Open Education

Getting Started with Copyright, Fair Use, The Public Domain, and Creative Commons

There are no shortages of articles, resources, videos, and ideas found online to support our educational planning.  With the vast amount of ways to create and disseminate learning materials, it is critical to appropriately share, curate, remix, and adapt educational content. In open education, it is important to understand how to attribute and identify copyright, fair use, and intellectual property.

Flickr image c/o Langwitches

In gathering resources for my courses and to encourage appropriate attribution as my students to create, this is a quick overview and definitions of copyright, fair use, the public domain, and the creative commons.

Copyright

The Basics of Copyright 

[Video; 6:19 minutes]This is an introductory video in copyright law, specifically about how to share copyrighted material at work while still respecting the rights of the content creators. Will you require permission before using materials? Do you ask permission before using protected content?

This is an introductory video in copyright law, specifically about how to share copyrighted material at work while still respecting the rights of the content creators. Will you require permission before using materials? Do you ask permission before using protected content?

  • Copyright law applies to all works, including print, media, and electronic mediums
  • Protected: Books, magazines, online articles, songs, screens plays, choreography, art,  software, work, software, podcasts, and photos
  • Not Protected: Ideas, facts & data; government items
  • Know the facts about copyright, not the myths
  • Get permission if required (when in doubt get permission)
  • Just because you found it online, & it is publically available does not mean it is free to use
  • Not sure? Just ASK! Legal counsel at your workplace or an information professional (in the College of Information) or at the UNT Library for advice.
  • UNT Copyright Resources https://copyright.unt.edu/
  • CLEAR Copyright Guide for Instructors http://clear.unt.edu/copyright
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation: Teaching Copyright Resources 

Flickr image c/o Horia Valarn

Fair Use

Fair Use from copyright.gov:

“Fair Use is a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. Section 107 of the Copyright Act provides the statutory framework for determining whether something is a fair use and identifies certain types of uses—such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research—as examples of activities that may qualify as fair use.”

Specifically, there are four requirements for fair use of materials:

    1. The purpose is for nonprofit, noncommercial educational use (typical cases).
    2. The nature of the copyrighted work is consistent with the proposed use.
    3. The amount and substantiality of the original work involved some small uses can be considered an infringement, that is, a small portion involves the core idea in the copyrighted work.
    4. The effect of using the copyrighted work is not likely to deprive the copyright holder of sales or market interest.

Public Domain

The “public domain” relates to creative materials or works that are not protected by intellectual property laws, including copyright, trademark, or patent laws. These materials are owned by the public, not an individual author, artist, or creator.  Public domain materials and work may be used without obtaining any permission; however, no one is permitted to claim ownership for it. More information about the Public Domain, “Collective Works,” and when copyright expires can be found at the Copyright & Fair Use Website via Stanford University and Teaching Copyright via the EFF.

 Creative Commons  

Wanna Work Together? from Creative Commons on VimeoCreative Commons copyright licenses and tools allow for content to be shared beyond the traditional “all rights reserved” setting and decide on the best form of attribution for their work. The goal is to refine how copyright works and allows content creators to CHOOSE if they want to retain copyright while letting others copy, distribute, and make use of part of their work. You can decide what the copyright is and how others may use your photo, music, or works. Creative Commons licenses provide:

everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. The combination of our tools and our users is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law.

To enhance your learning, training, and/or presentation materials, you may want to find creative commons and public domain images, videosmusic, or media. Certain websites, such as Flickr Creative Commons, even offer users content with specific attribution for use. There is even a Creative Commons Search to aggregate even more content to share, use and remix, including media, images, video, audio, music, photography, and web resources. Besides Flickr, there are a number of other helpful sites to locate Public Domain or Creative Commons images. Additionally, there are ways to attribute and provide CC by licenses via other online accounts including YouTube, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Vimeo, Archive.org, and your blog or website.

