1 year ago

Open Educational Resources


take a page from books

take a page from books and documentaries—it is the faculty first and the university second who together should determine whether and how to license and more generally make accessible to the world the material that they create and bring into it. This includes how to publish and distribute audio and video of the course on YouTube and other platforms besides the major MOOC platforms, and—to our point here—how best to apply relatively innovative licenses to the material so that it can be re-distributed and reused without each user requesting university permission. The relationship that gets defined between the university and faculty needs also to take account of the untoward and the grim—faculty departures, separations, and disputes—and what happens to the online courses and rights and responsibilities for them in each of these cases. There’s copyright, there’s licensing—and then, there’s Creative Commons Once faculty and administrators have determined policies between them, they then should determine how best to share their creations with and facilitate use and reuse of these creations by the online public they intend to reach. Creators of MOOCs need not choose among the six Creative Commons licenses that are popularly deployed today— intellectual property need not carry a Creative Commons license at all. A MOOC, like a book, like a documentary, instead can be labeled according to longer-standing tradition as the property, or copyright, of the author (however that author is defined). Users who then seek to do something with that MOOC material—download and keep it, use it in their own work, redistribute it—can write to the authors and owners directly and ask for permission, like we all used to do in the Pleocene, pre-Internet era. But a Creative Commons license is useful in three important ways. First, it serves notice to all who view a CC-licensed work that the author or rightsholder(s) has/have thought about the issue of licensing the content of the work with the broader public in mind. This is not incidental. Second, it serves to alert the viewer/user that there may be a spectrum of use rights involved in the project that is being described with some considerable sophistication. Third, it serves as a hint that the content within the CClicensed MOOC may carry within it the promise of freedom—that promise of being part of the new giant library/museum we are building now in tribute to the old Enlightenment and Library of Alexandria. There are six Creative Commons licenses for MOOC professors and producers to choose from, ranging from least open/most conservative to the most open/liberal. 43 Again, use of Creative Commons signals to the world—to potential users of your material, and to machines that search with algorithms to locate it—that you somehow seek 43; and; http:// Creative%20Commons_March2016.pdf/ See also: Jane Park on OpenEdX: janeatcc/increasing-content-reuse-and-user-engagement-on-open-edx. The design of these licenses draws inspiration from the “four essential freedoms” that Richard Stallman designed for free software. “A program is free software,” Stallman writes, “if the program's users have: 24 MOOCS AND OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES: A Handbook for Educators

to improve upon the existing system of copyright, you are looking to see your work deployed in some fashion, that you recognize the internet and digital technology might play a role in human progress, and that you may be looking to make your work part of something larger. You may restrict your students—your users—from making any changes to or derivative works from your work; you may prohibit them from making commercial use of your work; you may require them to acknowledge and attribute your creativity; you may require them to, in turn, share your work—but greater distribution and greater use is what you signal through CC that you are after. The palette of these CC licenses is robust. The most conservative CC license is the CC BY-NC-ND license, which, while it facilitates sharing and copying, prohibits users from making any derivative works from being made from your work and prohibits any commercial use or application of your work. Second-most is CC BY-ND, which forbids users from making derivative works but allows for commercial redistribution. Thirdmost is the CC-BY-NC-SA license, which permits derivative works but forbids commercial use—and which requires users to share the work they make or publish with the same license as the one that governs your MOOC. Fourth-most is CC BY-NC, which forbids commercial uses from being made (at least, not without contacting the original creators), but dispenses with the last requirement upon the user, above. Various institutions use different licenses from this CC-BY-NC-SA and CC-BY-NC cluster—among them the Digital Public Library of America, the Internet Archive, YouTube, the Public Library of Science, Europeana, Flickr, and of course MIT CourseWare. 44 Indeed Open Courseware as a whole has achieved the extraordinary since its inception by clearing most if not all of the course content that it has published online for sharing under the CC-BY-NC-SA license. 45 • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose. • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish. Access to the source code is a precondition for this. • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor. • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others. By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this. “We campaign for these freedoms because everyone deserves them,” Stallman writes. “With these freedoms, the users (both individually and collectively) control the program and what it does for them. When users don't control the program, we call it a ‘nonfree’ or ‘proprietary’ program. The nonfree program controls the users, and the developer controls the program; this makes the program an instrument of unjust power.” See 44 45; III. RIGHTS, LICENSES, AND ACCESS: Producing MOOCs as OER 25

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