Anyone heard of, making, using, releasing OERs? Do you use PPT in learning and teaching? Other electronic resources? Have you posted teaching and learning materials you have created on to an institutional VLE? What about a website? Into a repository? Today, whether you are interested in OERs or not, I’m going to show you three things you can learn really quickly, to improve your content in terms of risk, licensing and copyright. Because your resources could be out on the Internet now. And there is some simple good practice we can all adopt to place ourselves and our institutions in the best possible defensible position.
The background is a huge recent investment in the UK in Open Educational Resources. A one year project we were involved in was one of 29 in the HEFCE (www.hefce.ac.uk) funded UK OER pilot programme which ran March 2009 – March 2010 The projects were administered by the Joint Information Systems Committee (www.jisc.ac.uk)and the Higher Education Academy (www.heacademy.ac.uk). Phase 2 of OER has recently been announced, with an extra 4 millions being committed in a climate of austerity, thus representing a significant policy movement in favour of OERs in the UK.
Organising Open Educational Resources had 17 HEIs as partners, who carried out 12 workpackages. The project ran for a year, with a budget of £500,000, with half of that in the form of the grant, and the rest as matched funding. It was about enabling the community. To facilitate HEIs and individuals ‘go open’ by mitigating risk and implementing policies and procedures based on good practice. Part of that is preparedness to engage with the debate, and readiness of content to be released openly. Today I am going to go right back to basics. We wanted to shed light on pools of best practice, and share that across the constituency – making sure that everyone knows in their own context, the people, policies, procedures, and permissions involved in going OER.
Of course many HEIs will already have some kind of institutional repository, but we had outlined an API toolkit in our original plan and as APIs to many web 2.0 services are so readily available nowadays, and because we had recently recruited a great developer, we decided to have a go at a mashup of a number of APIs. The idea was to be able to make the process of putting your stuff out there, and enabling people to find it, as easy as possible, using only one form and one one interface….. James has a proof of concept using Picasa, YouTube, Delicious and Twitter working so far. Some other services are proving a bit more tricky because of the time it take to process the files when uploading them – e.g. Slideshare but we are still working on it. We think its going to be useful for the Subject Centre anyway, and know that the CORE materials project in Liverpool has been doing something similar..
Thinking about copyright, IPR and what you can and can’t do with a resource is essential to all of us. We also have a duty of care to educate our students and ourselves about the differences between copyright, IPR and licenses to sue and share materials, and in this digital age, we need to begin to be modelling digital professionalism in our own everyday work. It is what you should be doing with any materials you share with students, with colleagues, with a LSE. It is good practice we should all be adopting.
One of the conditions of the funding was that we release everything under CC licenses. One of the main characteristics of an Open Educational Resource, is that it has an open license attached to it. These work in addition to existing copyright, which is made up of 2 parts: ownership and licensing. The copyright part deals with ownership – Creative Commons deals with the licensing part, making explicit to users which they can do with the resource and under what circumstances. You always retain IPR. Creative Commons is the licensing regime we were required to apply, but its not the only one. There are others. CC has a range of licenses with varying degrees of which you are allowed to do, and whether or not you can make commercial use of materials. The simplest is attritbution only, the most restrictive is attribution-noncommerical-noderivatives. There are very good reasons you may choose that license – such as if you have material containing data which would be sensitive out of that particular context. We also had to tag everything with ukoer, and deposit materials or metadata into Jorum Open, the national repository at www.jorum.ac.uk Thinking about licensing is something we should be thinking about with all of our resources whether they are going into an open repository or not. If they are being uploaded into a VLE, or if you are distributing them by email, it is likely they are being reshared via email, social networking etc.Making the use of the material and understanding what can and can’t be done with a resource is therefore essential to all of us. CC makes it easy.
What we need is something that works alongside copyright and licensing regimens to give us something to evidence or give provenance to materials which required consent under data protection law, so that onward transmission sharing and reuse becomes easier, and we can open up more healthcare materials to use as OERs. Consent is a currently a barrier to open release as legacy materials can’t evidence the consent status of clinical recordings – so we end up with non-commerical no-derivatives licenses as a default rather than a fallback position, where we can apply them. Everyone wants to use more open licenses but needs to be able to evidence consent.
In our field – healthcare education there is a third thing we should be thinking about. If there are people in our resources, if they contain any recordings – video, audio, photographs – we need to additionally think about consent. I am not going to focus on this today, but it is useful to know that there are another couple of pieces of work going on around consent and making this explicit too – email me if you want more details on this, or I can come back another time to talk to you specifically about that. I was at a meeting yesterday which is bringing together experts to put together a set of principles and a code of practice around consent, and in our OER2 project, PORSCHE, we are working with CC UK and others to put together some ideas around a Consent Commons to complement Creative Commons – making consent in resources.
SH We would like to propose a consent commons to work alongside or with creative commons as a way of demonstrating due diligence in dealing with issues of consent and using patient data sensitively in learning and teaching with specific reference to being able to share.
We went through a process of collecting information (mapping and categorisation) about teaching resources which could possibly be made available. All potential resources would be somewhere on this scale, and we deliberately wanted to find examples of resources at all the coloured levels in order to test our toolkits. Resources in the red area either haven’t been tested in the toolkits, or have been tested and will never be made open. Examples of this might include material where patient identity or respect for patients’ rights cannot be assured. In the orange region resources need a lot of work in order to get them ready to be made open: they have problems with IPR, or patient consent, or quality/branding. Materials in the yellow section were potentially easy to release, and typically these are the sort of materials that are already on websites, along with resources in the green area. An example of a green resource might be a course guide document already available on the web. It may be that the resource has gone out of date in which case they slip from green back into yellow. Once we had identified what kind of resource we had (green, amber or red) we would know how much effort we needed to invest in making it open. Once it is made open we wanted to ‘hallmark’ resources clearly with a Creative Commons licence. So what are the toolkits actually doing here?
