Talk:Open Conference on Open Education/Recommendations

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Suggested recommendations[edit]

I make the following suggestions to the recommendations part of this project Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 05:57, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Support copyrights that are inter-operable with open educational resources[edit]

The most expansive open educational resources are the projects under the Wikimedia Foundation (Wikipedia, Commons, Wikibooks, Wikiversity etc). The copyrights used in these projects are:

  • Creative Commons Share Alike,
  • Creative Commons Attribution,
  • Public Domain,
  • or their equivalents.

If La Trobe wishes to use content from these projects, it will need a copyright procedure that is inter-operable with these licenses, in particular the Attribution and Share Alike requirements. La Trobe will need its producers and academics to understand copyright and Commons-based licensing so as to ensure diligence in this respect.

AT this point La Trobe faces a problem, in the professional capabilities of its staff with respect to understanding copyright, and the obligations relating to open educational resources. This is where a close alignment to projects like The Wikimedia Foundation may be of assistance.

Align to the Wikimedia Foundation projects[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation projects, in particular Wikimedia Commons - the multimedia repository that serves all the other reference projects, enjoys the commitment of many volunteers. These volunteers help develop and administer the project in all respects, as is the case with all the other projects under the Wikimedia Foundation. Their work has helped make Wikipedia the fifth most visited website in the world, and the only not-for-profit and advertising free website of its kind. The volunteers on Wikimedia Commons check and manage the copyright on works, and teach new comers the intricacies of that and other issues. They manage metadata tagging, and monitor use and reuse. And they do all this across many languages and time-zones. La Trobe might consider an engagement with these communities, and consider how it can benefit from their help, and what it can do to assist their collective goals.

Become an institution of open academic practice[edit]

Open education resources, are part of open educational practices. And open educational practices, are part of open academic practices. La Trobe should work through the Faculties in discussing, developing and piloting open academic practices, and help shape the values and principles of this emerging concept.

Engage the Learner's Bill of Rights[edit]

In January 2013, a group of leading educational developers convened in Palo Alto and drafted the Learner's Bill of Rights. This document continues to develop on Google Docs. It's an interesting document that attracted considerable attention, and may lead to further work relating to the rights of a learner. The draft contains claims to rights that may challenge, but guide La Trobe toward open academic practices, and a unique way of expressing rights and expectations of students and staff.

  1. The right to access
  2. The right to privacy
  3. The right to create public knowledge
  4. The right to own one’s personal data and intellectual property
  5. The right to financial transparency
  6. The right to pedagogical transparency
  7. The right to quality and care
  8. The right to have great teachers
  9. The right to be teachers

Update the Intellectual Property Policy and Procedures[edit]

In 2010 a group of academics at the University of Canberra drafted an Intellectual Property Policy and procedure that would enable the development of open education and research practices. Their proposal was cited as a benchmark policy by the National Tertiary Education Union, and received favorable comment from the libraries and federal senators, as well as acknowledgment from intellectual property lawyers gathered at their national annual conference in 2010. The three key elements of the proposal were:

  1. All staff, students and associates would retain ownership of and responsibility for their intellectual property.
  2. The copyright used by the University would be Creative Commons Attribution, so that people using the university to develop, transmit and distribute their work would use this license while retaining ownership and allowing the university and others to use their work. An opt-out process allows those with commercial, cultural or legal reasons to protect their works, and the university would assist their protective needs.
  3. Indigenous people and communities are autonomous in the considerations of intellectual property, and the University would automatically protect any knowledge and content that identified or derived from Indigenous culture, until such time the appropriate custodian could advise on further actions.

The senior executive at the University of Canberra did not respond to their proposal, and elected to remain status-quo with regards to their policy on intellectual property. At the same time the Federal Government announced that all public service information agencies be required to use the Creative Commons Attribution license by default, and the National Health and Medical Research Council required research to be published open access, soon followed by the Australian Research Council.

LMS turn on the Wikimedia Commons repository[edit]

If La Trobe accepts recommendation 1 and 2 (also supported by La Trobe's Copyright Officer) then the Learning Management System should turn on the Wikimedia Commons repository (as was raised in the LMS management committee late in 2012), and help the library and educational designers to educate staff on its use, and on Creative Commons licensing. They should not turn on the Flickr or Youtube repositories until copyright in those spaces is better managed.

Marketing messages are always educational[edit]

As a way to align resources to open educational practices, and to collectively address our professional development needs, La Trobe Marketing might consider a campaign based around the operating principle that messages be always educational. Educational billboards, tv and radio ads, Internet content, would all be educational in this campaign, and developed to compliment existing education or research work happening at La Trobe. Content that is developed under this principle would be managed under a Creative Commons Attribution or Share Alike copyright license, and appear on Wikimedia Commons as well as Youtube and iTunesU with open educational resource copyright displayed. This would involve partnerships with Curriculum Teaching and Learning Centre producers, as well as faculty-based and contracted producers. All would be challenged by the operating principle of education marketing messages, and the need to produce as open educational resources.