Want to learn more about Creative Commons and Open Educational Resources (OERs)? Check out UNT CLEAR‘s Creative Commons Guide and the UBC’s OER Accessibility Toolkit.

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networkedscholar, Open Education, Research, Social Media

#CFP Due April 15th: Digital Learning and Social Media Research Funding 2017

Are you an early career scholar or an advanced doctoral student researching networked scholarship, social media in education, open learning, emerging technologies, etc.? Then this might just be the grant funding for you!

Dr. George Veletsianos (Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology at Royal Roads University) and Dr. Royce Kimmons (Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University) invites applications from advanced doctoral students (i.e. those who completed their graduate coursework) and post-doctoral associates to conduct research with The Digital Learning and Social Media Research Group. This research funding opportunity aims to scaffold and mentor advanced doctoral researchers and early career scholars to co-plan, execute, and submit for publication a research study.

There are five (5) $2000 CAD grants available for research that focuses on one or more of the following areas: networked scholarship, social media use in education, digital/online learning, open learning, emerging technologies, learning analytics, social network analysis, or educational data mining.

Requirements

  • Advanced doctoral student status (usually in the 3rd or 4th year of their studies) OR postdoctoral status having completed a graduate degree (Ph.D./EdD) within the last 3 years.
  • Enrolment in or having attained a graduate degree (Ph.D./EdD) in education, educational technology, learning technologies, learning sciences, curriculum and instruction, cognitive science, or other related fields.
  • Individuals must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada or must hold a valid employment visa or work permit issued by the Government of Canada.
  • To be well-suited for this opportunity, individuals must have excellent organizational abilities, analytic skills, and be familiar with methodologies involving the analysis of quantitative or qualitative data.
  • MORE information about this grant application process can be found on George’s blog.

Questions?

Please feel free to reach out to me, or for further inquiries regarding this opportunity please send an email to: CRCILT.Research@RoyalRoads.ca

Open Education, OpenAccess

Open Access Beyond #OAWeek: Reading Round-Up

Last week (October 19-25, 2015) was International Open Access Week (#OAweek) with the overarching goal for accessible scholarship, research, and educational content.

oalogo

Did you know about #OAweek? How did you mark or celebrate being open? In my efforts to play catch up and support open access, open educational resources (OER), open data, and openness for collaboration, here’s a rundown post about the latest happenings around OPENnness.

The Welcome Trust celebrated 10 years of Open Access and to mark #OAweek the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), marked the week of open access by highlighting Collaboration in the Open:

“Open access is the practice of making research available online, for free, ideally under licenses that permit widespread dissemination. This year’s theme for Open Access Week is ‘open for collaboration’ …both in academia and beyond—enables a kind of collaboration that can scale very quickly.

When research is closed, no one can access it unless they (or, more often, the institutions where they work or study) can afford expensive journal subscriptions or online libraries. When research is open, anyone can access it, study it, and use it, regardless of their budget or institutional affiliation.

Open access also opens the door to a type of collaboration that wouldn’t exist otherwise. Authors that publish their research in an open access journal—or deposit it in an open access repository after publication—invite others to use it and transform it in ways that they might not have even imagined. The work can become part of a larger project, expanding the body of public knowledge even more.”

If you have not read Martin Weller‘s book, The Battle for the Open, this might be a good time to download your OPEN COPY to understand the growing issues and obstacles we face in the world of openness and higher education. [Here’s a previous plug and my take on the book.]

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 3.48.09 PM

To honor #OAweek (belated) I present you an OPEN round-up of reads I’ve wrangled from this past month (and perhaps beyond) about open access (publishing, learning, resources, data, repositories, etc). I’m sure I’ve missed a few things, so please share other articles, resources, and updates about the open in the comments. Cheers!

Making Open Access work: Clustering analysis of academic discourse suggests OA is still grappling with controversy.

Stephen Pinfield discusses this article: “to provide an overview of one of the most important and controversial areas of scholarly communication: Open Access publishing and dissemination of research outputs. It identifies and discusses recent trends and future challenges for various stakeholders in delivering Open Access (OA) to the scholarly literature.”

