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Curriculum, intellectual property rights and open educational resources in British universities—and beyond
Hawkridge, David · Armellini, Alejandro · Nikoi, Samuel · Rowlett, Tania · Witthaus, Gabi

PublishedDecember 2010
JournalJournal of Computing in Higher Education
Volume 22, Issue 3, Pages 162 - 176
CountryUnited Kingdom, Europe

ABSTRACT
Is the curriculum in British universities being influenced by decisions about ownership of intellectual property rights (IPR) in ‘open educational resources’ (OERs) that are available online under Creative Commons licenses, free of charge? This paper provides the context for, describes and analyses three significant examples in British higher education where OERs are being created for use by academics and learners on campus or at a distance. OpenLearn and iTunes U, two of the British examples, are drawn from the Open University of the United Kingdom, which teaches over 200,000 undergraduate and graduate students almost entirely at a distance. The third example, OTTER, is at the University of Leicester, a campus university in England with about 7,000 distance learners. Both universities depend on government funding, student fees, research and entrepreneurial income. All three examples are funded indirectly by the British government, though OpenLearn has received substantial US foundation support as well. In presenting these examples, the questions arise of whether the projects are supply- or demand-driven, and of whether they are altruistic or not. Debate over intellectual property rights has influenced creation of the OERs and vice versa, but from these three examples it seems doubtful whether, as yet, OERs and IPR have significantly influenced British universities’ curriculum. The paper ends with discussion of how OERs created in British universities are influencing teaching and learning in other countries, as globalisation advances.

Keywords Beyond Distance Research Alliance · British universities · curriculum · intellectual property rights · Open University · University of Leicester

ISSN1867-1233
RefereedYes
Rights© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010
DOI10.1007/s12528-010-9036-1
URLhttp://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12528-010-9036-1
Other informationJ Comput High Educ
Export optionsBibTex · EndNote · Tagged XML · Google Scholar


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