Taking @creativecommons Course: A Pre-Reflection

Taking @creativecommons Course: A Pre-Reflection

December 20, 2018 2 By JR

I’m currently a member of Creative Commons’ Open Education Platform, and while I myself am not enrolled in their Certificate courses I keep an eye out for news about them. It looks like Maha Bali (from such great collaborations as Virtually Connecting and TvsZ 6.0) is enrolled in the course and posted her first reflection.

Like Maha, I appreciate how the course is put together. It’s clear and can be approached at a variety of levels. In addition, I’m super thankful its materials are CC Licensed as it gives me enough material to try out new formats and platforms with real content. For example, I ported the material into the Pressbooks platform and will take a crack at adding different kinds of activities as trial and demos. It’s also a good opportunity for me to practice particular formatting in the platform. Having real content available is nice in this case as opposed to my usual approach to using Taco Ipsum, Cat Ipsum, etc.

Maha describes how she first learned about CC, and I found it really interesting, so I thought I’d share mine as well.

I first encountered Copyleft while I was in my B.Ed program. I think it was during an Ed Communications (edtech) course I was taking. One of my classmates had a couple of films, Why Copyright?: Canadian Voices on Copyright Law, and On Piracy (I think). I hadn’t really thought about it beyond the climate following the downfall of Napster, and the rise of people downloading movies and music using bit torrents. I didn’t encounter these concepts again really until in graduate school when we were introduced to Open Education, Creative Commons, and David Wiley. The framing of this second exposure was completely different than the first. When I watched those films I recall it being very consumer and media focused, while in the latter case it was about OER and reusing instructional content.

Like Maha, I’ve now got a pretty solid understanding of Copyright and CC, both of which are needed in the currently instructional design landscape IMO. I too have had many conversations with instructors where they don’t seem to quite grasp why we can’t just load any old photo or video from the web into an online course, especially not without attribution. I do find myself quite surprised by these conversations, as many instructors seem worried about students copying others’ work (plagiarizing) in their assignments, and yet don’t seem to realize by inserting an unattributed image into their work isn’t all that different. So that’s the area that I tend to start that conversation about why attribution is important. As we work together over a term they begin to understand how much easier it seems to be working with CC licensed content rather than seeking out permissions constantly. In a few cases, I have instructors that use open work to make mashup images, which adds a level of clarity to the concepts being presented in the course that wouldn’t be there (in that format at least) otherwise.

I don’t know of any module or activity examples off hand that would help Maha out for the activity she’s thinking of – go read about it and see if you can help out – but it sounds like a very powerful way to learn about the value of open licenses.

From a workshop perspective it makes me think back on Tom Woodward’s  blog post about two approaches to teaching about OER.