Check out the Free online #webinar on The Impact of Open Education @Edtechie via @Ignatia Webs

This free webinar, which is being promoted by the ALT Open Education Special Interest Group, will explore findings of the OER Research Hub, which has been investigating the impact of open educational resources. btw, the OER Research Hub is a source of wonderful, innovative OER-work, really worth exploring!

Opening Up Open Access: Moving beyond business models and towards cooperative, scholar-organized, open networks. via @kfitz

This issue of credit usually gets discussed in the U.S. in terms of the things that “count” for promotion and tenure, but recent developments in Europe and the U.K. make the question of counting all the more literal, as the continued financial support of entire departments can hinge on a quantified assessment of those departments’ productivity, and the nature of “productivity” is all too narrowly defined.

SPARC Launches Open Access Evaluation Tool 

“the launch of the Open Access Spectrum (OAS) Evaluation Tool, which provides a concrete, quantifiable mechanism to independently analyze publications’ policies.

The OAS Evaluation Tool generates an “Openness” score that is straightforward, easy to understand, and free. The program provides critical information to authors, libraries, research funders, government agencies, and other interested parties. It can be used to help determine compliance with funder policies, institutional mandates, and researchers’ individual values. It also offers a unique opportunity for publishers to independently validate their journals’ degree of openness and compliance with funder and campus policies.”

HowOpenIsIt? Guide from PLOS

The “HowOpenIsIt?®” Open Access Spectrum (OAS) guide standardizes Open Access terminology in an easily understandable, comprehensive resource created by PLOS, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA). The guide defines core components of Open Access derived from the articulation of basic tenets in the 2002 Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI).

Academics have found a way to access insanely expensive research papers—for free 

When content is not accessible and open, the scholars revert to the hashtag #icanhazpdf: “many people are becoming increasingly frustrated with a business model—where work is produced by academics, edited by their peers, and often funded by the taxpayer—is hidden behind a paywall.

Exploring the publishing model of the Open Library of Humanities: A view from Latin America

 Francisco Osorio provides a brief overview of what sets this journal project apart from the rest and how the new funding model offers an economic, social and technological platform for the humanities and social sciences to transition to open access. At the heart of the matter is the forms of communication in humanities and social sciences as distinctive from the natural sciences.

Open access papers ‘more likely to be cited on Twitter’ 

Much to no one’s surprise: “open access journals and articles have a ‘big advantage’ when it comes to being shared on Twitter compared with those behind a paywall.”

What does Academia_edu’s success mean for Open Access? The data-driven world of search engines and social networking.

[Academia.edu is] “the ‘largest social-publishing network for scientists’, and ‘larger than all its competitors put together’ – clearly raises a number of questions for the open access movement. After all, compared to the general sluggishness (and at times overt resistance) with which the call to make research available on an open access basis has been met.”

The Future of figshare (for open data sharing)

figshare has strived to engender a strong sustainability model that would allow us to continue to improve our free offering. With our continued successes, alongside file sizes and research outputs increasing year on year, we’re going to be removing our premium accounts leaving only one tier of account

OECD report on students, computers and learning: making the connection [REPORT]

Are there computers in the classroom? Does it matter? Students, Computers and Learning: Making the Connection examines how students’ access to and use of information and communication technology (ICT) devices has evolved in recent years, and explores how education systems and schools are integrating ICT into students’ learning experiences.

Open Education Resources in Canada via the IRRODL

Canada’s important areas of expertise in open educational resources (OER) are beginning to be built upon or replicated more broadly in all education and training sectors. This paper provides an overview of the state of the art in OER initiatives and open higher education in general in Canada, providing insights into what is happening nationally and provincially. There are growing examples of OER initiatives from several Canadian institutions offering free courses to Canadians and international learners.

