MOOCs and Libraries
What have they got to do with each other?
Prof. Beth Evans
Brooklyn College Library
“The British Library has announced its intention to join the UK’s Mooc platform FutureLearn Ltd, offering participants
of its online courses access to the Library’s unique digitised resources.” - February 18, 2013
“FutureLearn…. will be taking up residency in the British Library as part of a commercial leasing agreement…. Steve
Morris, the British Library’s Chief Financial Officer, said ‘As an organisation with higher education and digital
innovation at its core, FutureLearn are a natural fit as a tenant of the Library, and we look forward to welcoming them
to the building.’” – January 13, 2014
In Great Britain …
Library products being built with MOOCs in mind
SIPX, e-reserves software, prices per-use based on user’s profile, so that
international users are charged accordingly
Adapting Library Units –
Heading in a MOOC-friendly Direction
• Reference – answering questions for non-BC students (we
do this already with cooperative chat services)
• Instruction – online research tutorials
• Building collections – favoring electronic journals and books
• Special collections – unique content, often not in copyright,
suitable for course enhancement, of interest to outside
• Tech services – work for new licensing options
• Access services – who can use the physical space and
• AIT – Tools for building MOOCs
• Content creation (work with AIT)
• Content storage (locally produced and
• Content discovery
• Content procurement & ownership (practical and
– Subscription licensing
– Open access
– Navigating copyright and fair use
• User instruction and support
Library Roles (Practical & Advisory):
Content Procurement & Ownership
• What you create: who owns it?
• What others create: can you use it?
• MOOC as content generating engine (student
data): what can be done with this? FERPA
Content You Create
• Work for hire
• Teacher exemption
• Using campus resources
• Multiple creators
• Conflict of interest / use of time
• Competing with other offerings of the institutions
• Taking content away with you
• Making a profit on the content
Using the Content of Others:
Copyright & Fair Use Tips
• Be conservative in estimating fair use
• Ask for permissions
• Sell the idea of use as a benefit to creator – e.g.:
more students will buy a publisher’s book; look
for “light” versions of textbooks
• Mine the public domain; use links rather than
• Don’t use content purely for decorative purposes,
or if it is not germane to what is being taught
Fair Use Guidance in the Face of Uncertainty
• What are the copyright rules when it comes to delivering course materials
to tens of thousands of individuals worldwide?
• Does it matter if content will be beamed to a country without fair use
principles in its copyright regime?
• Does fair use fail if the platform provider is explicitly for profit?
• Does an institution’s not‐for‐profit status as the content creator continue
to support fair use under the first fair use factor?
• Does this balance tilt again if the institution has begun to explore
From Madelyn Wessel
Surviving As an Instructor in a MOOC Environment -
Preferencing Open Access Content:
Examples of Teaching & Library Challenges from Real Life
1. Peer-reviewed journal articles on the web
2. Videos on Youtube
Peer-reviewed Journal Article
• Students are assigned this article to read:
Chiasson M, Findley S, McLeod N, et al. Changing WIC changes what children
eat. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) [serial online]. July 2013;21(7):1423-1429.
• First, find the Journal in the Library E-Journal Finder:
See: Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) (1930-7381)
from 01/01/2009 to 1 year ago in MEDLINE with Full Text
• Is this article out there on the web
• Search Google:
Chiasson Findley McLeod Changing WIC
Google link takes us straight to the open
access conference paper, but this as the
context is not yet clear.
Will the course instructor who assigned the article accept the
conference paper instead?
But I Found it on Youtube!
• Assignment for students to watch Powell and
• BC library collection is limited
• Students will find some of these (illegally
uploaded on Youtube (Oh…Rosalinda!)
• Should faculty direct them to this source?
Can you, with good conscience, support MOOCs and not
support open access?
Jason Mittell, “The Real Digital Change Agent.”
“I am fascinated by the contrasting rhetoric between the rapid-boil fervor over MOOCs and
the barely simmering apathy for open-access policies, especially at the institutional level.
MOOCs are often touted in university news releases as being motivated by the desire to
increase access to work of faculty freely across the globe.…
Fewer than 20 percent of the American institutions that have formed partnerships with
Coursera [the MOOC provider] are also members of Coapi [Coalition of Open Access Policy
Institutions ]. That seems downright hypocritical to me, as opening access to faculty research
would help level hierarchies and tear down boundaries between academics and the public,
between major research universities and less-wealthy institutions, and between the
developed and developing worlds. Access to the average journal article might do little to
change the world. But making the bulk of scholarly research freely available could transform
the possibilities of educational uplift, scientific discovery, and public engagement with