Open Education and Using Resources

Open education is growing in the UK

Increasing numbers of academic institutions are becoming involved in open education. In the UK, many universities and colleges are participating in the national “Open Educational Resources” programme. Large numbers of useful learning materials are being shared on websites, but often it isn’t clear how a resource can or cannot be used.

Open education pumpkin field

Christchurch: Pumpkin Field. © Nigel Cox. Creative Commons BY SA.

Open licenses for open education

I really like this Geograph website which is a project to photograph and capture every aspect of Britain. The photographs are beautiful, and the contributors have licensed them using Creative Commons. This means the copyright ownership remains with the individual but the license allows other to use the picture.

What is nice about the website it makes it really clear how to use the picture, whether for reasons of open education or just general interest? Under each photograph is a link called “reuse” which takes you to a page explaining exactly what to do.

It informs me that the work is the copyright of Nigel Cox and is licensed for reuse under Creative Commons BY SA. “BY” means I must attribute the owner, and “SA” means share alike – I can alter or transform the work as long as I share it. So I can incorporate the photograph into this blog article and also crop it for the banner, thus enhancing my open education website. If the licence was a “ND” no derivatives variant, I would not be permitted to alter it at all.

The terms of the license do not require me to provide a weblink but I think that is helpful.

Well, that has been a little lesson on how to use any asset / resource / learning material provided by an open education project. Look for the Creative Commons license and follow the requirements.