in spite of its name also suitable for vegetarians because it is simply a bread roll with cheese. Finally we ended up in a little Pub in the so called Belgian Quarter.

On the second day a major topic was the mapping of projects and programs. The OER World Map project just recently became a partner of the “OER Infostelle”, a project driven by the German Institute for International Pedagogy (DIPF) and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. (We will cover this topic in more detail very soon!) We analysed ways of making the information on projects more complete (e.g. adding financial information) and other related questions like how to connect projects with another, so that they form a program or how to collect data from project websites automatically. We will implement this functionality pretty soon, which will make the project data base of the OER World Map significantly more powerful.

We also had a look at the screencasts Rob produced for the project. Since only minor refinement is needed,we are optimistic to present you these introductory videos very soon!

Heading back home again I had a nice view of the Cologne cathedral. Instead of the black silhouette against the glowing morning sky the evening light showed the details of this great Gothic church. It made also the scaffold tower visible that is moved around the two towers of the cathedral to enable the never ending reconstruction on this building. In my eyes this is a good picture for the OER World Map too: Soon the platform will be a great source of information but it will never be finished. Instead it will be — with the help of the OER community — permanently under construction to keep the information up to date.

Cologne cathedral
The Cologne cathedral in the evening light with the scaffold at the left tower

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