August Office Hours: Talking to Students about Open Licenses

Office Hours

Watch the video recording of this Office Hours session, or keep reading for a full transcript. The chat transcript is also available, for those interested in reading the conversation that took place amongst participants and seeing resources shared.

Note: If anyone would prefer to not be associated with their comments in either of these transcripts, please contact Apurva as soon as possible and we will remove any names or other identifying information.

Audio Transcript


  • Apurva Ashok
  • Zoe Wake Hyde
  • Barbara Thees
  • James Glapa-Grossklag
  • Lindsey Gumb
  • Amanda Larson
  • Heather Miceli

Apurva: Hi, everyone, welcome to another Office Hours. It’s hard to believe that it’s August already, it feels like we were just kicking off our January Office Hours session just a few weeks ago. I’m Apurva from the Rebus Community, you might have seen me hovering in the back of many of our Office Hours sessions over the past few years. Today, we are gathered with a great line-up of guests to talk about licenses and how to have a conversation around this concept with students. 

As always, our Office Hours sessions are co-organized with the Open Education Network. And I have Barb here from the Open Education Network, who’s going to co-host with me today. Unfortunately, Karen Lauritsen, who you normally see co-hosting from the Open Education side is feeling a little unwell and not able to join us today. But we have fantastic representatives in her stead. Before diving into our session for the day, I just want to hand it over to my colleague, Zoe, who has a small announcement to share. So, Zoe, over to you. 

Zoe: Thanks, Apurva. Hi everyone, it’s lovely to see you all as always. I do have a little news to share, sadly I am no longer going to be hosting these sessions that we run every month. We’ve had some internal changes happening at Rebus, and we have new funding coming in for a project that I also manage so, I’m going to be shifting focus onto that, which means that if you see me here in future, it’ll be just lurking in the background listening in. 

But I’ll no longer be taking on the hosting duties, but I am passing that baton over to the very deserving Apurva, who has been a real powerhouse behind these sessions anyway. So, it’s exciting to see where she’s going to take it in that role and continue on working with the Open Education Network which has been a fantastic partnership for us. I do want to say thank you to everybody who shows up to these, it’s been such a wonderful part of the last few years of work that I’ve done with Rebus Community. 

And certainly, I’m still going to be around and contactable and all those things. I realized as I was reflecting on this, I have been doing this almost since the beginning, so that’s going on three years, maybe even a little more. And I still forget to introduce myself almost every session, because it feels like I’m just stepping into a conversation with friends. So, thank you all for being a part of that and for everything you bring to these sessions. 

They are what they are very much because of you all, who both present, and I know a lot of you here have been speakers on these before, and also your participation in the discussion and the conversations that carry on elsewhere. So, I’m very grateful to all of you, I will miss being a part of these very much, but I really look forward to seeing them continue on. So, thank you and with that, I’ll hand back to Barb to introduce our speakers for the day. 

Barbara: Thank you, Zoe, we really appreciate all you’ve done to build up Office Hours and we are certainly going to miss you. So, best of luck in your new role. So, as they’ve mentioned, my name is Barb Thees, and I am the community manager stepping in for Karen Lauritsen today from the Open Education Network, formerly the Open Textbook Network. And as Apurva mentioned, today’s Office Hours topic is talking to students about open licenses. 

Our panelists will share their experience designing and assigning open pedagogy projects with students and specifically how they’ve approached questions around licensing. We are lucky to be joined today by three presenters: Lindsey Gumb, the scholarly communications librarian and assistant professor at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. Amanda Larson, the affordable learning instructional consultant at the Ohio State University. 

And James G-G, the dean of educational technology at learning resources and distance learning at the College of the Canyons. So, with that, James, I will turn it over to you. 

Apurva: James, before you jump in, I will just flag for anyone who might be attending Office Hours for the first time, I just want to note that our format, as Zoe has described is very informal. It’s a conversation, it’s a discussion amongst colleagues. All of our speakers will take about five minutes to share their experiences and perspectives with the topic. And then, we’ll turn it over to you, so the remaining time that we have we’ll welcome questions either in the chat or you can always unmute and ask your question out loud. 

And turn it over to you to drive the conversation. So, that’s how we’ll go and with that, James, I’ll let you take the stage. 

James: Thank you, Apurva, and thank you, Barb. Thank you for that reminder, because I’m a first-time guest and a first-time participant, and I’m really thrilled to have been invited to participate, because the Office Hours is something that I’ve always wanted to make time for. I admire the work of Rebus and admire the work of Open Education Network so much and admire the individuals who are involved. So, I’m really happy to be here.

Just as a little bit of context to my remarks, my role at my institution is as a dean or an evil administrator. I count beans, I push papers, I write rants and other people do the work. That’s my role at the institution is to work in the bureaucratic guts of the institution. So, that will give a little bit of shape to my further remarks. And then, also my institution is a teaching institution, we’re a community college out in California, yes, it is smoky and there are fires everywhere. 

