Take your teaching online
Take your teaching online

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2.3 Licensing your own materials

A drawing of a document, which has a header at the top and a picture of a person to the right.
Figure 6 Sharing your materials is an important part of OER

The other side of the OER story is to consider sharing some of your own online teaching materials for others to reuse. For some people there are restrictions preventing this – your employer may hold the intellectual property rights to everything you produce and may not permit learning materials to be shared in this way, or it may even be illegal in your country to upload to sites like YouTube. However, it can still be a valuable learning experience to follow the procedure of adding a Creative Commons licence to an item of yours, even if you just use a blank image to practise the process.

The Creative Commons website [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] makes the process as simple as possible. You simply respond to the questions about whether you want to permit others to adapt or potentially profit from your work, and your licence is automatically generated. If you can, open the ‘Help others attribute you!’ section, which adds metadata to your item, telling other users your name, the title and date of the work, and so on. If you wish to apply the licence to a web page, the site provides code that you can copy and paste, otherwise simply right-click on the image of the CC licence the site has generated, and save it to your computer, uploading it alongside your work in whatever location you have made it available.

If you share your resources for reuse, you may wish to ensure you are always attributed as the original author for the purpose of expanding your profile as an online teacher, or as a means of expanding your networks (as you learned in Week 4 of this course). You may even find ways of collaborating with others to refine your works, or to discuss your teaching resources as part of the sharing community.

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