Commons News

Open Course Library Launches 1st 42 Courses

Cable Green, November 2nd, 2011

On Monday, the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) released the first 42 of the state’s high-enrollment 81 Open Course Library courses. The remaining 39 courses will be finished by 2013. Funded by the Washington State Legislature and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Open Course Library joins the global open educational resources (OER) movement, and adheres to SBCTC’s open policy, which requires that all materials created through system grants be openly licensed for the public to freely use, adapt and distribute.

All courses are available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 unported license (CC-BY).

The first 42 courses are available in multiple technical formats including:

Michael Kenyon’s students at Green River Community College used to pay nearly $200 for a new pre-calculus textbook. Now they pay only $20 for a book – or use it online for free. Kenyon’s pre-calculus textbook (CC BY SA) was written by community college faculty David Lippman and Melonie Rasmussen, who teach at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom. “We looked at a lot of textbooks,” Kenyon said. “There are some people who think this is the best book out there.”

“The courses were created with the needs of Washington’s college students in mind,” said Tom Caswell, SBCTC Open Education Policy Associate. “And with the idea we would share the courses with the world.”

Each course was developed and peer reviewed by a team of instructors, instructional designers and librarians. Use of the course materials is optional, but many faculty and departments are already moving to adopt them.

According to an informal study by the Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), the Open Course Library could save students as much as $41.6 million on textbooks annually if adopted at all of Washington’s community and technical colleges. The study also estimates that the 42 faculty course developers will save students $1.26 million by using the materials during the 2011-2012 school year, which alone exceeds the $1.18 million cost of creating the 42 courses. “These savings will not only help Washington’s students afford college, but clearly provide a tremendous return on the original investment,” said Nicole Allen, Textbook Advocate for the Student PIRGs.

Justin Hamilton, press secretary for the U.S. Department of Education, said the Washington state effort was groundbreaking for the nation. “Lowering college costs increases a student’s ability to take more courses, finish their degree on time, and enter the workforce prepared for success in a global economy. That’s not just good for them, it’s good for the country.”

“It really is the beginning of the end of closed, expensive, proprietary commercial textbooks that are completely disconnected from today’s reality,” said Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) of Washington State’s 36th District, a champion of the Open Course Library and OER. “This is a significant state investment in this era of massive budget cuts. We had little choice but to seize the opportunity of this crisis to challenge the status quo of the old-style cost models in both K-12 and higher education.”

4 Comments »

UNESCO and COL release open education policy document for higher education

Timothy Vollmer, November 1st, 2011

Today UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning jointly released the policy document Guidelines for Open Educational Resources (OER) in Higher Education. The purpose of the guidelines is “to encourage decision makers in governments and institutions to invest in the systematic production, adaptation, and use of OER and to bring them in to the mainstream of higher education in order to improve the quality of curricula and teaching and to reduce costs.”

UNESCO and COL note, “Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain and released with an open license (such as Creative Commons). They allow communities of practitioners and stakeholders to copy, adapt and share their resources legally and freely, in order to support high-quality and locally relevant teaching and learning.”

The guidelines indicate how the potential of OER can be harnessed to support quality teaching and learning by higher education stakeholders, including governments, higher education institutions, teaching staff, students, and quality assurance, accreditation, and academic recognition authorities.

The Guidelines for OER in Higher Education inform the process leading up to the 2012 World OER Congress. That event is being organized by UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning, with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The Congress will 1) work to promote the UNESCO/COL OER Policy Guidelines; 2) share the world’s best practices in OER policies, initiatives, and experts; and 3) release the 2012 Paris OER Declaration calling on Governments to support the development and use of OERs.

The UNESCO/COL policy document is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 license.

5 Comments »

A personal appeal from CC CEO Cathy Casserly

Cathy Casserly, November 1st, 2011


Cathy Casserly by Shanti Duprez / CC BY

Dear CC Community,

The world is experiencing an explosion of openness. From artists inviting creative collaboration to governments around the world requiring publicly funded works be available to everyone, the spirit and practice of sharing is gaining momentum and producing results.

By supporting Creative Commons, you are advocating for openness and sharing on the web.

Recent CC accomplishments include:

  • Europeana’s new Data Exchange Agreement which releases the metadata for millions of cultural works into the public domain using CC0;
  • Flickr reaching the 200 million mark in CC-licensed photos;
  • YouTube adding a CC licensing option;
  • The US Department of Labor requiring CC BY for a $2 billion grant program;
  • Brazil and New Zealand introducing CC licensing for government-funded works;
  • CC releasing The Power of Open, a book showcasing phenomenal use cases of CC licensing. Make a donation and receive a hard copy of The Power of Open.

At the CC Global Summit in Warsaw, CC affiliates and supporters shared their plans and discussed the challenges we face in building the tools and support needed for an open future.

Creative Commons relies on donations to build and constantly improve the technical and legal tools that enable openness to flourish. The future for openness is bright. Please join us!

