Small steps in the right direction

I was very encouraged by a couple of posts to the oer-discuss mailing list this week highlighting two Scottish institutions that are in the process of in developing guidelines and policies for the creation and use of open educational resources. The first post came from Marion Kelt, Senior Librarian at Glasgow Caledonian University, who shared the first draft of GCU’s Library Guidance on Open Educational Resources, which is based on guidelines developed and implemented by the University of Leeds.

GCU Library encourages all staff and student to create and publish OERs and the guidelines strongly suggest that the use and creation of OERs should be the default position of all schools, departments and services.

“Unless stated to the contrary, it is assumed that use, creation and publication of single units or small collections will be allowed. Where use, creation and publication are to be restricted, Schools, Departments and Services are encouraged to identify and communicate a rationale for restriction.”

The guidelines recommend that OERs should be licensed using the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY) and make it clear that it is the responsibility of individual staff and students to ensure they have the rights to publish their resources. GCU should be identified as the licensor and copyright holder and staff are encouraged to assert their moral rights to be properly acknowledged as the author of the resources.

The guideliens also recommend that GCU resources should be deposited in Jorum, and that audio or video based OER teaching resources should be deposited in the university’s multimedia repository, GCUStore.

Following Marion’s post to oer-discs I asked list members if they knew of any other Scottish F/HE institutions that were developing similar policies or guidelines. Jackie Graham of the Scottish College Development Network replied that they are also in the process of developing

“…a policy statement for the organisation, and a set of guidelines for staff on the use and sharing of OER. This work is being undertaken as part of the Re:Source initiative which aims to encourage and facilitate the greater open sharing of resources across the college sector in Scotland.”

Re:Source is a Jorum-powered window onto the Scottish FE community’s open content which launched in November 2012. The service uses the existing Jorum digital infrastructure, together with customised branding and interface, to providing access to a rich collection of content from Scotland’s Colleges.

It’s hugely encouraging to see Scottish universities and colleges taking steps to formulate coherent institutional OER guidelines and it’s even more encouraging that these guidelines acknowledge the beneficial role that institutional libraries and the Jorum national repository can play in supporting the creation, use and dissemination of open educational resources within institutions and across the sector.

In light of the forthcoming Open Scotland event that Cetis are running togther with SQA, Jisc RSC Scotland and ALT Scotland SIG, I’d be very interested to hear if any other Scottish colleges or universities are in the process of developing similar guidelines or policies for the creation or use of open educational resources, or the adoption of open educational practices more widely, so if anyone knows of any more examples I’d be very grateful if you could let me know.

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