Grants/Creating educational resources for open sharing: a CC licences guidance package
Describe the project you are proposing as clearly as possible in just five sentences.
We propose to run two workshops in different regions of the UK on good practice in the use of CC licences when creating and publishing OERs (Open Educational Resources) in open digital repositories together with a downloadable support package offering tools and guidance for participants and the wider education community. The workshops will be created and delivered by an experienced team at the LLAS Subject Centre which has been delivering staff development workshops to teachers over the last 10 years. In addition the team has expertise in offering e-learning tools and solutions to the sector, most recently the HumBox (http://humbox.ac.uk/), an open educational repository for the humanities, which has released considerable open content worldwide under CC licences. It is clear from the experience of the HumBox Project that use of CC licences and general understanding of IPR and Copyright issues are not widespread among university teachers who are generally creating content for their own use rather than for open sharing. The workshops will explore CC licences and their usage in greater depth than we have been able to do so far, and will provide participants with instructive materials on how to adapt CC licences to resources created for open sharing. The model and materials for the workshops will be suitable for others to use and cascade within their own educational contexts.
Detail the tangible project output (e.g., paper, blog post, written materials, video/film, etc.; this would be in addition to the final written report that successful grant recipients will be expected to deliver to CC at the conclusion of the project).
A key output of the project will be an online CC Licence Guidance Package which will be made available to everyone through open educational repositories, e. g. HumBox, JorumOpen, the OpenCourseWare Consortium and other repositories which foster a culture of creating educational resources to share. The materials contained in this package will form the basis of the workshops and will be of interest to all educators in higher education, in the UK and beyond. The package will show how CC licences can be used in flexible and appropriate ways to enhance the sharing of good practice and effective educational materials in a safe way. It will explain what CC licences are and how they can be used effectively. The issues relating to the correct use of CC licences in sharing existing resources which emerged while developing HumBox, showed us that there is a compelling need to improve users’ knowledge of CC licences when creating resources for sharing. The two one-day workshops will cover the following areas: • Creating resources for open sharing. Introduction to producing OERs for publishing in open repositories with an overview of types of resources and licences available for use • How do CC licences comply with resources presenting third-party copyright issues? Although CC licences are relatively easy to understand and use, LLAS’s previous OER projects have evidenced that there is general confusion about how CC licences conform to issues relating to copyright and intellectual property which may arise when producing educational resources • Upload licensed resources to a repository. • What happens after a resource has been uploaded in a repository? Re-purposing and re-using a resource. Re-licensing and peer-reviewing resources in open sharing.
Describe the community you are targeting. How would the project benefit the community?
Our proposed project targets teaching and learning communities operating in higher education (the workshops will take place in the UK but the materials and model will be available for re-purposing world wide). The workshops will be aimed at potential and actual creators of teaching resources who wish to license their materials for open sharing. Our proposed workshops will be of benefit to these communities because our recent project work has shown that educators and practitioners often ignore the meaning of CC licences and their significance in allowing the OER movement to flourish. The OER movement is currently attracting an increasing number of adherents within the UK and so any information and clarity on licensing is very timely. These workshops and related outputs will show that by licensing resources correctly not only can teachers and learners share ideas and knowledge freely and without infringing intellectual rights, but also raise their professional profiles as educators and make their work widely known to both colleagues and potential students, thereby augmenting their professional credentials. CC licences offer the opportunity to embed OER-use into academic practice and this is something that will eventually benefit the academic community at large.br />
LLAS has been providing professional development for university teachers in areas such as e-learning for over 10 years and is part of the UK government-funded Higher Education Academy which supports higher education institutions to deliver excellence in learning and teaching. LLAS is part of a network of 24 subject centres (covering the full range of disciplines taught in UK Higher Education) who work individually and collaboratively to provide advice, training and resources (e.g. HumBox) to the sector. LLAS has extensive experience of organising events, running workshops, creating and producing online and offline educational materials, and has direct contact with a wide community of subject teachers across the UK higher education sector and in Europe. Prior to the HumBox project, LLAS has been involved in the implementation and development of other OER projects, for example the LanguageBox, a repository for language teaching materials. LLAS also works in collaboration with the School of Electronics and Computer Sciences, a world leader in web science based at the University of Southampton (UK) which has developed the technology (e-prints) which underpins the HumBox repository. Much of the work described here has been achieved through external funding and although we are continuing to support OER in the sector, the additional funding offered here will enable us to offer additional support for CC licensing for resource creators.
How will you measure and evaluate your project’s impact - on your main participants? Other contributors? On the larger community?
