It's that time of year again: Copyright Camp is coming up!

Last year’s Copyright Camp was such a great success we’re doing it again this year with the Copyright Office and MPublishing!

Date: July 29th, 2011
Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: Hatcher Graduate Library, Library Gallery (Room 100)
Please Register (no charge): Copyright Camp 2011


It’s still an unconference, but with a bit more organization this time around, with a combination of breakout sessions, a great speaker and some other fun activities.  Deborah Wythe, manager of the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s Digital Collections and Services department, will be joining us this year to discuss why the Brooklyn Museum of Art recently decided to adopt Creative Commons licenses for many of the photos of their collections.

The Open.Michigan team will be on-hand helping people understand the basics of open sharing, including how to create, use and share open content. We’ll also be featuring our very own version of Open.Michigan OERopoly and an Antiques Roadshow style “Open Content Roadshow” where you can bring an “item” (like a presentation, publication, photo or other copyrightable material) for our panel of experts to review and make recommendations for making this item open and adaptable.

Check out last year’s photos to get an idea of what Copyright Camp is all about and make sure to register if you’re interested in attending. You can also check out the Copyright Office’s official announcement for more info. There’s definitely going to be good food, good conversation and maybe even some extra goodies for participants!

Case studies of evolving health OER initiatives in Ghana

As part of our impact evaluation activities, over the past year we partnered with OER Africa to develop a set of case studies about the African Health OER Network. The aim of the case studies is to provide a glimpse into how and why these health OER partner institutions create OER.

In mid-2010, I conducted interviews at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) (Ghana) and University of Ghana. Soon thereafter, Catherine Ngugi, Project Director for OER Africa, interviewed participants at University of Cape Town (South Africa) and University of the Western Cape (South Africa). We conducted 10-20 interviews per institution, speaking with OER management, faculty, and staff, as well as hosting focus groups with students. Each case study explores strategic priorities, achievements, challenges, lessons learned, and future plans for OER at the institutions, as well as participants’ advice for others interested in creating their own institutional OER initiatives. The four institutions each joined the health OER project that eventually became the African Health OER Network in 2008, but the case studies highlight each institution’s unique circumstances and their distinct motivations, processes, and policies.

The case studies of KNUST and the University of Ghana were published last month. The South African case studies will be published soon.

New Ways to Share Our Resources

Since we launched our OERbit platform earlier this year, we’ve been busy establishing new ways for people to connect with each other and with the educational resources we publish. We’re trying to make it easier for you to find, share, and collaborate around these materials. Here’s a rundown of some of the features we recently added. More to come, we promise.

Now, instead of just “liking” the Open.Michigan main site or following us on Twitter, you can actually share individual resources we’ve published. If you find something you think is particularly useful, enlightening, gross or cool and want to share it with friends, neighbors, coworkers or anyone else on the web you can share it directly through Facebook or Twitter. Just go to the landing page for the resource and right under the title you’ll find the easy to recognize Facebook and Twitter icons that will let you quickly sign in and share.

If you’re already enrolled in a course we have published or if you’re interested in learning more about the topic, we’ve partnered with OpenStudy to connect with learners across the world. You’ll find OpenStudy’s live study group in a handy little widget on the left side of the resource page. You can see other questions learners have posed, see others’ contributions and support about the topics you care the most about. If you sign up for an account, you can also contribute your knowledge and help others learn in OpenStudy.

Of course, you’d make our day if you liked us or followed us. Because, as you might have read, building communities around sharing and reuse of educational resources and making our resources more easy to use, share and create for you, are two challenges we take very seriously.

And as always, let us know what you’d like to see, whether it’s content, functionality, or community options. We’re listening.

KNUST in Ghana adopts institutional OER policy

In August 2010, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) passed a landmark institutional policy (PDF, DOC) in support of OER. This policy is attracting much discussion, including a recent blog entry by Creative Commons.

As is the tradition in many universities, faculty performance evaluation at KNUST was originally based largely on publication of peer-reviewed journal articles. The OER team at the College of Health Sciences knew the reward structure needed to be revised in order to provide an incentive for faculty to devote time to creating teaching materials as OER modules. In early 2009, the College of Health Sciences (CHS) established an interdisciplinary committee of faculty, other staff and librarians across the university to examine the existing faculty development and intellectual property policies. The committee drafted a new policy and began the process of moving the policy through three committees at different levels of the university administration. Both OER Africa and University of Michigan provided input on the draft policy.

The new policy formalizes the role of the OER coordinator, as well as the technical support role of the Department of Communication Design (DCD). The university maintains copyright ownership for OER and other instructional materials developed. An instructor may, however, select the Creative Commons license that he or she prefers. The policy explicitly states:

Materials produced which do not indicate any specific conditions for sharing will automatically be considered to have been shared under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Most notably, the policy establishes a reward structure for OER production; it proposes that faculty receive the same credit for OER modules as for peer-reviewed publications and that the university allocate time for faculty to create OER. The committee recommended that the university continue seek external funding for this, and also encouraged individual departments to earmark some funds for OER production in their budgets.

The policy was approved in August 2010 and made public under a Creative Commons Attribution license in May 2011.