TYPES OF METADATA OVERVIEW
The types of metadata most important for reusability are:
Basic Descriptive Information (also known as bibliographic metadata): Basic descriptive information enables the resource to be found and used. It should include a resource's title, author, description, identifier and key words.
Contextual information: Contextual information is used to find resources for a specific context. For educational applications, this includes information about the grade level and intended audience of a resource.
Technical information: Technical information includes the format of a resource and what software or systems are required to use or modify the resource.
- User information: User information includes software documentation (online, printed or in the form of help screens), instructor guides, and other information that helps a resource be properly and effectively used.
Metadata and Granularity
As with all other aspects of reusability, the granularity of a resource affects which kind of metadata is needed. This is shown in the following table (see Granularity for more background on this concept):
Metadata as a Function of Granularity
||Basic descriptive and rights information will allow assets to be cataloged and reused. Technical information may also be important. In practice, content assets are often labeled only with a title and identifier.
||Basic descriptive information is important for information objects, but it may also be important to say something about the educational level and style of an information object. It may also be important to facilitate proper attribution by including the identification of the author(s) within metadata.
||Many learning resource catalogs list courses and modules and only provide basic descriptive information. More detailed contextual information is helpful, as is information that guides the user. It should be noted that most metadata associated with a learning component applies to the component as a whole and not to learning objects, information objects or content assets contained within it.
||Information about a learning environment is rarely encoded using a standardized metadata record. Nonetheless, it is important to provide a description, information about intended users, rights and technical information, and proper documentation.