The LORNET research network is actually the major Canadian project in Learning Object repositories. The network has taken over the technology developed previously in EDUSOURCE and previous Canadian projects (POND, CAREO, CLOE, SavoirNET, CANLOM) to push it forward. It groups more than a hundred researchers, professionals and graduate students, distributed in six Canadian universities, five research centers and four research chairs. It was awarded$7.5 million over five years by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council, the main research agency of the Canadian government. During this period, companies and other organizations also contribute substantial amounts of cash and in-kind support.
LORNET conducts research on networked repositories of learning objects, as a key element in today’s major international trends in distance learning and knowledge management. The focus is to make documents, tools, and Web services available for learning and knowledge management within institutions and organizations. It holds and annual conference and a bi-montly information news letter (www.lornet.ca).
LORNET represents Canada within the GLOBE consortium, federating repositories in CANADA together and with other GLOBE partners through its PALOMA software that provides a set of tools: for LOM description of resources, organization of LOM records, a sophisticated rights management to LOMs and resources, three search methods and communication API that provides an SQI service. In the last two year, over 20 000 resources are being referenced for federated search through a number of projects linking a network of 12 university repositories, a College level repositories and K-12 repositories with support from Ministries of Education. The LORNET network is in the process of being transformed into a sustainable not-for-profit institute.