Posts Tagged ‘ukoer’

Education, education, education!

23 February 2010

What lessons have I learned during the OTTER project?  Honestly?  More than I expected.  Having worked in the University’s David Wilson Library for the previous three years clearing material for teaching purposes, I thought I had heard, seen and resolved most of the copyright queries and issues that exist within a University.  However, turning materials into Open Educational Resources turned out to be a whole different ball game.  We are not covered by educational licenses or exceptions for criticism and review or private study.  Everything has to be assessed down to its minutiae and nothing can be taken for granted.

There appears to exist a complete dichotomy within the academic community, at one end we have people extremely clued up on Creative Commons, sourcing and referencing materials which can be made freely available, and using emerging web 2.0 technologies and embedding them in their teaching materials. At the other end, there are people who are surprised that they can’t simply reproduce something found on the web, or sourced from a book that they wrote.  To enable me to keep a record of these varying issues, and of what needs resolving within each resource, I have found my tracking sheet absolutely vital. 

So my new mantra is ‘education, education, education’, and this is one of the key points I have learned.  I, as Copyright Administrator for the University, need to produce more guidance, and run more sessions, on the Creative Commons/open access movement, web 2.0 technologies, and sourcing open and re-usable materials.  There are a wealth of materials which can be freely re-used, but people simply don’t know about them, which is why I have made a start by pulling together a list of OER copyright guidance and resources which not only explain copyright in the relation to open licensing, but also provide the actual open resources.

Interlinked with the ‘education’ message is that “if” the University is intending to take the issue of Open Educational Resources to its heart, we also need to change the way people write their materials.  They need to design materials with openness in mind (thank you to my colleague Sahm for coining this phrase) and realize that copyright does not prevent them from creating interesting and visually stimulating teaching materials, they just need to bear a few things in mind (which I have drawn together as key do’s and don’ts and spoken about in many of my presentations, most recently at our Learning Futures Festival).    

Additional guidance and more specific decision making tools to assist copyright compliant OERs can be found within the OER copyright guidance and resources mentioned above, but a more simplified Copyright/IPR workflow, to be used in conjunction, has been embedded within the CORRE detailed checklist

The final thing I have learnt, is that although the open access movement is gaining pace, with ever increasing international understanding and recognition, and publishers are coming on board with respect to allowing access to journal articles and other types of research output, they are still a long way from allowing the re-use of their text and diagrams in freely open and re-usable materials, despite the fact that it is likely to drive people to their sites and their books.  The same can be said of large corporations, although they appear slightly more amenable to come to a mutually agreeable solution.

I think I’d be right in saying that copyright clearance doesn’t make you the most popular person in the world but (unless Sahm gets his way, and copyright is abolished), it will, along with a good take down policy and disclaimer, always be a necessity.

Tania Rowlett

OTTER Project

22 Feb 2010

Advertisements

Lessons learned from collecting ‘OER candidate’ materials

19 February 2010

Persuading academics that OERs are valuable can be a tricky business. Many are very reluctant to ‘let go’ of their precious materials. ‘Giving them away’ does not really make sense to some colleagues. On the other hand, other academics are fascinated by the idea that their materials may be useful to unknown audiences and are more than happy to hand over large amounts of information, in multiple formats, for conversion into OERs.

This is a by no means comprehensive list of lessons we’ve learned at the collection stage of the CORRE process:

– Familiarise yourself with the relevant evidence of OER impact, use and benefit, as well as the risks involved. Review the literature!
– Meet colleagues face to face, individually or in small groups.
– Explain what you want (their materials) and why you want them (ultimately, to make them available as OERs, after clearing the various stages of CORRE).
– Be prepared to respond to their genuine concerns with evidence, not with opinion.
– Provide examples. Show those examples on screen.
– Offer options. For example, colleagues may wish to select a sample of possible materials to turn into OERs. Once the process has been completed, they can decide on whether they want to submit more content.
– Use the contributions of others in your institution, sister projects (if available) and examples from some of the big players in the OER arena to show tangible benefits to all stakeholders (e.g. OCW, OpenLearn).
– Give them a quick tour of repositories and aggregators such as OER Commons and JorumOpen, in addition to your own project’s repository (OTTER, in Leicester’s case).
– Address the ‘what’s in it for me?’ question head on. Articulate your answer well in advance: this will depend on the context, your audience and their likely contribution and scope of your project.
– Ditto ‘what’s in it for the students?’ – present and future ones.
– Promise to keep them involved in the project and informed throughout. Then deliver on your promise.
– Be flexible and keep them on board. Without your colleagues’ contributions, there’s no OER project!

