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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Toward a Sharable Digital Library of Reusable Teaching Resources

iLumina is a digital library of undergraduate teaching materials for science, mathematics, engineering, technology, and education, now being developed by Eduprise, The University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW), Georgia State University, Grand Valley State, and Virginia Tech.1 Our experience suggests that faculty across the country have created a wealth of digital resources for teaching and are willing to share them. However, they lack a repository where they can submit their materials, find related material, create new content, and, collectively improve both the quantity and quality of digital teaching resources. iLumina will provide such a repository, and related community and user services.

iLumina is starting with resources from its partner institutions. These include materials from the Computer Science Teaching Center (CSTC;, and the ACM SIGGRAPH Education Committee's Digital Library (SECDL;, as well as new digital teaching materials from UNCW. Resources from these sites are not placed directly into iLumina, but reside in separate content repositories. iLumina itself actually contains only metadata associated with these resources. In short, iLumina is a partly distributed and partly centralized library.

ILumina's rich metadata, derived from the IMS specifications [1], not only enables powerful searches, but is also the basis for several second-tier user services, including:

  • Collecting formal reviews and informal ratings;
  • Coordinating metadata construction by library community members-authors, reviewers, catalogers, and end users; and
  • Connecting library community members to other users as well as to digital resources.

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The authors are members of the iLumina development team. McArthur (, Giersch, and Graves represent Eduprise, Morrisville, NC; Ward, Dillaman, Herman, Lugo, Reeves and Vetter, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington; Knox, The College of New Jersey; and Owen, Georgia State University.

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This work is funded as part of the NSF DLI-Phase 2, grant #0002935.

1 See for more details about the IMS Global Learning Consortium. To learn more about iLumina visit

©2001 ACM  0002-0782/01/0500  $5.00

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