Library support of open education and research content[edit]

In the eRepository project, the library could aid in the reuse of content by adding a citation tool.

Already the Creative Commons copyright licenses are present, and this is a good start. If the university endorses the Creative Commons Attribution by default, then the library may need to reduce the options of these licenses down to two. The more restrictive licenses would them be available through the opt-out process described in the recommendation to update the intellectual property policy.

The inclusion of citation tool next to each item in the repository will also make for ease of use in other publications. This includes the Wikipedia code needed for a comprehensive citation of an article in a Wikipedia article, as is done by the National Library Trove project. If a statistical tool could be included that monitors such citations, this would also be useful.

Some sort of arrangement with Wikimedia Commons, Archive.org, Youtube and iTunesU could also be helpful. Both in terms of drawing content into the repository where a new staff member may wish to identify, but also in terms of efficient distribution of repository held content out to these other services - for audience, services and backup.

In the Subject Library guides the faculty librarians have a key role to play in proactively listing open content so as to encourage and support staff and student use of such content. If they were to use the content in an existing "LibGuide" as a guide, and add a new section to the guide solely for open educational resources, they would be assisting academic staff and their students to become familiar with such content and to approach them for more advice.

Recognise and celebrate what is already happening[edit]

Some people at La Trobe are already well down the road of open education and research practices. A result of their travels has meant they are at some distance from centrally coordinated initiatives. Any work in the development of a La Trobe wide position on open education and research practices, should be based on an understanding - if not celebration, of what people have been doing already. For example, the Melbourne Free University is largely a product of La Trobe University staff and graduates. Staff in the Faculty of Health have developed open educational practices this year. And iTunesU (despite not being governed as open educational resources) could become a significant compliment to open education development.

Give the Faculties time to pilot and position[edit]

The Faculty of Health Sciences has, since October 2012, been piloting open education practices and development workflows. The Teaching and Learning Unit, are using the pilot subjects to inform a Faculty report and position on open education practices by the end of 2013. It was thought that this work would help inform Central La Trobe administrators and policy makers. The Faculty of Health Sciences would benefit from an opportunity to discuss their work with other Faculties who may be piloting and considering open educational practices. This recommendation is that Central La Trobe administrators resource the Faculties to conduct pilots, invite guest speakers, engage third parties, and develop and share findings. If this was done over a period of at least 12 months, La Trobe would have a better chance of spotting the flaws, risks and opportunities, in the wide range of contexts that it works.

Further thoughts for consideration[edit]

I want to raise the following questions for consideration --Rmjelley (discusscontribs) 03:50, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Is there ambiguity between statement of university ownership of all materials produced in course of LTU employment and encouragement of “authors of teaching materials to consider making such materials publicly and freely available”? Which is the greater power here? The statement that uni owns all content, or the encouragement of lecturers to make that content publicly available? Does the former rule out the latter?
  • If exploitable IP = IP that can be sold for profit, then what’s to stop commercial exploitation of teaching materials through iTunesU? And does the university then reserve a right to commercially exploit teaching materials?
These are good questions Ruth. Regarding the second, we detected some perspective from members of FBEL at the conference, that the university should retain ownership, and should restrict commercial use. Restricting commercial use puts content outside the remit of open educational resource; and not recognising that individuals in all reality do own the content they produce (if they work from home, outside work hours, bring content in from prior engagements, or mix other content such as open educational resources). It seems entirely practical to me that the University should recognise the complexity of ownership, and defer to individualised ownership. This would reassure many currently working here, attract others to work here, reassure students and prospective students, and reassure community groups, business entities and others. Putting up the Creative Commons Attribution license as the default copyright on the University's systems, and offering and resourcing an opt out process, not only ensures the university has fair access and reuse rights, but helps them target the small amount of work that needs protection and careful management. I'm presently convinced this is a smarter way for a university to go, but I'd welcome challenges and discussion to this position. Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 04:05, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Align Intellectual Property and copyright policy with other Australian institutions[edit]

The Council of Australian University Librarians keep an abbreviated overview of Australian university intellectual property policies. The position that staff and students retain ownership of their intellectual property while working or studying at their university is in the intellectual property policies of the University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney, University of Western Australia, University of Wollongong, James Cook University and Australian National University. La Trobe University has an opportunity to align with these progressive institutions, and to offer them a template for establishing more consistency and clarity as well as interoperability between these institutions.

It is worth noting also, the Australian Department of Finance and Deregulation advised in 2010 that all Australian Public Service Agencies that Public Service Information be copyrighted Creative Commons Attribution by default, and that restrictions beyond that license be the exception and with process. La Trobe University has the opportunity to align with this advice, and position itself ready for when agency funding programs begin requiring such licenses on the projects they fund.

Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 00:45, 29 April 2013 (UTC)