In order to better teach open tools and practices to communities around the world, Creative Commons has developed open educational resources and a certification program called the CC Certificate. CC’s Senior Counsel Sarah Hinchliff Pearson is now leading the project with a group of researchers, writers, and instructional designers. The project is funded by the Gates Foundation and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
The CC Certificate program is a training program that leads people through the basics about the organization, copyright law, and the CC tools. The goal is to equip people with the knowledge and skills they need to advocate for and support adoption of CC licensing in their work and creative pursuits.
There are a wealth of opportunities to tailor the certificate to specific audiences. Initially we’re focusing on two groups: academic librarians and educators. The certificate for these two segments will run as a 12-week online course on Canvas, facilitated by an instructor fluent in the issues and opportunities surrounding CC licensing and open collaboration. The majority of the content will cover the basics of copyright and open licensing, and participants will be expected to choose either the academic librarian or educator track because the final unit will be domain-specific. The content will include online discussions, quizzes, and learning activities throughout to help solidify concepts and allow learners to demonstrate their understanding. The course will be entirely online, but CC may eventually offer an optional in-person session as a capstone offering at the end of the course. Upon successful completion, students will receive a certificate from Creative Commons.
Of course, the underlying course content will be freely available to the public and CC-licensed, including text, images, and videos. The content covers Creative Commons as a whole – the organization, the tools, and the movement. We are treating this as a chance to tell the full story of what CC is and what we do. The materials include sections on the basics of copyright law, many of the ins and outs of CC licenses, practical information about how to use the licenses and how to use CC-licensed work, information about the values connected to use of CC, and case studies about what it looks like in the real world. For a full preview of the course topics, see the current syllabus here.
The full beta test of the 12-week course will begin in January, with the official certification program launching after the Global Summit from April 13-15 in Toronto, Canada. We will be running one library-specific track and one education-specific track during the beta phase and will be asking participants to help us evaluate and shape the content. The beta is full, but please join our mailing list to learn more about the program when it launches in April.
We expect the CC Global Network will play a crucial role in this program. In the future, we hope network members can be certified in order to help run the course in their parts of the world.
Over the course of the next year, we will be exploring customization of the project for three different audiences: GLAM professionals, lawyers, and governments. An early, abbreviated version of the certificate beta has already been delivered to more than 150 academic librarians in the US, with great success. We are anxious to expand the program to fit a greater variety of professions, and to work with and empower the future leaders of the commons. Any questions, comments, or suggestions? Get in touch with us via Slack or Twitter.
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