But that’s life in California, I guess. So, I’ll identify initially three and a half ways in which I’ve interfaced with students around open licensing. One, I think many of us would relate to as an initial touchpoint, and that is speaking with student organizations or students on the quad about open textbooks, right? OER, hey, sign up for a class that has OER, that’s what this is. So, that’s an initial conversation and I think many of us would agree oh yeah, free textbooks yay, that’s a pretty easy conversation, right?

And then, from there, my primary point of interaction with students has been in employing them. One of the reasons that we have a pretty well developed OER initiative at my institution have probably 25% to 30% of our sections utilizing open textbooks in lieu of commercial textbooks is that we’ve employed student workers to help to work alongside our faculty in adopting, adapting and authoring open education artifacts. To protect digital assets we use a software just like the ones from this site

So, my primary point of contact with students has been student workers who are coming in, they’ve got a job, hooray. They’re working on this free textbook thing that’s easy to process. But then, quickly you have to really help to educate them and help them learn what the licenses are in a pretty sophisticated way, because they in turn are interfacing with faculty and trying to have conversations with faculty. 

So, you want to make sure that they’re setup to do that successfully. I will observe that I find over time there’s been a lot more, I’ve observed a greater familiarity with the concept of open licensing as more and more students are familiar with the concept of free-range creation and being creators. Following YouTubers and following gamers and printing T-shirts on their own, this kind of creative realm is I think helping people to understand a lot more about openness. 

And then, a third way in which I’ve worked alongside students is on an outside project that was funded by the Michelson 20 Million Minds Foundation, and that is to help support a network of students across California to create an OER student advocacy toolkit that helps to explain to students who want to be advocates on their own campus around again, free textbooks is the catch. 

How do you do that? How do that in perhaps a more advanced way? How do you write letters to trustees? How do you approach faculty and so on? So, that’s been the third point of explanation or interface with students. And then, the half way that I mentioned, the three and a half ways, is a conversation that I’ve started to have on my campus and that I hope that we are all starting to have and maybe others are already doing this. 

And that’s around the general idea of informed consent. And I think open licensing in a certain way gets us to the question of informed consent, which is incredibly important when we also talk about access codes, we talk about digital tools that students are forced to purchase and forced to subject themselves to. And the data mining that’s going on there, and the complete lack of awareness and lack of concern on the part of faculty and institutions about exposing students to these dangers. 

So, I think there’s a larger conversation around informed consent that licensing also fits into. And with that, I’ll kick it back to Apurva and move on. 

Apurva: Thank you so much, James, lots to dig into there. So, I’ll let the attendees know, if you have any questions for James, please feel free to start dropping them into the chat. But for now, we’ll turn it over to Lindsey and hear from her.

Lindsey: Great, and thanks, James, I love to hear a perspective from a dean, because I never get that, it’s really interesting to see. No, really. I’m in my own little librarian bubble, so it is really refreshing to see how that might help me talk to administrators about how they might talk to students, too. So, hello, my name is Lindsey Gumb. I am a librarian at Roger Williams University, which is in Rhode Island. 

And so, I work fairly closely with students in the classroom as a support. So, I collaborate with faculty who are engaged in open pedagogy projects, even if they don’t know that they are. So, I really focus on supporting students by means of balancing the risks, rewards and responsibilities of open licensing, their own intellectual property. So, I often start by engaging them in discussions about their rights and responsibilities. 

So, when we’re talking about them as consumers and contributors, we need to help them understand their rights, not only as authors. So, helping them contextualize their own intellectual property, so helping them understand that what they create actually is their own, it under United States law is copyrighted instantly. So, having those discussions with them. But then, also having them understand the responsibility, helping them ensure that they’re using others’ intellectual property responsibly. 

So, that means both ethically and legally and that if they are creating content with the intent of openly licensing it, that certain things have to go into that so that they’re doing sound research, evidence based information, they’re using content if it’s third-party content that they’re making fair use assessments, if they’re not getting permission from the author directly. 

And I work with two major sets of students on campus, so Dr. Heather Miceli, who’s actually on the call today, so she works with general education students. So, she does an open pedagogy project where I work pretty in depth with her students on the content that they’re creating. But I also work with architecture students, and so with those students, we actually dive into Section 120 under United States code, which is a specific phrase that depicts basically our architectural copyright law. 

And so, we have discussions about as students what they’re creating, they own that intellectual property, but once they enter the profession how that changes. So, if they’re working for a firm, how do they take ownership over their rights when they’re contracting? So, those are always really interesting discussions. I touch a lot on agency and privacy and something I want to focus more on this semester is the concept of information privilege. 

So, helping students develop an awareness of what that is, and how they can use their own openly licensed contributions to start to break down those systemic barriers, which can also help them start to develop that responsibility toward the broader the community. So, I do a lot of that work with faculty, when I’m advocating for them to publish in open access journals. But I think this is a really good opportunity for us to have the exact same conversations, really, with students on that level. 

