Creating resource mashups via Dynamic Learning Maps

19 October 2012

We are now in the final phase of our JISC-funded PublishOER and OER Rapid Innovation projects (RIDLR and SupOERGlue). I thought it would be a good opportunity to create a tool, which pulls together the technical solutions for these three OER projects together with Dynamic Learning Maps. The tool created will allow DLM users to mash together curriculum maps and resources together and export as one combined resource.

Creating a mashup

I started by creating a simple interface that allows a user to browse DLMs and add resources/maps they come across to their mashup.

I also added this functionality to the search, so a user can search for a term such as ‘kidney’ and quickly select items to be added.

Once the mashup is completed the user can see a summary of the items they have mashed together.

The mashup can then be exported to an ePub format, drawing on work in PublishOER. The ePub creation is based on the previous work around investigating ePub files and generating ePub files with python. The code uses a python script (modified to use the django template system used in development at Newcastle) to build an ePub file. You can view the python code here.

Example mashup

Below is a sample ePub file generated from a development version of DLMs, the file is made up from a variety of sources and types, including:

  • DLMs maps (curriculum outlines)
  • DLMs resources
  • JLeRN resources (RIDLR)
  • Open tapestry resources (SupOERGlue)
  • OER bookmarking resources (RIDLR, SupOERGlue)
  • Elsevier ePub content (PublishOER) – I have excluded this from the sample due to the license, see the related blog post for more information on how this works or post a comment below!

The sample file can be downloaded and viewed by most ePub readers, smartphones etc.


The mashup tool is very rough at the moment and there are many enhancements and considerations that would need to be made before it could be used in anger. Hopefully though for a tool, which was put together in a relatively short period of time, it can demonstrate what pulling together DLMs and our OER projects can produce.

Demo of mashup tool and the public DLMs site

Related tags: dynamic learning maps, ePub, OER, oer phase 3, publishOER, rapid innovation, RIDLR, supoerglue

Posted by: James Outterside

Posted in: OER phase 3 blog, OER rapid innovation: RIDLR, OER rapid innovation: SupOERGlue

MEDEV, School of Medical Sciences Education Development,
Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, NE2 4HH