Is it time for Canada to implement a unified open strategy for higher education? asks @clintlalonde

From Clint’s UBC/SFU Open Access week forum talk on this question [I concur with your response, Clint.]: “yes, having a unified national strategy on all things open is likely a good idea for the simple fact that it gets all the various strands of open – open access, open education, open source software, open pedagogy, open data –  in the same room. And any reason to bring people together to talk about their commonalities is a good thing.”

Openly Licensed Educational Resources: Providing Equitable Access to Education for All Learners via the US Federal Government

Open education advances key national priorities, including supporting shared economic prosperity, strengthening civil society, and investing in human development. Over the next year, the U.S. Government will continue efforts to expand and accelerate the use and availability of openly licensed educational materials worldwide. In addition, we will begin to model the transition to openly licensed educational materials at scale in U.S. K-12 schools.  We look forward to engaging with the national and global community to identify opportunities for open licensing to accelerate educational equity for all learners regardless of their financial situations or geographic locations.

Community Call from ALT: Open Education Technology and Practice

ALT is piloting a monthly ‘Community Call’ where we speak to ALT Members about their work. For our first call we speak with Lorna Campbell who is an advocate for open education, technology and practice.

Institute for Open Leadership Applications via Creative Commons – Due October 30, 2015

Earlier this year, Creative Commons and the Open Policy Network hosted the first Institute for Open Leadership (IOL). The IOL is a training and support program to empower new leaders interested in crafting and implementing an open licensing policy within their discipline. We had adiverse cohort of 14 fellows who came together for a week in January, 2015 in San Francisco. The fellows worked with mentors and each other to hone their open policy project ideas. Since then they’ve working within their institutions and fields to implement their open policy plan.

The impact of open textbook adoption on the learning outcomes of higher ed students

In some educational settings, the cost of textbooks approaches or even exceeds the cost of tuition. Given limited resources, it is important to better understand the impacts of free open educational resources (OER) on student outcomes. Utilizing digital resources such as OER can substantially reduce costs for students. The purpose of this study was to analyze whether the adoption of no-cost open digital textbooks significantly predicted students’ completion of courses, class achievement, and enrollment intensity during and after semesters in which OER were used.

A Librarian’s Guide to OER in the Maker Space

Because of their capacity to stimulate creativity, OER are the perfect complement to the maker space movement. The maker movement shares a philosophy with the open source movement by fostering creativity, collaboration, and personalization in schools. The integration of OER into well-planned, well-designed maker spaces brings together physical and virtual interests and activities and expands learning opportunities.   Maker spaces are especially well suited for OER because they demonstrate inquiry-based learning and allow students some autonomy to direct their learning.

The Real Threat of OER via David Wiley (@opencontent)

Publishers continue to believe that “free” is the main threat posed to their business models by OER. Perhaps that is because pricing is a threat they understand and know how to counteract. However, the core idea of openness – to generously grant others the broad range of permissions that enables them to innovate in any manner they can imagine – that is the real threat OER pose to commercial publishers. While the prices for commercial materials may eventually approach affordability, publishers are structurally unable to grant faculty the broad set of copyright permissions necessary to truly empower them. Their business models forbid it.

 The arXiv cannot replace traditional publishing without addressing the standards of research assessment [in open repositories]. via @JanvadeHe

So why has the arXiv become so important for researchers in these particular fields? Why is it that it is now more or less standard that any active researcher in these areas will deposit a close to final version of their publications in the archive? Part of it can be explained by the increasing prominence of Open Access and related developments in academic publishing. But that can only explain a small part of the success of the arXiv. The main reason of its success, in my opinion, is a specific feature of these research areas: the very long lead time between submission and publication in a journal of papers in those fields, and hence the historic prominence of “preprints” and “reports.”