Because so many of our students that I work with, they’ve been in this educational system since they were young, and they’ve always had access to information through school libraries, university libraries and once they leave that system, that access essentially disappears. And so, helping them understand that that will be them someday, they will encounter pay walls. 

And so helping them understand what open access is, what OER is, what it means to openly license your own intellectual property and help others and help the broader community. So, yeah, I am happy to answer more questions, and I’m going to put something in the chat. So, this semester when we shifted to online, Heather and I, we had to figure out pretty quickly how we were going to continue on. So, we came up with a pretty cool lesson plan that essentially delivered what I normally would in person. 

And engage students in those same conversations, so I’m going to post that lesson plan into the chat. And I am all done. 

Apurva: Thank you so much, Lindsey, excited to see that lesson plan. And James, we’d love to see that advocacy toolkit that you created with your students as well, so if you could share the link to that, that would be fantastic. Lindsey, it’s nice to hear you note that a lot of these conversations are similar to ones that you have with faculty. So, they’re just similar conversations that we can think about and they’re not necessarily entirely new dialogs that we’re having with our students. 

So, I’m excited to dig more into that and dig more into that idea of information privilege and how students can help break that barrier starting out their own college journeys. Amanda, I’ll let you round us off with your perspective. 

Amanda: Yeah, absolutely, so I’m Amanda Larson. And I have worked with students in multiple capacities, largely my work focuses on working directly with faculty. And so, a lot of times students are just the ultimate beneficiaries of the end result of that. But one area in which I’ve worked really specifically with students is in partnering with student government. And those conversations can vary, it depends on what they’re interested in, as an organization. 

And how primed did they come already for having that conversation. So, how much research have they already done about open educational resources and affordable content? And what are their end goals? So, what are they trying to achieve? In an ideal situation, I would start with the intellectual property policy at the institution that I was at. And talk them through how they own their copyright, and then the case scenarios where that isn’t true. 

So, are they working? Is it a work for hire situation? Because they don’t necessarily understand that nuance. And honestly, neither do faculty and people who are staff working at universities. And so, walking them through that, but in the classroom, they own their copyright, and so what does that mean for them? And also, I try to provide really concrete examples, so when I do talk to them about work for hire, I talk about you’re in this specific situation, where you are creating something as part of your job. 

And so, typically, that resides with the university, and I find that that really helps make sense of that to them. But what I like to talk to them about is they’re thinking about their affordability campaigns. So, at Penn State they were really interested in getting a course marking put into LionPATH, which is the registration system. Or here, at Ohio State, they were really interested in originally getting course reserve started. 

And they partnered on the library to do that, and then the relationship has dissipated, and now that I’m here in this dedicated role, we’re working on building that relationship up. But the new president and vice president ran on an affordability platform, so we sat down and had a meeting to talk about what does that look like for them? What are they really interested in doing? 

And they want to be able to make a Yelp system, where they can put little dollar signs next to courses, to say how expensive the course materials are. So, that students can make more informed decisions, when they are thinking about signing up and registering for those courses. In working with student government, I have been really lucky that they’ve come really well primed with knowledge about open educational resources. 

They’ve read a lot of the literature already. And not having to do that initial instruction around open licensing has led to really interesting ways of collaborating. So, for example, we had at Penn State student government representatives, who sat on our OER university-wide working group. And so, we were able to ask them if they would like to present with us at an all-day faculty professional development day on open educational resources. 

And the student we worked with was very well educated on the subject and was able to talk about the research that he had read. And was able to answer even those old crumbly professors who were like, “OER quality is terrible.” Because there’s always one of those. And they were able to demonstrate this facility with that information and speak really eloquently on the topic and change that person’s mind, which was always nice to see, because students are our best advocates sometimes. 

The other context in which I have worked with students is around open publishing projects. And this started back when I was a teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin. And we worked with a course to create an open collection of object stories for a historical society. And the students were working to help create the material, so they all had to write an object story about something in the collection. 

And so, they had to do research on it. And what I learned from that experience is that scaffolding is really important. You can’t just throw students into the weeds of doing this work like it’s a regular assignment. They need to learn beforehand about the publishing platform that you’re using, the licensing that they’re being required to pick. And there needs to be also support, really concrete examples of what they’re trying to accomplish. 

There need to be very well-defined roles for what they’re doing. And so, I will not rant for five minutes on scaffolding, but I could, just note that. But out of that course came a lot of questions around do they have to pick a license. If they own their copyright, do they have to work openly? And then, what if they change their mind later? What does that mean in choosing a license now? What can they do about that? 

