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DDL Resource Priorities & Selection Guidelines

The goal of this document is to ensure that resources in the Darakht-e Danesh Digital Library are relevant, accurate and support the goals of the library.

This document outlines current needs, priorities, and strategies for growing and maintaining the DDL collection. It augments the DDL Collection Policy and articulates specific areas of development for priority attention for accessioning into DDL. The document will be reviewed periodically to ensure that the priorities outlined meet current needs of teachers and learners in Afghanistan.

This document is a blueprint and seeks to define criteria that both identify gaps and needs in the overall collection, and it guides development efforts for DDL growth. The areas of development may be in subject, audience, education level, or resource type. 

Determining Collection Need
DDL may use a variety of means to understand resource need and determine DDL coverage and need. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Survey data and usage analysis from DDL server logs.
  • Increased availability to quality collections of educational resources for the library.
  • Requests from funding programs and projects associated with or supporting the DDL scope and mission.
  • Changes in collection scope in terms of subject, audience, education level, contextualization or needed resource type.

Annual Declaration of Need
DDL leadership will periodically review progress in its collection building efforts and revise priority areas based on work accomplished in the prior year and identification of emerging areas of need. These collection development priorities will be addended to this document and guide the work of all collection development.

2017 Declaration of Need

DDL needs collections of multilingual resources (Dari/Farsi and Pashto) and metadata that emphasize:

  • Basic education (grades 1-12) biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science
  • Basic education (grades 1-12) mathematics
  • Children’s storybooks
  • Literacy education
  • Early childhood education (ECE) and development (ECD)
  • Computer science and digital literacy
  • High quality educator-generated content
  • Professional learning materials, particularly on the topic of learning assessment
  • Materials that encourage critical thinking and problem solving in real world learning activities

DDL will concentrate on raising the quality of the existing collection by weeding inaccurate, irrelevant, low-quality or non-functional resources from the library, according to the DDL Weeding Guidelines

All collection development work is subject to the DDL Collection Policy.

Resource Selection Principles*
(See also, DDL Resource Quality Checklist)

Open Educational Resources
Resources in DDL are openly licensed teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under a license that permits their free use, reuse, modification, and sharing with others. Digital openly licensed resources can include complete online courses, modular digital textbooks as well as more granular resources such as images, videos, and assessment items. Although open resources are freely accessible, all resources in DDL will follow best practice and give attribution to the resource author and/or institution.

Support DDL Priorities
Resources in DDL support the priorities that are established by DDL’s leadership and by the DDL Advisors Council each year, in addition to specific areas of priority determined by DDL projects, such as the Kankor Examination preparation project (June 2016 - June 2017).

Reliable and Relevant
Resource content is evaluated for its accuracy and relevancy for the intended audiences. Instructional material is appropriate for its intended audience and educational level.

Accurate and Accessible
Resources are complete and accurately translated. Internet-based materials can be accessed across a variety of platforms and devices. When possible, materials are available in a variety of formats including video, audio, print, and html, to allow for the greatest degree of equitable access and use by all.

Objective & Advertisement Free
Resources will be free of distracting advertising or content that is irrelevant, interferes with the use of the material, or that may be inappropriate for the intended user group. Resources will provide a respectful, non-discriminatory and gender equitable perspective and will recognize cultural and racial diversity in society.

Provides for Authentic Learning
Instructional resources will be prioritized that are engaging and that inspire interest and create curiosity for learning. Resources will encourage authentic learning through real-world applications and problem solving, inquiry and critical thinking. 

Supports the Preservation of Afghan Literary Heritage
Afghanistan is home to a rich diversity of languages, a long tradition of poetry, and a rich history of storytelling including fables, folktales, epics, and songs. To the extent possible, the DDL can serve as a repository for the written recording of this heritage, including, eventually, content in Afghan minority languages, many of which are endangered. 

Related Documents
DDL Collection Policy
DDL Resource Quality Checklist
DDL Weeding Guidelines
DDL About Us

*Resources that are openly licensed help to:

  • Increase Equity – All students have access to high quality learning materials that have the most up-to-date and relevant content because openly licensed educational resources can be freely distributed to anyone.
  • Keep Content Relevant and High Quality – Traditional textbooks are perpetually outdated, forcing districts to re-invest significant portions of their budgets on replacing them. The terms of use of openly licensed educational resources allows educators to maintain the quality and relevance of their materials through continuous updates.
  • Empower Teachers – Openly licensed educational resources empower teachers as creative professionals by giving them the ability to adapt and customize learning materials to meet the needs of their students without breaking copyright laws.
  • Save Money – Switching to educational materials that are openly licensed enables schools to repurpose funding spent on static textbooks for other pressing needs, such as investing in the transition to digital learning. In some districts, replacing just one textbook has made tens of thousands of dollars available for other purposes.
"Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel." ~ Socrates
"If your tree brings the fruit of knowledge / it shall bring the sky down to the earth” - Nasir Khusraw (1004 – 1088 AD)
The great aim of education is not knowledge but action. -- Herbert Spencer
Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. -- Hadith
The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. ― William Arthur Ward
Asking good questions is half of learning. -- Sufi saying
Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well. ― Aristotle
Enlightenment must come little by little-otherwise it would overwhelm. -- Idries Shah
We were scared. But school was where we wanted to be. -- Shabana Basij-Rasikh, Afghan education activist
Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim, male and female. -- Hadith
Education is a living treasure for all humankind. ~ Ehsan Ullah, Founder, Kandahar Institute of Modern Studies
I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
A teacher is a candle that burns to enlighten others. ~ Afghan proverb
There is a path to the top of the highest mountain. ~ Afghan proverb
Drop by drop a river is made. ~ Afghan proverb
We should all attempt to acquire as much knowledge as possible in order that we may render our services to society in the manner of the women of early Islam. -- Queen Soraya of Afghanistan, 1926
If you learn even one word more than yesterday, you will be totally a different person.