Yours truly,
Cathy Casserly
CEO

p.s. Donate now to receive your limited-edition “I Love to Share” t-shirt!

Comments Off

Report from the Creative Commons board meeting in Warsaw

Cathy Casserly, October 27th, 2011

CC’s Board of Directors met during the first day of the Global Summit on September 16, 2011 at the Primate’s Palace in Warsaw, Poland. Prof. Brian Fitzgerald was appointed as a Director of the corporation and to its Audit Committee. The Board also expressed its grateful appreciation to Alek Tarkowski and the CC Poland team for their excellent preparation of the Global Summit and to departing Vice President John Wilbanks for his outstanding accomplishments at Science Commons. Prof. Carroll reported on the success of the recent Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest noting that CC affiliates formed a significant portion of leading thinkers and activists in this field and pointed to the resulting Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest. The Audit Committee’s conflict of interest reviews were also ratified. The remainder of the meeting was dedicated to discussion of improvements to the board structure, fundraising, and strategic objectives.

This was the first time in six years that a CC Board meeting has been held in conjunction with an affiliate Summit event. It was a unique and immensely helpful opportunity for the Directors to make personal contacts with CC supporters and to share directly in the rich expertise and insightful perspective of the affiliate community.

2 Comments »

You are the Power of Open: 2011 Creative Commons Annual Campaign

Jane Park, October 25th, 2011


CC Line by Shinjirou / CC BY

Today marks the official launch of the 2011 Creative Commons Annual Campaign! Please join us in powering the future of openness!

This year, we are offering a limited teal edition of the CC “I love to share” t-shirt to everyone who donates $50 or more (until supplies run out). For those who donate $300 or more, in addition to the t-shirt, we are offering beautiful hard copy editions of The Power of Open, stories of creators sharing knowledge, art, and data using Creative Commons.

The world is experiencing an explosion of openness. From artists inviting creative collaboration to governments around the world requiring publicly funded works be available to everyone, the spirit and practice of sharing is gaining momentum and producing results. We post about these results frequently; subscribe to the CC newsletter for a distilled monthly rundown.

Creative Commons relies on donations to build and constantly improve the technical and legal tools that enable openness to flourish. The future of openness is bright, but ensuring that future requires urgent and sustained effort. CC is continuing to improve the usefulness of our licenses and helping even more artists, institutions and governments share their works. We are reaching a critical mass and need your support now more than ever.

What you can do to help

Help us share the power of open! Spread the word in the following ways:

We’re a nonprofit organization that is very happy to provide our tools and services for free, and we want to remain that way! Learn more: “Why does Creative Commons run an annual fundraising campaign? What is the money used for and where does it go?

Comments Off

The CC community participates in Open Access Week 2011

Jane Park, October 24th, 2011


Open Access (storefront) by Gideon Burton / CC BY-SA

Open Access Week, now in its 5th year, is taking place this week, October 24-30. “Open Access to information—the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need—has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted. It has direct and widespread implications for academia, medicine, science, industry, and for society as a whole.” The fifth annual OA Week is kicking off with events around the world, and the CC community is joining. Below we highlight a few of these activities!

Open Access Week Perú

Both CC Perú and CC Chile will present at Open Access Week Perú. CC Chile’s Alberto Cerda will be one of the speakers opening the conference on October 25, with CC Perú’s Rafael A. Salazar Gamarra giving a talk on CC, open access and copyright on October 26. Open Access Week Perú is a series of activities that addresses different aspects and approaches to open access internationally and aims to highlight the various initiatives that promote free access to academic and scientific information in Perú and elsewhere. The full program is available at http://www.openaccessperu.org.

Open Access Seminar in Poland

On October 28, CC Poland’s Alek Tarkowski and Kamil Śliwowski will lead a seminar on open publishing models and the use of new media in scientific work. The seminar will take place at the Polish Culture Institute in the University of Warsaw. In addition, the Open Education Coalition in Poland is organizing several open access events throughout the country. For more information, see CC Poland’s blog post.

SHOW – Share Open Access Worldwide in Croatia

SHOW (Share/OpenAccess/Worldwide) will celebrate Open Access Week in Croatia. On October 26, CC Croatia’s Tomislav Medak will give a talk on CC licensing and Open Access at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Rijeka. The idea is to raise awareness among Croatian students about the importance of the free flow of information and open access to research literature, which is not a familiar term in the region, by raising questions about what students are already well familiar with, i.e., intellectual property. The students will be introduced to Copyleft movement, Creative Commons licensing, Open Projects, Open Content movement, Open Access movement and the Right to Research Coalition; and they will be invited to join the debate about the prospects for a world of open values. The full program is available at http://www.intechweb.org/show.html.