Particularly if maybe they’re not presenting work that they’re necessarily proud of at the end of the semester. We hope that’s not the case, but it could be. And also, if it isn’t their best work, choosing that license, what does it mean down the road when say they’re applying for jobs or they want to point to work they’ve done? And maybe somebody Googles them and that comes up, how do you have conversations around having worked in the open around those topics?

And also, around privacy, so maybe they’re in a situation where they don’t necessarily have the freedom to work openly. And those are the things I’ve carried through in thinking about how will I do this again in the future? And there will be lots of scaffolding, and we’ll have conversations around their privacy and as James said informed consent. So, what are they consenting to participate in when they take the course?

And I think if we can really lead with that information upfront and build a very nice scaffolded experience, things will all work out very well. And that project did finish even though it was very haphazard and there is a finished product of a thing that was used at the historical society. And then, from that experience the person who stepped into my role after that, Naomi Salmon, helped build really scaffolded experiences for the next time that they did that kind of thing. 

So, it was a learning experience, and I think that it’s really shaped the way that I think about working with students in the future. And now I’m done. 

Apurva: Excellent, thank you so much, Amanda. There’s a lot to think about, and I know you talked about how that publishing project with the object starting with a learning experience. But if you wanted to link out to it, we’d be more than happy to see the work that students have done. Now is the time for us to turn to all of you for questions. 

So, while I let all of you start gathering your thoughts for our wonderful guests, I might actually invite Heather Miceli, who Lindsey mentioned, to share their perspective as a faculty member working with students on open pedagogy projects. 

Heather: I’m happy to share my perspective. So, obviously, Lindsey comes into the classroom for my open pedagogy project, which this is the fifth semester that we’ve been working on this project. My students, they’re general education science students and I have them create content-based websites that basically serve as the textbook for the next semester’s students. 

I have had problems in the past with readings being too content heavy, too high level in the science content area. So, I was like, “What if non-majors wrote the textbooks?” And so, they have been working on that for four years, and I’ll throw the link to the project in the chat when I’m done here. But when I talk about open licenses with them, obviously Lindsey takes the hard work, she comes in and really sets the stage. 

But obviously, I have to be there to support them. The biggest discussion I had with my first group of students was what was our collective open license going to be. The first group of students was actually very concerned that textbook companies were going to come in and steal their work. And so, they opted to choose that non-commercial license. 

But with that open license on the website, it sets up the project so that we can make it renewable so that the next semester another student group will come in and start editing the website and add more content to them. So, now five semesters in, we actually have some pretty robust websites on space exploration, climate change, DNA, all sorts of different science slash society topics that do a really good job of sharing science content in a way that’s accessible to students that are not scientists. 

But that open license is really key to the heart of the project. And Lindsey is a rock star when she comes and talks about open licenses with them. I’ve learned so much from working on this. That’s my perspective. 

Apurva: Thank you so much, Heather. That sounds like a fabulous project, and I really like that idea of asking students to focus on the renewable aspect of the assignment. It’s not just one and done. And I know for a lot of initial conversations around Creative Commons licenses, around open pedagogy, people tend to begin that conversation with copyright. But I like your idea about building to preserve and it goes back to that idea of information privilege that Lindsey was talking about. 

Licensing and being able to share your work down the road is also about giving back to the community, it’s about building a shared responsibility amongst us. And that might be a nice way to start that conversation rather than copyright and intellectual property, which are also important, but not maybe as relatable for students. While I wait for some questions to come in from the community, I was wondering we talked about scaffolding, James talked about training student workers. 

I’m wondering are there specific resources that you typically send out to students to say, “Before we jump in, I want you to read this primer on whether it’s the Creative Commons licenses or something else.” Are there a set of standard resources that you typically would point your students to?

James: Well, we’ve begun using the I can’t recall the specific title but how to create an open textbook resource from Rebus, of course. And in the past, we would sit people down and have them watch tens of hours of CCC OER webinars, dedicated to open licensing and creating open education initiatives. And then, certainly the Creative Commons website is terrific and the different Wikipedia articles about open licensing and OER are very useful. 

So, we don’t have a standard other than say, here are the primary resources in the field, dig in. But I’m envious of the intellectual structure that both Amanda and Lindsey reveal in their work. And I certainly have approached the conversations with students around licensing from a very pragmatic viewpoint, probably a very self-centered and self-serving viewpoint that I want to get a task done. 

Certainly the task that I want to use the students to achieve is going to benefit more students, but I really admire the structure that I sense around educating students in just research literacy or information literacy in general and rights, roles, and responsibilities that Lindsey referred to, I think those are really admirable and I could use a real step up to get my game up to their level. 

Apurva: Thanks, James. Lindsey, go ahead, I see you. 

Lindsey: Yeah, I can jump in there, too. So, in the lesson plan that I posted, I posted the wrong link at first, but the second one is the lesson plan that we used in the spring. So, it’s not normally what I use in the classroom, I normally have a lot of those conversations face to face. But I had to figure out a way to prime them for some assignments. But I don’t necessarily assign a lot before we dive in. 