More to come soon.

Alejandro Armellini
OTTER Project, Leicester
19 February 2010

Latest developments in OTTER copyright

4 February 2010

So, what’s been happening in the OTTER copyright world recently? Well, this week I’ve been working on a great resource from our Geology department entitled Snowball Earth, which has required one of the most extensive sets of permissions requests so far.  I’ve looked at many, many pictures of the earth from NASA JPL/Caltech and received positive responses from as far afield as Australia (thank you PIRSA).

I’ve also been liaising with our Student Support and Development Service (SSDS) about their broad range of award-winning*resources covering everything from Research, Writing and Study Skills, to Career Planning and Applying for jobs.

Straight after the Christmas break the Beyond Distance Research Alliance had their annual Learning Futures Festival, an eight day, purely online conference, at which OTTER held two workshops, and my colleagues gave a variety of presentations.  All will be available soon via our new OER institutional repository http://www2.le.ac.uk/projects/oer.   Amongst other things, one conclusion I came to following the conference is that more education is required about Creative Commons licensing and copyright in general.

I was pleased to find out this week that JISC have released some new copyright guides: http://www.jiscdigitalmedia.ac.uk/blog/entry/all-you-need-to-know-about-copyright/ which explain copyright in general, and in relation to audio visual resources and still images.

Last week I attended a great CILIP event called Copyright in the Web 2.0 Environment.  I came back knowing a lot more than I did about the ownership of material in blogs and wikis and was introduced to the concept of content scraping (not a term I particularly like!).  Sadly it didn’t cover Second Life, which would have been useful for my colleagues, who have so far managed to run a Sports Day, a psychology training exercise, and give a presentation through the virtual world, but I’m sure there’s one in the pipeline.  It would also useful for our Swift (Second World Immersive Future Teaching) project.

Next on the horizon, apart from checking and clearing the last sets of material from our partners, is preparation for OER10 in Cambridge in March, at which my colleague Sahm Nikoi and I have been accepted to give an oral presentation.  These last few months of OTTER will not be quiet……..

By Tania Rowlett, 4 Feb 2010

*They won the Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Student Support 2009-10

OTTER presentation at Online Educa Berlin

10 December 2009

Last week at the Online Educa Berlin Conference, the OTTER project was discussed in two sessions. I gave a short overview of OTTER at the Learning Cafe session, in which all of the Beyond Distance projects were presented. Simon Kear then gave a more detailed account of the project in a panel presentation, alongside Andy Beggan from the BERLiN project at the University of Nottingham, and Uwe Spangler from the IE Business School in Madrid.

The OTTER presentations led to some interesting discussions. Members of the audience talked about the need to have a system in place for dealing with outdated material, particularly in the  medical field, where knowledge is constantly being updated. Delegates also shared ideas on the role that OERs can play in enhancing an institution’s image, and marketing courses or programmes.

For a description of other conference highlights, see the Beyond Distance team blog.

Gabi Witthaus

Digitisation at the British Library

7 November 2009

News from the ELKS community website:

Bringing the world’s knowledge into the digital age

Introduction to the seminar:

The British Library is one of the great research libraries of the world, holding over 150 million items in all the common languages and formats of the world. The advent of the Internet and the ability to digitise large quantities of text and images and make them available over the Web has transformed ways of working in research and learning. For almost two decades, the British Library has undertaken a number of focused digitisation initiatives. More recently, we have entered the world of mass digitisation of newspapers and books. Using the experience gained from digitising 25 million pages of books and 4 million pages of newspapers dating from the early 17th century, the approach, challenges and lessons learnt will be presented. Strong partnerships with higher education institutions have ensured the resultant resources met pedagogical needs, the current approaches and possible future trends will be presented.

About the speaker – Mr Aly Conteh, Digitisation Programme Manager, British Library.

Aly Conteh is the Digitisation Programme Manager at the British Library, a post he took up in April 2003. He is responsible for the development and implementation of the policies, workflows and standards which govern digitisation of items from the Library’s vast collections. He has been involved in many digitisation projects at the British Library including projects to digitise 25 million pages of 19th Century books and 4 million pages of pre-1900 newspapers and hundreds of manuscript volumes. He serves on the Executive Board for the IMPACT project a large-scale integrating project funded by the European Commission as part of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). He is as a member of the European Commission’s Member States’ Expert Group on Digitisation and Digital Preservation.

Click here to watch the recording of the seminar: https://connect.le.ac.uk/p28002466/

Gabi Witthaus