In light of our investigation into the University’s IPR policy we have noted a few things that we need to consider. In brief summary, the policy indicates that work derived from scholarly activities is the intellectual property of the author. Copyright of materials produced as curriculum design and development, including e-learning, resides with the University. All this is clearly articulated in staff contracts. Students and staff are treated equally by the policy, and so it would seem that this is a fairly straightforward clarification.

However, it might not be quite as simple as all that. In the supporting IPR guidance document, the term ‘safeguard potential for exploitation’ is used in reference to the commercial value of IP. In fact, on several occasions the IP of the University is mentioned as needing to be safeguarded, implying a protective stance towards content. Clearly there are no direct commercial benefits to the open release of learning materials, but there is long-term value.

The most recently updated IPR policy (April 09) does articulate the need to widely disseminate IP, describing it as ‘fundamental to the work and idea of a Higher Education Institution’. We feel, therefore, that the idea of OER does fit into the existing policy, but it raises a couple of key things:

1) Does the policy need to be explicit about the use of open content for commercial exploitation (and does it need to acknowledge the inherent myriad values of OER)?

2) How can we raise awareness of these values needs in order to permeate our teaching staff body, and ensure the support of policy-makers and management that can drive sharing.


When Steve and Debbie visited us up in Carlisle a few weeks ago, we talked about all sorts of interesting project related things. During the conversation it occurred to us that we were forming useful perspectives on the University’s approach to OER based on the data that we had collected, and that we needed to record these ideas somehow. It was reminiscent of an e-learning benchmarking process we had gone through a couple of years earlier.

Following that experience we engaged in a Pathfinder project in which we recorded an informal project narrative throughout. This ultimately manifested itself in a summative ‘journey’ report that articulated our experiences as the project developed. We found this experience to be extremely useful and so we thought we’d give it a go again here.

Hopefully it will help us to understand and explore issues in our own context, and help feed forward into actions and evaluation of our activity. As previously mentioned, some of these reflections may include sensitive information, and where they do we’ll password protect the entry. You’ll need to contact the protect team if you want to read them.

Open Access


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This is the blog for the team at University of Cumbria, currently working on the Art, Design and Media Subject Centre led Open Educational Resources (OER) project. The University of Cumbria is very pleased to be working alongside sector partners and the Art, Design and Media subject centre in this important OER initiative. The team in Cumbria perceive the project as the bud of something with significant potential for both our own institution and the sector in the future, so we are delighted to be involved.

Note: Some entries may be password protected. Please contact the project team for information.

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    • Practising Open Education – Project Completion August 24, 2011
      The project has been completed and the Final Report is currently being finalised. This report will shortly be made available through the JISC Programme website and through the project website. In addition the project partners’ completed Action Plans together with a partners’ Evaluation Report in which the project leads reflect on key lessons, challenges and […]
    • Multiple Licenses? Creative Commons Compatibility Wizards June 27, 2011
      Two new online wizards which help when applying multiple Creative Commons licenses to OERs. Jason Miles Campbell, service manager, JISC Legal said, “These tools make tricky calculations easy when it comes to working out how the various Creative Commons licences work with each other…” Click here for more information Thanks to Naomi Korn and the […]
    • JISC eContent Capital Programme: Call for Projects June 13, 2011
      JISC invites institutions to submit funding proposals for projects related to the creation and use of digital content with funding of up to £5.4 million available. The Themes are: Strand A: Digitisation for Open Educational Resources (OER) Release of digitised educational content for use and re-use on an open access basis through digitisation of special […] […]
    • Project Update June 9, 2011
      As the project moves into the final phase the findings, outcomes and reflections on the past 12 months is being collated. To assist the process a reporting template has been constructed to allow the partners to detail their experiences and project outcomes. To view and download the template, and the recent newsletter, go to the […]
    • WordPress Plug-Ins for OER May 27, 2011
      The Triton OER Project at Oxford University has devised plug-ins suited to WordPress users which helps add Flickr images to their materials and resources. The two plug-ins identify either CC-BY images which align with their general OER content or search for those with more specific licenses which the user may require to ensure copyright protocols […]
    • ALTO Project May 26, 2011
      Just to remind everyone that archive references to the University of the Arts, London (UAL) and OERs are in the context of the institution’s involvement as a project partner in OER 1. Currently UAL are running the ALTO (Arts Learning and Teaching Online) Project and ADM are pleased to be involved as a member of […]
    • Request for Collaborative Materials May 20, 2011
      Alex di Savoia from the University College, Falmouth, who has been involved in the UK OER Programme has requested help from the community: I’m currently developing UCF’s “Intellectual Property Rights for Educational Environments” OE course as part of Phase II. I’m in the midst of specifically developing modules around Collaborative working and how this relat […]
    • Digital Impacts: How to Measure and Understand the Usage and Impact of Digital Content May 9, 2011
      Last Few Places Available Jesus College, Ship Street Centre Lecture Theatre, Oxford Friday 20 May 2011 09:30 – 16:00 How we can measure and understand the usage and impact of digital content within the education sector? How do we go about defining value and impact? Which metrics should we adopt to understand usage? When is […]
    • CORRE Workflow Process for OER Creation May 9, 2011
      The OTTER Project have requested anyone who has used their framework to offer some feedback. Link to CORRE Framework
    • Open Resources: Influence on Learners and Educators (ORIOLE) May 9, 2011
      The ORIOLE Project’s focus is on “investigating, understanding and disseminating about use and reuse of digital online resources in learning and teaching”. To help the Practising Open Education Project encourages you to support ORIOLE by filling in a questionnaire. In addition to helping the project there is a small reward, besides knowing you are helped […] […]