But I do after the workshop, so we have an intense IP Creative Commons workshop where we also talk about privacy and stuff like that. And I do give them a handout with refresher key takeaways, where they can find more information. So, I’ll try to find that, I know I have it somewhere to share. I know Heather assigns an article, which I think is linked in my lesson plan about online bullying and trolling and what that means for your privacy. 

And whether or not you may want to use a pseudonym or anonymous, something like that. But yeah, I don’t typically have them watch videos in class and say, “Okay, we’re going to watch this little segment.” But that just happened to be how I had to do it this past spring. And we also held copyright office hours on Thursday mornings for those students, because we were remote. 

And so, if groups had questions, they could pop in, usually it was just Heather and I having coffee together for an hour. But I think we had one session where someone came in. 

James: Could I ask? There was something else I think I take from Amanda and Lindsey’s comments is that they have a specific sanctioned role within their institutions to educate students and support faculty around the topic of intellectual property, copyright and then licensing comes into that. That’s a distinct difference from my setting at my institution and from the community colleges with which I’m familiar. 

In the community colleges which with I’m familiar, the situation is typically that you have an advocate, a champion, an OER champion, and maybe it’s spreading over time, and you’ve got a couple of departments that are on board, maybe you’ve got a dean or director who is a champion. But to a large extent, they’re off in the corner doing their thing, they’re not necessarily part of the IP or research literacy undertakings at the institution. 

Hopefully you have good relations with your librarians, and a lot of times in community colleges librarians increasingly are involved in that kind of work. But also, because community colleges are so understaffed with librarians, I’m hard pressed to think of a community college library that has a librarian on staff who has advanced knowledge in copyright or IP. So, I think that’s a distinct difference that I’m hearing and something again, I envy about their roles. 

Amanda: Let me respond to that a little bit. And I have found that while I am sanctioned to talk about these things, at both of the institutions I’ve worked at now, there are people in copyright roles who I need to partner with to make sure that we’re using the right shared language when we talk about that. So, there is that consideration, and sometimes that language can come all the way down from the general counsel’s office. 

So, that was interesting to have to learn that starting from this mild curiosity I had in grad school, where I took an IP course to suddenly oh, I’m emailing with lawyers from the GC office. And so, that was interesting to figure out. I think also you’re working from that specific work for hire, so they don’t really need to know about their intellectual property, because you’re hiring them to do a thing, and you’ve already selected the license and way in which they will do it. 

So, those other skills are more useful, learning about the information and research literacy parts in order to be able to create the thing. 

James: Yes. 

Apurva: Yeah, those are two slightly different projects, but thanks, James for pointing out those two different perspectives, as a dean versus someone in an educator position, part of whose responsibilities include talking to students and informing them about their various options and the impact of particular licensing conditions. There are a few questions coming in from the chat, so I just want to take a moment to turn to them. 

Lindsey: Yeah, I just answered one from Jonathan, it was a good question. I think I understood your question why didn’t I put CC licenses on what I shared? Is that what you’re asking, Jonathan? Yeah. So, it was interesting, so Heather is actually the one who found the Hyper Doc template, and she started using it when we went remote, and she said, “Hey, look at this cool template.” 

And I said, “Oh, that would be really great for me to use.” It had a copyright Hyper Doc at the bottom. And so, we tried reaching out to them to see whether or not we could put an open license on it, we never heard back from them. But to my recollection, they were educators and they kept saying, “Please use this, share, we want people to use this template, it’s great.” 

And we don’t necessarily think they understood what putting a copyright symbol at the bottom of that document would do to people who understand what that means. So, that’s why I didn’t. I’m sharing it here, but I didn’t feel comfortable putting an open license on it. And for the Google slides, the students didn’t necessarily know that I would be sharing this with other folks. 

Apurva: So, we’ll just respect the permissions on the slides and hopefully you’ll hear back from the folks at Hyper Docs and update sharing permissions.

Lindsey: Yeah, that would be great. 

Apurva: Thanks, Jonathan, that was a good catch and good question. Zoe also asks in the chat whether you found things that often create confusion with students as they begin to engage with this work? If you’ve identified any of these things, how have you resolved them? And over your years of engaging with students, have you seen any patterns form? This could be answered by any of you, so feel free to jump in. 

James: I’ll start off, sorry. So, in the work that our folks are doing, I think they’re pretty common kinds of questions. And that is if you’ve got something that’s licensed CC BY, how does that mix with something that’s CC BY SA? CC BY NC SA? How do you resolve those questions? What takes primacy? And if you’re creating a compilation that ultimately will be CC BY, how do you treat something that is SA within that? 

Those kinds of questions that I think many of us have dealt with, I resolve them by reaching out to somebody at Creative Commons or reading the list serves and trying to educate myself. The other pattern that I wish I would see that I have not seen or has not gotten back to me at least is students interrogating their instructors about licensing and their own intellectual property rights. 