Impact will be evaluated in quantitative and qualitative ways through measuring participation in workshops and interest in downloading workshop packs. For events like these, LLAS has in place a robust feedback process which it uses to appraise the outcomes of the events organised. Participants are asked about how they will use and circulate ideas, tools and strategies offered in LLAS workshops and how they will follow those up in their institutions in months after the event. The workshop materials will be CC licensed for use by others and will be made available through our repository HumBox, where a peer-review system is in operation which enables registered users to comment on uploaded resources. Peer-reviewing in HumBox has so far produced a good number of positive comments on resources available which have actively encouraged authors to share their materials widely. These comments will also contribute to the measurement of impact.
How many participants do you expect to be involved in your project? How will you seek and sustain their involvement?
We expect approximately 50 people to participate in each of the proposed workshops. This estimated number is based on a similar event that LLAS organised (with funding from JISC www.jisc.ac.uk) in December 2009 ‘IPR and copyright when sharing educational resources’ (http://www.llas.ac.uk/events/archive/3329) which was attended by ca. 45 delegates and received very positive feedback. We would also expect that the information from the workshops and even the workshops themselves (using the downloadable pack), would be opened up and cascaded to a wider community within attendees’ institutions. LLAS has the capacity to publicise the event widely and to bring it to the attention of the intended audiences through national and international networks of contacts, including an online bulletin sent out monthly. There would also be encouragement by workshop participants to upload their CC-licensed resources to an appropriate repository and promote their work in creating OERs and the use of CC licences in their research and teaching.
Describe how your project will benefit Creative Commons' mission to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in "the commons".
There is a vast amount of excellent, creative energy within the humanities teaching community in universities in the UK. Most of it is not shared beyond the students in individual institutions but there is a considerable movement for change in the UK and a fast growing number of resources are now being made available for open sharing. This does, of course have considerable implications for the use of CC licences and for general understanding (by resource creators who lack copyright expertise) thus the project proposed here is both timely and necessary. In linking CC licence use to the process of resource creation it will foster creativity ‘in the commons’ by enabling OER users to develop and share their teaching materials more confidently through the use of appropriate CC licences. This will have an impact on the cultural, educational and scientific sectors as a better informed use of CC licences will allow for more resources to be circulated world wide. In this way, educators and practitioners will not only share knowledge but also good academic practice.
Describe what technologies and tools your project will use. What kinds of technical skills and expertise do you bring to the project? What are your technical needs?
The project will use existing repositories for the release of OERs, and open software tools such as OpenLabyrinth to provide support materials. The latter has been customised for assessing copyright risks for resources created for open sharing and guidance on how to use it will be offered as part of the package. LLAS has the technical skills and experience for maintaining and running the software required for this project and for this reason, does not envisage any additional technical needs or expertise.
What challenges do you expect to face, and how do you plan to overcome them?
The main challenge envisaged is how to engage teachers with little technical experience and with little or no interest in the legal issues inherent in the release of OERs. However, this is an ongoing challenge for LLAS which has successfully engaged the target user group with other e-learning initiatives (HumBox www.humbox.ac.uk and Learning Object Creator (http://loc.llas.ac.uk) by using a ‘bottom-up’ approach, which addresses issues of copyright through the subject teaching and research interests of the community rather than through generic or ‘top-down’ approaches. The proposed workshops aim to reach a broader audience by using this user friendly approach in making CC licences easy to understand and to use.
How do you plan to sustain your project after the Creative Commons funding has ended? Detail specific plans. How do you plan to raise revenue to continue your efforts in the future?
After the end of this project, the CC Licence Guidance Package will be released as open content under CC licence. It will be flagged up to other organisations and projects working in the field of open education resources (the UK is about to start a second phase of projects in the area of OER). It will also be incorporated into resource creation (e.g. LOC) training events that LLAS periodically organises. It will also be included in the LLAS online good practice.
How can this project be scalable, or have a scalable impact?
Through the CC Licence Guidance Package CC licence use will be brought to a new and wider audience – HE teachers. This package will be made available through open repositories for people to share and re-use so that it can be cascaded to the academic community worldwide. The face-to-face workshops will encourage users to participate in open sharing and will eventually have an impact on the culture change that the OER movement will bring to the higher education sector in the near future.
What resources and support do you expect Creative Commons to provide to your project to ensure its success (if any)?
We would like Creative Commons to give us support in publicising our workshops on the CC website. We would also like the CC community to make our final output available through the CC website, and if possible create an area on the CC website (complementary to the information and support already available) dedicated to OER-specific issues with CC licences and relevant case studies for which we would supply the content.
Describe how your organization currently communicates with its community members and network partners. (100 words)
LLAS communicates with its community members through mailing lists, a communication portal (e. g. basecamp), blogs, monthly e-bulletin updates, meetings, special interest groups and advisory boards are most effective. LLAS also hosts a website (http://www.llas.ac.uk/) which gets on average, 20,000 hits per month, and a biannual publication Liaison, where all the events organised or supported by the centre are advertised. It also holds a biennial conference for the language teaching community in HE.