SI521 "Open Educational Resources at the University of Michigan" Open Textbook/Class Notes

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From Joseph: Here are the questions that last year's final exam was constructed from. Some of the materials referenced in these questions have not been covered in this year's class so far, and so will not be on the exam. The exam will only cover materials that have been assigned up to now. The midterm this year will be constructed from questions of a similar form and nature as these below, so these, along with the study questions in the syllabus, will be aids in your preparation for the mid-term (and, later, the final) exam.

Specific examples to support your arguments/answers are always very good things. We've read and talked about the history of the public domain, the commons, and copyright a good bit in this class, so be prepared to answer questions about the development of these things in the US. The test will be a 2 (not 3) hour test, open-computer, which you can answer online by mailing me your answers, or writing them down and handing them in at the end of the test. Since the test is open-computer, the connections you make between concepts and the use you make of evidence and facts in supporting your arguments are very important. Just presenting the facts is not enough here; it's a start, but not enough. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to drop me an email.

So, the questions from last year's final:

Does the emergence of ubiquitous digital information technology, easy access to rich online information and the technical tools and social practices these capabilities have brought about in the last decade changed our notions of how scholarship is done? If not, why not? If so, how?

You have just been hired by the UM Library to set up an "Office of Open" to encourage and facilitate the experimentation with and creation of open content and practices, of all types, across the university. What would you have as short and long-term goals? What resources do you have available locally to help you? What would you use as external resources? What would you see as your biggest challenges and how would you approach them?

How would you define the intellectual "commons" or the "commons of the mind?" Why does Boyle think that a new understanding of the commons needs to be "created" like the "environment" was at the initiation of the environmental movement? What would its features be?

In Atkins et al, "A Review of the OER Movement," a suggestion is made that institutions should "situate OER collections not as distinct from the courseware environment for the formally enrolled students but as a low cost derivative of the routinely used course preparation and management systems." Consider CTools to be the "courseware environment." What does this mean? Does the dScribe model realize this, and if not, how would you suggest linking CTools with the dScribe process?

To what would you attribute the success, or lack thereof, of Peter Woolf's wikitext effort? What were specific mechanisms that he used to encourage participation and peer interactions? How would you improve the process? Do you consider this a generalizable method for the construction of online textbook material for college level courses? Why or why not?

What are the differences in the compliance mechanisms between the CC BY-NC-SA license and the CCzero waiver? Why has Science Commons advocated the latter?

What is the set of problems that Phillip Andrews is trying to solve through the ProteomeCommons project? What solutions has he devised and what would be measures of success?

What would you see as the differences between open access and open content approaches to OER? Do they reflect different goals, or different perspectives on the constraints of the copyright system? Do they originate from different communities, and has this affected their foci?

When Andy Lane talks about the distinction between OER 1.0 and 2.0, is he highlighting the same emerging understandings of open materials and pedagogy that John Sealy Brown discusses? What are the common elements and what are distinctions between the two authors' approaches?

When Benkler states that peer production models can be "...affirmatively better than the commercial industrial model" what does he mean? What does he marshal as examples to support this argument?

When Yochai Benkler talks about the need for universities to manage 'permeable boundaries' in new ways, and that this provides alternatives to market or state driven approaches to production, what does he mean? How does the emergence of systems of user generated content provide opportunities for university members (students and faculty) both within and without the academy?

Why is the example of open source considered so revolutionary? Why is it such an interesting example for economists who analyze public goods? What are the tragedy and comedy of the commons and what are their relevance here?

You're the instructor in a college graduate level course. What roles would you give students who were in a graduate class of 8-10 people constructing a wikitextbook, and why? How would you organize the work? What do you think are the most effective motivators for the students? What structure should you as the instructor supply?

what is meant by a gold open access standard?

The JISC report “Good Intentions” mentions a number of business case advantages for “open sharing” on pages 23-25. There they suggest that among the “Benefits for educational institutions” are “Encourages high quality learning and teaching resources” and “Likely to encourage review of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment.” How could open resources lead to these benefits? Would faculty necessarily consider the dynamics that generate these institutional benefits of benefit to them (faculty)?

In the JISC report “Good Intentions” they state “…the evidence suggests that the landscape of policy, technology and learning and teaching practice may have changed sufficiently for us to realise the vision [of globally shared, open educational materials].” What do you think they could mean here? Do you agree with their assessment?

Describe your experience being a chapter reviewer on the wiki textbook – what did you think you did was helpful? How helpful was the reviewer of your chapter to your writing? What improvements would you suggest to this process?

John Seely Brown, in “Minds of Fire,” describes “demand pull” versus “supply push” approaches to learning. What does he mean? How does Brown see 21st century learning and work demands affecting what needs to be taught? How do OER efforts figure into this new educational world as Brown envisions it?

Below are some of my class notes. Please note they are not edited, or reviewed for accuracy.

Review of OER permission to use materials

  • Does this transfer copyright?
    • no
  • What does it mean?
    • we can later sell copyright, e.g. academic journals
  • What did we choose?
    • Everyone but Bobby chose Attribute, Share, non-commercial
    • Do we want our name associated with it?
    • MIT has not received take down notices
      • have received questions
    • Can you have a license without attribution?
      • Yes
  • All of these start with attribution
  • Most of us want attribution, if we think our materials are valuable - everything is valuable to someone
  • Non commercial.
  • Goes against the spirit of why we're doing it in the first place.
  • How does cost play into it? Does free mean no cost?
  • "I'd rather make money than someone else" would this prevent you from making $$ on it?
  • People would be more willing to contribute to a reputable university - is this non-commercial?
    • First clause is uninterpreted. Is a university? Private vs. public? Non commercial clause is like comfort food, can be enforced in clear cases. E.g. of MIT CD sale case.
  • Non commercial clauses are just not clear
  • Lessig: this is not about making money or not making money, commercial vs. non-commercial
  • Free is not as in free beer. Lessig supports statutory licenses, non-discriminatory, open, rates for things.
  • GNU license. Is a share a like license. Builds on copyright law. Joins the person using the software to also release with a GPL license.
  • Can put work back into the common pool through Apache license. Two different notions.


Slide: Lessig & "Property"

What is "creative property"? How does our Constitution treat ideas of property? Four modalities of regulations:

  • law
  • norms
  • market
  • architecture
    • technology, but broader.

Evolution of Law - What has changed?

  • Scope of regulated uses expands because "all uses involve copying"
  • Copyright law becomes copyright code - Adobe ebook example

Eldred Case/Act

  • Unconstitutional

name it after Eldred. Simple registration at 50 years.

WIPO Example Feudalism parallels No, No.

How does this relate to OER? Lessig is arguing for balance, we have gotten out of whack. the out of whackers are in control. They are setting the terms of the debate. Increasing extremism in intellectual property Technologies new freedom to control

Error of the Excluded Middle

  • False dichotomy
  • Could do something halfway in between

Second Enclosure Movement "the enclosure of the intangible commons of the mind" distinction between different types

How do commons differ? Physical vs. virtual Rival, non-rival, anti-rival, etc. Exclusion is harder in an online environment

Plug leaky holes of the web harm by restrictive laws

Costs of Protection

  • one way to increase creativity is to open up the process - Eliot Maxwell
  • can live in a hybrid world, some rights reserved

Comedy of the Commons - open source software worked

Monopoly Concerns Copyright was a tax on literacy