Again, I’m envious of Lindsey and Amanda’s comments about raising student awareness around their own intellectual property. I wish that were the case at my institution, it’s not yet. 

Lindsey: I can say that some patterns I’ve seen over the years working with Heather’s students particularly are confusion between citations and attributions. So, the content that they’re creating for these websites, I work with them on using the library’s databases to find research, which they then use to create the copy for their website. So, helping them properly cite that, but then when we’re including third-party content they find online, like images, or media, how do we properly attribute that?

So, helping them understand the difference between citations and attributions comes up probably every semester. And I think it was Amy Hofer, or Quill West one of those two rock stars has a really good presentation on the difference between those two. So, I’ve taken content from those presentations to include in my own workshop for students. So, instead of letting them get to the question eventually, I just put it right there in the beginning. 

There’s a lot of confusion between these two things, let’s talk about it. And the other thing is we do encourage our students to use third-party content, so helping them understand what fair use or fair dealing if you’re in Canada is. And to really help them understand how to make those justifications, and usually that’s done on a case by case basis with me or with Heather. So, those are probably the two things that stick out the most to me. 

Apurva: Thanks, Lindsey, I think it can be especially helpful to look at third-party content to get a sense of what those conditions and permissions mean. And I know James mentioned in his initial five minutes that looking at the free range of content that we see from creators whether it’s a gamer or someone on YouTube can actually help students make more sense of what that particular condition means. 

What that particular license means, how they can reuse it within their own work, or how licensing their own work similarly would help and disseminate. Amanda, I just wanted to go to you and see if you had a response to Zoe’s question. 

Amanda: Yeah. One of the things that I have noticed that they get really confused about is that it’s so much coming at them so quickly, so they’re trying to learn a publishing platform or a tool. And then, on top of it, they also have this licensing component, and a research component that they need, too. And so, having to really clearly define those into three separate activities would be how I would address that. 

But it can be very confusing to be like, “Okay, so here is where you did the licensing in Pressbooks, and this is where you’ll put your statement, and this is what that statement looks like” when they don’t really understand yet what that means for licensing. And yeah, this could easily just turn into me ranting about scaffolding again, so folks, just scaffold things. 

And then, the other thing that I have noticed when talking with student governments is, they’re really interested in doing these really, really big and hopefully impactful projects, but they aren’t necessarily sure about the steps to get there. And so, I try to talk to them about how understanding the licenses will allow them to work more openly and transparently, particularly if they’re interested in continuing the government-track forward into their future. 

And so, there’s a lot of confusion around how those things intersect, and so I like to talk them through that. 

Apurva: I think that’s a useful exercise, student or faculty, again, we’re seeing a lot of the similarities between conversations that we have with our students and faculty. Thank you for that. We have about 15 or so minutes left, so I just wanted to turn to the audience, if you have any more questions, please feel free to drop them into the chat or unmute and ask away. 

Something that Lindsey, you mentioned during your five minutes that I was really curious about was you noted that when you’re working with faculty on open pedagogy projects, sometimes these instructors don’t often recognize that what they’ve actually assigned for their classroom is an open pedagogy project. Might need to involve a conversation with their students about licenses. 

Could you give a few examples of what these assignments might be and how can someone recognize whether what they’re actually doing is open pedagogy work?

Lindsey: Sure, so I think the best example of that is Heather and I, our colleague, Bob, in architecture. He’s fantastic, and he’s so interested in learning new things and so he called me one day and was like, “Yeah, I want to do this thing with my students, and I want them to share all of their stuff and do you think it would be helpful if you came to the classroom?” And I was like, “Yeah, I should probably do that.” 

Because he has no idea, it never occurred to him to talk to his students about agency over their intellectual property and what does it mean when you’re sharing your content? So, he was really interested in doing this work and when I explained to him, I was like, “Well, there’s actually a name for this.” He was surprised, and he still has a very I’d say non-traditional definition of open pedagogy. 

He doesn’t necessarily encourage his students to share outside of the classroom or the architecture program, but he’s really interested in having them share within the school of architecture. And to carry their work with them in this digital portfolio he calls it, but he does require that students share it with each other. And they are taking third-party content, they are putting their own content out there. 

So, yeah, it’s been a really neat relationship, because I’m not a liaison to the school of architecture. We have an architectural librarian, but I am actually the person now that goes over there to talk to students about copyright and IP and all that. So, for me, I have conversations with faculty, and these relationships just organically happen. And thankfully, it’s to the benefit of the students because I think a lot of faculty are doing things like this. 

And their students may not be getting the scaffolded support that they really need, like Amanda was talking about. 

Apurva: Thanks, Lindsey, and Amanda I saw you nodding when I was asking the question earlier, so it looked like you might also have experienced some examples of faculty coming to you and describing an assignment. And you’ve said, “Hold up, I think we need to have a conversation with our students about this.” Is that something you’ve also encountered? 

