Tag Archives: creative commons

Open source teaching materials -time for a mandate

It has become increasingly common for sponsors of research (e.g. the EPSRC in the UK) to mandate that the publications from that research are ‘open access’ that is, available freely to anyone who wants them. Rightly so – public money has funded this work and it was ridiculous that this was locked away in expensive journals.

Yet public money also funds teaching but  if we look for teaching resources on the web we find that few institutions (in the UK at least) seem to have policies to make their course material available. Some (including, I am ashamed to say, my own department) have a policy of locking away material so that no-one outside the institution can see it.

Of course, individual lecturers and professors do (mine are at http://www.software-engin.com/teaching) but that’s not good enough – all courses that are publicly funded should be mandated to make their teaching material available under a creative commons licence. That way, we can build on the best and develop a high-quality corpus of teaching material for our courses.  And we can show taxpayers what we do, that we care about teaching and that they can get access to the material if they wish.

If it’s good enough for MIT (http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/) it should be good enough for the rest of us.

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