The benefits of Open Access Repositories – Q & A with Professor Sonia Livingstone shares her thoughts on the LSE’s institutional repository, LSE Research Online (LSERO)

oa-week-sonia-pablo

Honest and reliable Open Access Journals in Open and Distance Education from Rob Farrow at the @OER_Hub

Book Review, Open Education, OpenAccess

The Battle for the Open [Needs YOU Higher Ed]

If you have not had the chance to read The Battle for the Open by Martin Weller – you should. The battle for all things open in higher education is still being waged. As Martin said,“I’m not sure I believe in revolution in education.” But there is change ahead with openness in post-secondary learning. If you work in post-secondary education, you can not avoid this battle and should probably read on to learn about Martin’s perspective.

[Full disclosure: Martin sent me a copy of the book; however he knows I would give him praise & banter with it as needed. Thanks @mweller!]

BattleOpen

The Battle for the “Open” shares how higher education is moving towards open practice and scholarship. The goal of OPEN is to share openly, use open sourced resources, and consider strategies to include open education resources (OER) for teaching, research, and service scholarship.

Last fall, Martin paid a visit to Texas to talk with the UTA LINK Research Lab, specifically to share how openness is impacting higher education. Martin’s talk focussed on a few key areas he addresses in his book:

@mweller and all the narratives

  1. Open Access – Pathways for free online access to online scholarly works have been created. There are two routes for open access: 1) Gold Route – pay to publish an article; and 2) Green Route – self publication;  often on your own website or institutional repository. There are major policies which mandate publicly funded research to make their findings publicly available – countries are forced to publish open access. For example, 51% of authors have published open access from the Wiley survey. Read more about The Development of Open Access Journal Publishing from 1993 to 2009.
  1. Open Education Resources (OERs) – Initially started in 2001-2002 with the MIT OpenCourseWare project, and has continued with others such as the Open Learn initiative from the Open University and OER Commons. Open textbooks, like OpenStax, sell for the cost of the degree and impact the publication process of textbooks. The OER Research Hub increases access to course materials earlier and even in advance of the course start, with efforts like the #OER Impact Map to understand where open education resources are being developed.
  1. Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – The big, free, and online courses came out of Canada, initially,…then Google Trends chart the course of the MOOC evolution into higher education. It turned out it was not just the Canadians who were interested in MOOCs. Licenses of developed and were then restricted for each of the edX, Coursera, Udacity, etc. environments. For learners, MOOCs are free to sign up, allow open access of material, and with varied creative common rights for education.  Many of these MOOCs moved into other learning management systems or varied delivery methods. With this education platform, rose issues of support and sustainability for learners. Some say that MOOCs have high-jacked what openness really means, because if you fail at a MOOC, there is a reaffirmation that open/online learning is not really for you. This might not be the case.
  1. Open Scholarship – Martin’s book, The Digital Scholar (and my recap blog post), discusses issues and challenges academics will encounter as they move online and shape their identity in the networks. Scholars are increasingly sharing information, resources, teaching curriculum, commentary, medias, and ideas in digital spaces. The growth of our networks in academia allow researchers to connect, collaborate, and contribute. The social networks also shape our identities and influence us in these spaces. Research opportunities emerge in the open, specifically with the art of guerrilla research (Martin, 2014):
    • Involves 1 or 2 researchers, and does not require a team
    • Relies on open data, information & tools
    • Fairly quick to realize
    • It is disseminated via blogs and social media
    • It does not require permission

It is critical we engage and participate in this open discussion in higher ed. If we don’t, then we will let someone else write this narrative and direct where post-secondary scholarship and learning is directed moving forward. Ultimately the battle for the open is really the battle of ownership –who owns what? Have we lost the ownership of  online learning? Can we restrict research and scholarship? What rights do we have for curriculum and educational resources? Now that “open” is prevalent in higher education, it cannot be avoided. As Martin says, “Openness is not just a peripheral interest now.” How does openness impact your role on campus, and how will you contribute?