Amanda: Yes, that is absolutely something I’ve also encountered. And a lot of times they don’t make the connection, because they aren’t necessarily using OER. So, maybe they’re using library licensed content, so it’s still affordable and it’s still a solution and it works within the spectrum of affordability at the institutions that I work in. But because their original text isn’t OER, they don’t see the explicit connections to the work the students are doing to being open pedagogy. 

And so, that’s actually been something I’ve been thinking a lot about is when you’re working in this affordability spectrum, how can we still be encouraging instructors to work with open pedagogy? And so, there’s been a lot of times where it’s been like well, this assignment you’re having your students go find stuff, and they’re building a thing, and this is their intellectual property. 

Are you talking to them all about how they want to share that? And it provides a lot of opportunities to also talk about open peer review, and why sharing it openly in general might be great for their course. And then, building on that conversation to take them down the road to the next steps. But yes, definitely, I’ve had that conversation where hey, there’s this thing you’re doing that’s actually a thing that people do called open pedagogy or open educational practices. 

And can we talk about that more? And how can we scaffold that for your students so that they’re having a better experience doing it? 

James: Yeah, I’m composing an email or an announcement in my head to faculty saying, “Are you doing this? We should talk.” That is fantastic, let me know if you have a template email or announcement. 

Apurva: Yeah, James, I was going to reach out to you and ask you from the administrative perspective, do you think that there’s something that could be more codified into how departments tend to work, that would encourage at least that faculty begin by reaching out to their librarians, if they have them, educators like Lindsey and Amanda, if they have access to them? Is that something that can be a little more formalized than it is right now? 

James: Well, I’d say, absolutely and I think there’s a great place in teaching focused institutions for work around open pedagogy, and as was mentioned, people might not necessarily refer to it as open pedagogy. We might talk about service learning, community-based learning, project-based learning, co-creation, and so on and so forth. All kinds of different ways in which faculty and students are working together without ever having considered it open pedagogy. 

But I think at many institutions we have teaching and learning centers or instructional support centers, which would be a logical place to center those kinds of initiatives. In a lot of community colleges, the distance education or online education team by default becomes the creative hub on campus. So, those would be areas in which I think that kind of conversation should take place or could take place. 

And I think again, we come back to maybe a difference between research focused institutions and teaching focused institutions are resources. There are institutional resources around publication and around research just are different than they are at research focused institutions. So, it’s not necessarily something that people are otherwise thinking of. 

Certainly, when I speak to faculty about attribution versus citation, it’s a huge lightbulb moment for most of my faculty colleagues, because they haven’t encountered or thought about anything like that since graduate school, which may have been a long time ago. There’s still a lot of our colleagues are teaching the APA format that they learned in graduate school. 

So, yes, I think working with faculty who engage students in creation is a great way to start the conversation around open, but more than that. Start the conversation around informed consent, intellectual property and arm students or outfit students with better information literacy, better research literacy and skills and knowledge that can transfer with them into the workplace as well. 

Lindsey: James, I think another maybe in to that conversation with faculty might be to pull up your institution’s IP policy. So, for example, ours clearly spells out faculty own their instructional materials, scholarly output, whatever. But it also typically includes students, and at most institutions students own their IP. So, you could make that connection like, hey, you own your IP, but guess what? So, do your students. 

And so, what does that mean when you’re asking them to create things and to share things? They have the same rights as the faculty member would, essentially. 

James: That’s a wonderful tip, yeah. I hope ours does include students, and I hope everybody’s does include students, but that’s a way in. If it doesn’t, we could revise it that way, work with student government. Another opportunity to work with student government and then, also that opens the conversation if it is in fact the case that institutionally students own their content that also opens the conversation around plagiarism detection tools. 

Like and surveillance and the extraction of student data through access codes and all kinds of other platforms that faculty all too often force students to use. Yeah. 

Apurva: Thanks, James and Lindsey. Yes, what intrigued me about this conversation right now was thinking about future uses of these resources. How it impacts students’ professional advancement and start thinking about skills that they might pick up for their careers. I know one of the questions that Amanda mentioned that she often hears from students is what does the license that I choose right now mean for me down the road? 

What if someone looks me up and finds a set of publications associated with my name, because my IP was attached to this piece of content that I created? So, these are all really important things for us to think about because a conversation around licensing isn’t just a one and done. There are so many different points of intersection whether it’s about IP, copyright, whether it’s about attribution of that final resource. 

Or thinking about skills developed and its eventual use down the road. So, I just wanted to say thank you all for getting us to think about all of the different points of intersection in this seemingly straightforward topic. We are coming near the end of our session right now. So, I just wanted to turn back to our three guests and maybe ask if you had any final perspectives that you wanted to share with our attendees. 

