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Learning Enhancement and Development

Session 3C - Workshop

Copyright, licensing and open practice in higher education

Session slides

Dr Jane Secker - Learning Enhancement and Development (LEaD) City, University of London
Mr Chris Morrison - University of Kent

The session focuses on the copyright and licensing issues that arise in higher education at various stages in the life cycle of an academic. It’s based on four characters and scenarios and considers the choices related to copyright and licensing as academics move towards more open practice.

This workshop introduces staff to copyright and licensing issues they need to consider as higher education encourages more open educational practices (Beetham et al, 2012). Open practice includes the publication of scholarly works on open access and the development and use of open educational resources. The workshop ran at the University of Manchester in February 2017 (University of Manchester, 2017).

Participants will:
-Explore the copyright and licensing issues that staff need to understand at various points in their academic career;
-Discuss whether any copyright licences or exceptions can be relied on to cover educational activities
-Consider the implications of the choices they make on teaching and learning.

Copyright is traditionally a dry subject, however the presenters have developed a games-based learning resource in the form of a card game, which provides a framework for understanding copyright, licences and exceptions (Secker & Morrison, 2016). Using this framework the participants work in groups to explore four fictional academics at key stages in their career. These include: a PhD student about to deposit their thesis on open access, a post-doctoral researcher looking to present at an international conference, a junior lecturer looking to publish a journal article and a senior lecturer securing a book contract. In each case the participants are asked to consider the implications of the choices on teaching and learning.

Working in groups participants will discuss:
- what type of copyright work are they dealing with,  who owns the rights and is some form of copying taking place?
- are there any relevant licences and / or exceptions to copyright they could rely on?
- what are the implications of the choices they make on the students they teach?

The workshop concludes with a discussion about the challenges and benefits of open practice with time for questions.


Morrison, C (2016) Copyright the Card Game. Available from copyrightliteracy.org

Beetham, H., Falconer, I., McGill, L. and Littlejohn, A. (2012) Open practices: briefing paper. JISC,

Available at: https://oersynth.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/58444186/Open%20Practices%20briefing%20paper.pdf

Secker, J and Morrison, C. (2016) Copyright and E-learning: a guide for practitioners. Facet publishing: London. Chapter 6: Copyright education and training available online.

Soetendorp, R and Meletti, B (2016) Exceptions for education. Copyrightuser.org. Available online.

University of Manchester.(2017) PGCert Module: Open Knowledge in Higher Education. Available at:  https://medium.com/open-knowledge-in-he