Open Access Week online

CC staff are also promoting open access in various webinars and telecasts, including the New Directions in Scholarly Communication Online Seminar, the Right to Research Coalition’s webcast on Open Access and the Impact of Open on Research, and a telephone seminar for the State Bar of California. Today, October 24, CC Senior Adviser John Wilbanks joins the New Directions in Scholarly Communication Online Seminar to discuss the changing landscape of scholarly communication and scientific publishing. On October 26, John will also discuss Open Access and how open has the power to transform research for the Right to Research Coalition. On October 27, Aurelia J. Schultz, CC Counsel and Africa Regional Coordinator, will give a presentation on CC licenses for the Intellectual Property section of the California State Bar, to inform lawyers about CC licenses and how they can help their clients use CC licenses or CC-licensed works.

Comments Off

Open for Comment – Public Draft of the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative Specification

Greg Grossmeier, October 21st, 2011

LRMI Logo

As you may remember, the LRMI Technical Working Group, with the input of the wider community, has been working to create a set of metadata terms to describe learning resources. This set of terms is being developed with the goal of gaining acceptance into the Schema.org specification.

Today I am pleased to share with you the current draft version of the LRMI specification. We are sharing this now so that the wider community has a chance to review and make comments. We know, as well as anyone, that sharing early drafts of the work product is a great way of improving the end result.

Please review the current draft LRMI spec and post any technical comments you might have to the public LRMI mailing list by November 11. If you have other non-technical comments/concerns, please feel free to use the LRMI.net discussion board.

Comments Off

Blackboard to add support for CC Attribution

Jane Park, October 19th, 2011

Blackboard, the popular Learning Management System (LMS), has announced that they will build in support for CC licensing, specifically enabling instructors the ability to publish and share their course materials under the CC Attribution (CC BY) license. From the press release,

“Support for OER enables instructors to publish and share their courses under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY) so that anyone can easily preview and download the course content in Blackboard and Common Cartridge formats. The new functionality is available now for CourseSites, Blackboard’s free, fully-hosted and supported cloud offering launched a year ago and now used by over 18,000 instructors from nearly 12,000 institutions in 113 countries. Similar support for OER will be available soon for Blackboard Learn.”


The Chronicle of Higher Education
and Inside Higher Ed also covered Blackboard’s move toward openness in education. Cable Green, CC’s Director of Global Learning, notes,

“The core part of any OER is an open license, and Blackboard has shown its leadership by empowering instructors to share so others can revise, reuse, remix and redistribute their courses.”

Comments Off

New CC Job Opportunities: Seeking Logistics Rockstars!

Jennifer Yip, October 17th, 2011


London, gold star by Lars Plougmann / CC BY-SA

If you have a knack for time management and logistics coordination, please consider Creative Commons’ two new support positions: Temporary Office Assistant or Project Coordinator/Executive Assistant. Both positions will be key members of the team supporting the CEO and organization as a whole.

Ideal candidates are proficient in basic computer and Internet technologies, have demonstrated customer service experience, and can manage multiple tasks with shifting priorities. Joining CC means getting the chance to interact with motivated staff and a brilliant international network of affiliates and community members.

Please feel free to share these job descriptions as far and wide as possible. We will be accepting applications on a rolling basis until we find the right candidates. Please be sure to indicate the job title you are interested in applying for in the email subject line (“Temp Office Assistant” or “Project Coordinator/Exec Assistant”), and send your applications to “jobs@creativecommons.org”.

Comments Off

CC Portugal launches second localized suite of CC licenses

Jessica Coates, October 14th, 2011

Portugal x Holland
Portugal x Holland by pedroffmarques / CC BY
Congratulations to CC Portugal for launching localized versions of the CC 3.0 licenses!

These are Portugal’s second localized CC licenses. Although CC’s international license suite is appropriate and intended for use around the globe, CC has historically permitted affiliates to port (linguistically translate and then adapt) the licenses to account for local nuances in the law. Porting has been a means of encouraging an understanding for how the licenses operate, team and community building and engagement, and adoption efforts.

With the 3.0 ports now completed for Portugal, creators like Pedro Marques, whose picture you can see to the left, have a choice of selecting either an international or a locally ported license depending on their objectives.

CC HQ worked closely with the local jurisdiction team to produce these new license ports. As always, thanks must go to the teams at FCEE-Católica and INTELI in Portugal for their efforts to implement the licenses in their country. In this case, particular thanks must also go to the Portguese legal lead, Teresa Nobre, who did the majority of the work for the 3.0 licences.

You can find the new licenses via CC’s license chooser tool, and find out more about the local teams on the Portugal affiliate page on our wiki.

For those of you interested in still more details, this ported license suite is one of the last that will be ported. As announced previously and posted on our website, CC is winding down our 3.0 porting process in anticipation of 4.0, expected to be completed late 2012 or early 2013. Only porting projects that were underway as of the beginning of 2011 are being allowed to move forward. This frees both CC and our amazing affiliate network to engage fully on drafting the most robust license suite yet.

Watch this space for announcements relating to the few residual ported license suites to be launched, as well as upcoming information about the 4.0 process and a recap of the launch at the recent CC Global Summit in Warsaw.

Congratulations once again to CC Portugal!

Comments Off


Page 53 of 397« First...1020...515253545556...6070...Last »