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Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.

Harry S. Truman

Over the last few years we have evidenced several initiatives promoting the vision of open educational systems. Educational brokers are supposed to take advantage of this ‘infrastructure of standards and open specifications’ and provide exchange services for users and systems. However, a quick assessment of the adoption of educational brokers in Wales leads to the conclusion that educational brokers have still not managed to integrate themselves successfully into the educational landscape.

Based on an action research methodology three design principles have evolved that, once implemented, shall lead to an effective brokerage infrastructure.

From the action research undertaken1 in two separate research projects, EmpathiCymru Ltd concludes that an effective educational broker needs to:

1. Provide a balanced metadata model (information from data) for learning resource descriptions and utilise outcomes appropriately;

2. Take advantage of the ability to exchange and make use of information from existing ‘home systems’ that provide services from the user’s most frequently used access point(s) and then enhance through appropriate brokered provision;

3. Report on and share who is re-using what in order to develop appropriate networks of excellence.

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