 

References:

Weller, M. (2011). The digital scholar: How technology is transforming scholarly practice. Bloomsbury Open Access. DOI: 10.5040/9781849666275

Weller, M. (2014). The battle for open: How openness won and why it doesn’t feel like victory. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/bam

 

Academia, networkedscholar, Open Education, OpenAccess

Being #Open Comes with a Number of Assumptions, Challenges and Tensions #scholar14

Being an open educator is critical. From my personal experience, I have engaged and interacted with research, teaching, and service scholarship based on the examples I have seen around me.  A large number of collaborative research and learning opportunities could not have been possible without using open and social platforms. To be a truly effective educator and researcher, I believe it is critical to share our research-to-practice work. It is through transparency and openness, scholars are able to contribute to their discipline, connect to other related fields, and, most importantly, contribute to public knowledge.

open
Photo c/o Flickr member OpenSource.com 

As I think about digital scholarship and “openness” as an early career researcher, there are a number of questions unanswered and need to be discussed further as academia is challenged by the digital (Pasquini, Wakefield, & Roman, 2014, p. 13) :

  • What type of research exchange will scholars participate in during the 21st century?
  • Is scholarship just about publication and citation index?
  • Should research require a social aspect to connect and exchange discourse and/or debate?
  • What social media and altmetrics are best suited for interaction and engagement within each discipline?
  • How do individual research impact factors influence academia career development?
  • What suggestions do seasoned researchers have for the digital scholar generation?

Challenges and tensions should be considered when openly giving back to the resource pool of learning and research. A number of researchers have expressed their concern for being open and sharing methods, research findings, and other aspects of the “process” of learning and research. To balance these concerns, also comes the tensions of network influence, identity, and impact that continue to pour over from #scholar14 Week 1 conversations:

“Uncovering differences in network structure according to discipline and position points to a relationship with academic career trajectory and identity. This finding contradicts the perception that the online environment acts as a democratising space, suggesting instead a preservation of ‘off-line’ hierarchy” (Jordan, 2014).

Within this past week, I was fortunate to hear how a few members of my personal learning network grapple and manage these dueling tensions in academia – here are a few notes, tweets, and ideas gathered from these talks:

  1. Martin Weller‘s #UTAlink talk  Battle for the Open
  2. Royce Kimmons (@roycekimmonsAssumptions, Challenges & Tensions #scholar14 Chat
  3. Dave Cormier‘s #aln14 Keynote on Rhizomatic Learning – The Community is the Curriculum

“Tearing down the traditional walls” is becoming more common in online, social academic communities. This breaking down of the traditional norms in academia, is designed to remove barriers placed between the faculty member and their learners. To be part of this sharing community, you need to really embody core values of openness, equity, access, and sharing. The challenge often emerges when your own philosophy of being “open” is not inline with your post-secondary education institution. I strongly believe that open needs to be a key  attribute for PSE institutions to take the lead on, specifically in terms of policy or manifesto that includes (e.g. Open Access @ UNT), OER resources, open scholarship, open data resources (e.g. UNT Data Spot),  and more.

How does the culture of your academic community, discipline, or institution influence you? Are there considerations and tensions challenging you “to be or not be” in these open spaces? Please share. My ears and eyes are open. Always.

References:

Jordan, K. (2014). Academics and their online networks: Exploring the role of academic social networking sites. First Monday, 19 (11 – 3). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4937/4159 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v19i11.

Pasquini, L. A., Wakefield, J. S. , & Roman, T. (2014). Impact factor: Early career research & digital scholarship. TechTrends, 58(6), 12-13. DOI 10.1007/s11528-014-0797-7

Higher Education, MOOC, Open Education

New Social Learning … is It “New”?

Education rarely reinvents the wheel. This is not necessarily a bad thing. There are a number of great theorists, researchers, scholars, practitioners, and educators who have been utilizing connected and social learning ideas for decades.

In thinking about social learning for instructional design, I will turn to Bingham and Conner’s (2010) outline for how this is “new” in many of our organizations:

  • The new social learning is not just for knowledge workers – community-oriented.
  • Plays well with formal education to capture shared learning.
  • Compliments training and supplements development.
  • Similar but not the same as informal learning – more search and reading.
  • More than just online search and social networking.
  • Not like broadcasting information, more communal.
  • Allows for interaction and experiences to share ideas.