However, across the UK staff and students are already uploading teaching and other materials to the Internet/web, especially to social networking sites. People are already doing it. Failure to follow good practice doesn’t mean that you can’t do it, it just means that you need more insurance. If you are big enough and have no conscience you can just put materials up and wait for the lawyers to get in touch. The rest of us have to be more careful. Our best practice compliance table has been developed to assist institutions to understand how their policies measure up, in order to safeguard themselves from litigation brought against them, and also to establish their own rights in relation to their own copy and moral rights. It is intended as a guide only and legal advice should be sought by those wishing to adopt good practice risk-management policies. So what do the toolkits look like?
Let’s jump in…..
Is this useful? Will you use these tricks? You can filter all Google content by usage rights
If you want to find resources uploaded by our project (c. 2000) these are the search tems to use with your favourite search engine. And if you want to see more resources from other projects have a look at the UK national repository, Jorum. In terms of impact – we are already seeing some significant changes in come of the partner HEIs- new committees set up, policies being checked and refined. We have engaged with over 50% of UK schools in our subject areas, and by the time we have done out 2nd projects that will include NHS partners and over 60% of schools.
How are we taking this proposal forward? Developing the consent commons proposal with support from friends at creative commons uk, we are working with the NHS eLearning repository to encourage further use of creative commons licenses for educational materials in the NHS, and we are linking with other projects looking at the cultural change aspects of the proposal. JW
Lindsay Wood, Project Officer HEFCE, JISC and HEA
Thanks for listening…..
On the website you can find reports, the toolkit – version 3 will be significantly better in terms of the single interface, and available in November 2010. You can find information about OER2, PORSCHE and ACTOR projects, and find an increasing number of case studies – about 10 so far, though we have done about 60. Do get in touch with us and follow us on Twitter…..
Ncl november 2010
Dr Megan Quentin-Baxter, Director
Suzanne Hardy, Senior Advisor
Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for
Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine
Newcastle University, UK
MEDEV’s value statement for the project shows
some of the benefits of developing open
educational resources. These include:
•enhancing the quality of learning and teaching
•benefits for institutions, and collaboration
•potential advantages for student recruitment,
satisfaction, and retention
Consent Commons ameliorates uncertainty about the
status of educational resources depicting people, and
protects institutions from legal risk by developing
robust and sophisticated policies and promoting best
practice in managing information.
Good practice compliance table (managing risk)
Explanation Risk of litigation from
infringement of IPR/copyright
or patient consent rights
3 Institutional policies are clearly
in place to enable resources to
be compared to the toolkits.
Low. Institution follows best practice
and has effective take down strategies.
Institution able to legally pursue those
infringing the institution’s rights.
Periodically test resources against
policies to keep policies under review.
Keep abreast of media stories.
Limited liability insurance
2 Compliance tested and policies
are adequate in most but not
all aspects to allow the
compliance of a resource to be
accurately estimated. A small
number of areas where policies
need to be further developed
for complete clarity.
Medium. Ownership of resources is
likely to be clear. Good practice is
followed in relation to patients. Take
down and other ‘complaint’ policies
are in place and being followed.
Review those areas where developed
is required, possibly in relation to e.g.
staff not employed by the institution
e.g. emeritus or visiting or NHS. It
may be that a partner organisation
requires improvement to their
policies. Some liability insurance
may be necessary.
1 Compliance tested but too few
policies available or
insufficiently specified to allow
the compliance of any
particular resource to good
practice guidelines to be
Medium. It is unlikely that the
ownership and therefore licensing of
resources is clear. Resources
theoretically owned by the institution
could be being ripped off.
Collate suite of examples of best
practice and review against existing
institutional policies. Follow due
process to amend and implement
those which are relevant to the
institution. Take out liability
0 Compliance with the toolkits
Compliance has been tested
and materials failed to pass.
High/Unknown. Risk may be minimal
if resource was developed based on
best practice principles. Institutional
policy status (ownership, consent) is
Establish a task force to test some
resources against institutional policies;
then follow 1-3 below. Take out
This license lets
remix, tweak, and
build upon your
commercially, as long
as they credit you for
the original creation.
This is the most
licenses offered, in
terms of what others
can do with your
works licensed under
2Using Flickr advanced search for photos,
diagrams and video
Pathways for Open Resource
Sharing through Convergence in
Healthcare Education (PORSCHE)
Seamless access to academic
and clinical learning
resources for healthcare
#porscheoer #ukoer #medev
cc: by Tony the Misfit
Accredited Clinical Teaching
Open Resources (ACTOR)
University of Bristol, University of Cambridge,
Hull York Medical School, Newcastle University,
Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry.
#ukoer #actor #medev
cc: by-nc By Maxi Walton
• Cardiff University
• Imperial College
• Keele University
• London School of
Hygiene and Tropical
• Newcastle University
• Queen’s University,
• St George’s University of
• University of
• University of Bristol
• University of Edinburgh
• University of Liverpool
• University of Nottingham
• University of Oxford
• University of
• University of Warwick
The Higher Education Academy OER pages:
The JISC OER pages: www.jisc.ac.uk/oer
The OER InfoKit from JISC InfoNet:
The OER Synthesis and Evaluation Report:
The JISC Legal IPR Toolkit: