We have looked at some of the resources that the University licenses to use in teaching and introducing you to the world of open content that’s free to reuse with a Creative Commons licence. Now our focus turns to material that you have created and how you can licence, publish and share it so that others can make use of it too.
There are a lot of ways to publish and share content. Where you decide to publish your work will depend on the type of content and the audience that you want to reach and how you want to licence it. Photographs, pieces of writing, videos, presentations, data and 3D models can all be shared in different places, with some platforms better suited to particular types of content. It’s important review the terms and conditions of any publishing platform you choose to make sure that you’re not transferring or losing the rights to your own work.
If you’ve decided that you want to share your content as an open educational resource (OER) think about which Creative Commons (CC) license you want to use. The Creative Commons website can help you through this decision-making process and give you more information about how to share your content.
If your work is in a Word document or PowerPoint presentation you might want to take advantage of the CC license plug-in for Microsoft Office. You can download this from the Microsoft website, however it’s is only available for PC users and isn’t yet compatible with Windows 10.
One thing to remember before you share your work anywhere is to make sure that you always keep a back-up copy of your original. It’s not unknown for web platforms to go out of business so always, always make sure you have an original safely filed.
Publishing to your own Website
Perhaps the easiest way to publish and share your content is to have your own website or blog. Blogging software like Blogger, WordPress and Weebly have become very popular publishing platforms. We now have LearningSpaces, which is a hosted version of WordPress. If you’re interested, contact us via Help4U to request a site. Another option is Reclaim Hosting where for a relatively small annual fee you can register your own domain and run your own site.
The most popular places to post video content are YouTube and Vimeo. From here it’s easy for anyone to share your content vis social media channels and to reuse it through the use of embed codes and mash-up tools. Whilst YouTube is more popular, Vimeo has several advantages, the licencing is clearer and if you decide to update your video the new version simply overwrites the old, which means that anyone who has embedded it will see the latest version. You can also allow people to download your video if you are happy to share it that way.
Photographs and images
For the photographers amongst you Flickr is a good option to go with. You can select an all rights reserved or CC licence for your work, it also lets you set a default licence so that all your uploads are automatically licensed as you want them to be.
Slideshare is to presentations what Flickr is for photographs. It too lets you set a default CC licence but you can set different licences for each individual presentation that you share. Slideshare is also good for sharing PDF files and it’s become a popular platform for sharing presentations and handouts from conferences. You can easily reuse content from Slideshare again by using an embed code and share to social media channels. Here’s an example from Jesse Stommel from University Mary Washington that has as an OER theme.
If you are creating a presentation, video or a larger OER or MOOC, then you will need to take care to share it with the same licence as the original components. It may be that you have different licences for specific items. For example, you might have used some images that could be modified on the basis that you attributed and shared alike, whilst others were used on the basis that they couldn’t be modified. Therefore, it’s important that you include a reference to the attribution of individual elements and you’ll probably need to share the overall resource on the basis of the most restrictive of the licences covered in your content.
Make sure you double check how the original work you are modifying was licensed. Here’s an example of piece of work that was shared from the Medical School. It’s a 3D model of the larynx which built upon an original model from The Database Center for Life Science in Japan shared on CC Attribution-Share alike licence. This re-worked model has been shared under the same licence and you can take a look at it on Sketchfab. It was then re-used further by a student in this video and here too it has been re-shared under the same type of CC licence.
Over to you
We’ve covered quite a lot this week so take time now to reflect on the key thing you feel you’ve learned or discovered. If you have time share it in the comments.
Also if you’ve found this useful and have ideas of other topics you would like us to cover in the future please do leave a comment.
There’s a growing movement around open education internationally and a desire to share open knowledge. Check out the Open Knowledge Network to find out more about the types of projects in this area.
Link of the Day
Open education practice and the movement around OER are becoming a growing focus for educational research. A special edition of the Journal of Internet and Media Research in 2014 focussed on open learning and included five chapters from the book ‘Reusing Resources: Learning in Open Networks for Work, Life and Education’ edited by Allison Littlejohn and Chris Pegler. Have a read of Allison and Chris’ editorial on Reusing Resources: Open for Learning to delve deeper into the world of OERs.