Now we could just simply back up the local components of the course material and trust that flickr, YouTube and the rest will just be there - certainly that has the merit of saving on disk space. Apart from the risk of the material disappearing off YouTube or Flickr, or whatever that's probably just about tenable if all you want to do is make it available to the end of semester as a revision aid, much in the same way we do with lecture recordings, but if we want to archive it for reuse, or at least re-editing we have all the problems of archiving that we have for long term preservation.
This also brings me to a second point. Much of academic digital preservation is focused on the low hanging fruit of journal articles combined with open access policies. Undoubtedly laudable, undoubtedly important, but very rooted in a model of scholarly discourse in the sciences where the model is:
- get funding
- do the research
- publish it in a reputable journal
- get more funding
This starts to fall apart for the humanities and creative arts, and areas such as computer science where books, presentations, conferences, exhibitions are the main means of building reputation. And it also fails for learning technologies.
More importantly if we were to revisit the question of teaching quality assessment in place of research quality assessment how would we do it for online, or online supported learning without comprehensive archiving of teaching resources.
Under TQA art history departments would show things like the comprehensiveness and qaulity of their slide libraries to show the degree of support that they had for particular courses.
Today, you would present the material electronically, and you would definitely not want a 404 at a critical point in proceedings ...