Free OAIS online course - A Beginner's Guide to the OAIS

We’re starting to move the Digital Preservation Training Programme into the realms of the online. As a first step, we’re releasing a free OAIS online course aimed to help with the understanding of the OAIS Reference Model.

The content for this short course comes out of what we currently teach on the Beginner version of the DPTP face-to-face Course. Our plan is to move away from teaching OAIS in the classroom, and move towards students learning it online before they attend the teaching.

Ultimately our aim is to develop the DPTP into a new blended learning offering. We’re planning to include feedback and suggestions from our recent Digital Preservation Training Needs survey, which we conducted jointly with the DPC and the DCC.

Free OAIS online course

Our first free online course is now available online. It is a short introductory course on the OAIS reference model. The course will be available free of charge to anyone who is interested in learning more about the model and its possible uses in digital preservation.

We decided to make the OAIS model our first short course because it’s a ISO standard that is often referred to and discussed within the digital preservation community. We think it’s fair to say that the OAIS model isn’t whole-heartedly accepted by everyone and that there are a lot of ‘robust’ discussions about its usefulness among our colleagues. However, for students learning about digital preservation, it’s important to have some understanding of what the model is, so that they can start to develop their own ideas and thoughts on OAIS.

The aim of the course is to give students a basic ‘getting started’ level guide to the OAIS reference model. It comprises three modules.

Our OAIS online modules

The first module will cover the basics:

- What is the OAIS reference model?
- What is its value for understanding digital preservation?
- What are the 6 Core Functions proposed by OAIS?
- What are the OAIS Functional Entities?
- What are Information Packages, and how are they used in the model?
- What is the purpose of Actors within the model?

The second module will look in more detail at:

- What happens in each of the six Functional Entities?
- How do you build Information packages?
- What generic tools, services, utilities and applications could be used at different stages of the process to carry out preservation actions?
- A possible ingest and preservation workflow (for teaching purposes only) based on the OAIS model.

The third module will test your knowledge of the model and its language, by which time you should have a firm grasp of the terminology and basic principles.

We’ll also be opening forums within the course, so that students can discuss the OAIS model and related areas with each other.

How long will the free OAIS online course take?

We estimate the OAIS online course will take between 4-6 hours to complete.

The course will be available all of November 2015. Please do sign up and give it a go. We hope that it’s useful, and would really value your feedback.