Image from Social Media Portal

Thomas and Brown (2011) inquire about the new culture of learning in their book, specifically asking: “What happens to learning when we move from stable infrastructure of the twentieth century to the fluid infrastructure of the twenty-first century, where technology is constantly creating and responding to change?”

I am thinking about this question a lot. A number of educators are looking for the “new” instead of asking questions and assessing the present practices. As a scholar-practitioner with perhaps faculty inklings, I have many concerns and questions for the future of our learning in higher education:

  1. Who (collaboratively) will best respond to the challenges and changes for our learning landscape on your campus?
  2. Why are educational changes and decisions being made? Is there assessment and evaluation? Data-driven decisions? Literature to support the change?
  3. What are we doing well & what can we improve upon in our face-to-face, online, and blended pedagogy in higher education?
  4. How are we thinking about connections, creativity, and social learning for our campus learning environments?
  5. When & how seek out the learners’ input for changes to our educational curriculum, campus programs, and student support services?

The idea of one idea, one thing, or one person to tackle the challenges/changes in higher education is ridiculous. If you think a “new” way to learn – perhaps a MOOC – will solve your university or college, then I am concerned about your strategic goals and learning outcomes. Take a gander at George Siemen’s recent #open13 talk [slides & video] to get a historical perspective on MOOCs (then and now), learning challenges, and other considerations for higher education pedagogy. [P.s. If you want to talk more MOOCs and research – y’all should come down to Texas for the 1st MOOC Research Conference in December]

One great take away from George’s talk (via a priest) about the upcoming shifts to higher education: “Don’t move away from things…because if you move away from things you don’t have a clue where you’re going to end up. Instead, move towards something.”

References

Bingham, T., & Conner, M. (2010). The new social learning: A guide to transforming organizations through social media. Berrett-Koehler Store.

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change (Vol. 219). Lexington, KY: CreateSpace.

Siemens, G. (2013, November 7). MOOCs: How did we get here? Elearnspace. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/2013/11/07/moocs-how-did-we-get-here/

Open Education, OpenAccess

Open Education: Why #OER Needs to Be Our Business and Policy

A couple weeks ago, I attended the WCET hosted webinar on our campus – Open Education: The Business & Policy Case for #OER presented by the Director of global learning at Creative Commons,  Cable Green (@cgreen).

Wait – what the heck is OER?

I did take a few notes (a.k.a. Tweets) and thought I would share my thoughts from the session – and general thoughts for OER materials.

avatar
{Irony: Not all of the OER Commons is CC licensed}

The real issue is about sharing and making a case for open policy on campus that fits a “business model” in higher education. This webinar addressed concerns and practices to implement open access policy that is good for business. Currently, many educational institutions do not value  or support “open” as an option. I am fortunate to work at a university that supports the open access movement and encourages sharing of scholarly research and publications. I have been thinking about my role as an open educator for a while, and what it means for my research, publications, editing, teaching, and learner engagement.

In reviewing the UNT institutional OER involvement, I know there is some progress for resources, but like many campuses, we have a way to go. It would be great to see more departments, faculty, and units participate in sharing resources and joining the #OER movement.  By swapping educational resources and encouraging remixing of ideas, we might be able to create more opportunities for collaboration  to enhance our learner experiences, including:

  • faculty mentoring
  • new ways instructional design development
  • program evaluation
  • cross-training of staff and faculty
  • student innovation/involvement
  • affordable learning materials e.g. http://opencourselibrary.org/
  • interdisciplinary learning commons
  • building capacity within your institution

If you’re at a publicly funded institution, your educational resources should be openly licensed – this just makes sense. Does your institution encourage and promote Open Access? Do you share Open Educational Resources at your school? Please share how you are #OER.