How did we prepare the i.Experience mirror?

We recently updated the Greenfield site in preparation for:

  • An internal OEIT project to replace the video players in selected courses with SpokenMedia project player.
  • An internal OEIT project to demonstrate search through SpokenMedia transcript files for delivery via MIT’s Google Search Appliance integrated with Greenfield OCW courses.
  • A joint project with MIT OpenCourseWare to test OER Recommender/Folksemantic.com recommendations with select OCW courses.

Here are the steps we used to prepare the i.Experience mirror of MIT OCW. This is our first second implementation of i.Experience.

Notes:

  • I originally started writing this post in April, but I’ve updated it to include the most recent changes to the mirror site.
  • I expect to produce a new version of this guide in mid-/late-August as OCW issues a new version of their mirror.

Continue Reading

Dev Note: Google SA custom search

Summary

MIT’s OCW implementation uses MIT’s Google Search Appliance to support searching the OCW site.  This Development Note discusses customizing this search mechanism to provide richer, more useful results.

Background

MIT’s OCW site contains static content.  Unlike dynamic web sites where content can be assembled into a page on demand, each page at http://ocw.mit.edu exists fully formed waiting to be served.  While this approach has advantages, it limits the ability of users to query specific results.  The reason is that Google is simply looking for words; it doesn’t attribute any semantic meaning to these words.  For the query “Marx”, Google depends on the user submitting the query to distinguish between Groucho and Karl.

Objective

Use of MIT’s Google Search Appliance yields multiple benefits.  The primary benefit is that it leverages the current solution to return a richer query result set.  MIT’s OCW has very high standards for stability, scalability, and conventionality.  A solution that used its current solution would make it more attractive for future adoption.  Another benefit is the power of the Google search algorithms.  After all, “Google” is synonymous with online searching.

Continue Reading

Creative Commons LicenseUnless otherwise specified, the Greenfield Website by the MIT Office of Digital Learning, Strategic Education Initiatives is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Portions subject to the MIT OpenCourseWare Creative Commons License and Terms of Use.