Are there any suggestions for any of our participants who might be engaging with their students on an open pedagogy project? Is there something that you would immediately recommend that they do?

James: Well, I would say first of all, do it. Become the person on your campus that your campus needs. Educate yourself. If you’re in an institution that doesn’t have a librarian who specializes in intellectual property and copyright, become that person for your campus. And reach out to student government, reach out to other people on your campus. Probably the teaching and learning center, or your online education folks again, who oftentimes are the people who are thinking a little bit outside the box and find allies there. 

Lindsey: Yeah, I would echo that. And typically, there’s usually someone in the library that can help with these kinds of topics. So, I would say definitely reach out and try to identify that person on your campus, wherever it might be. In a center for teaching and learning, the library, but identify support would be really helpful. And then, just to keep an open dialog with your students to always stop and check in with them. 

Have them share their concerns, or their excitement about what it might mean to openly license our content. And I think there’s lots of opportunities to contextualize the benefits of open in today’s society. Recently with Covid, content that’s in open access journals and what does that mean for us as a society moving forward? If medical researchers can instantly access this new research, how does that help advance society in public health? 

So, just making those connections within your own discipline can be really empowering for students to see how they might contribute to that in the future. 

Amanda: I think my final thought is if you are already doing this work to support instructors at your institution, then you probably already have the materials you need to talk to students about it. You just need to adapt your own materials to a different audience. Don’t try to recreate the wheel, just because you’re talking to students. 

Lindsey: Yes, I love that thought, Amanda. 

Apurva: That’s a great suggestion, all three of them have been fantastic, so thank you so much. I just wanted to say thank you to everybody for such a rich conversation. I’m just going to turn it over to Barb from the Open Education Network to chime in. 

Barbara: Great, thank you, Apurva for facilitating and thank you, Lindsey, Amanda and James again for joining us today. I just want to remind you all that the recording of today’s session will be found on the Rebus Community website. And the topics for these conversations are driven by the OEN and the Rebus Community. So, I’m going to drop a link in the chat here. 

If anybody has a topic that you’re interested in us highlighting for future Office Hours, please do feel free to submit that and we will certainly consider your input. Zoe, I just want to say thank you once again for everything you’ve done for Office Hours. And I hope you all have a great beginning of the school year. 

Apurva: Thank you everybody, thank you, Lindsey, Amanda, James for your expertise and everybody else for attending. We look forward to seeing you next month at our September Office Hours. 

Lindsey: Thanks for hosting this. 

James: Thank you, everybody. 

Amanda: Bye, thank you. 

Chat Transcript

00:19:11 Apurva Ashok: Big shoes to fill! Thanks, Zoe.

00:19:33 Amanda Larson (she/her/hers): thanks Zoe! We’ll miss you! Apurva you’ll do great! 🙂 

00:19:33 Apurva Ashok: You can catch all the excellent session hosted by Zoe online:

00:19:51 Lindsey Gumb: Thanks for all you’ve done for this community and the office hours!

00:20:28 Zoe Wake Hyde: Thanks everyone <3

00:29:28 Heather Miceli: *waves*

00:32:17 Lindsey Gumb:

00:33:23 James Glapa-Grossklag: OER student advocacy toolkit (at OER Commons):

00:34:50 Lindsey Gumb: JK! Here is the lesson plan. What I posted earlier is embedded in the lesson plan 🙂

00:37:03 Jonathan Poritz: “crumbly professors”!  

00:37:59 Heather Miceli: scaffolding is *so* important!

00:42:24 Lindsey Gumb: Heather’s student sites:

00:43:14 Amanda Larson (she/her/hers): The object stories book:

00:45:44 Zoe Wake Hyde: The guide James mentioned:

00:46:17 Jonathan Poritz: @lindsey did you not openly license those resources you just shared because you were not permitted to do so?

00:47:15 Zoe Wake Hyde: I wonder, what are things any of you have  found to create confusion or concern as students begin to engage with this work? And how have you resolved them?

00:47:22 Zoe Wake Hyde: Are there any patterns?

00:50:52 Lindsey Gumb: Jonathan —  I had reached out to the folks at HyperDocs, to ask if I could, and never heard back. Mainly, that’s why I didn’t add a CC license to that document!  For the Slides, I didn’t openly license it because the students didn’t necessarily know that I would be sharing beyond the classroom.

00:54:12 Jonathan Poritz: take the CC Cert course — we talk about that in depth!

00:55:15 Barbara Thees (she/her): Thanks for the suggestion, Jonathan! Here’s the link to the Creative Commons Certificate:

00:56:25 Zoe Wake Hyde: That’s really interesting, thank you!

00:57:49 Zoe Wake Hyde: Right, that makes a tonne of sense. Hence the scaffolding!

00:57:59 Zoe Wake Hyde: Haha please do 😀

00:58:53 Zoe Wake Hyde: Great, thank you 🙂

01:12:29 Zoe Wake Hyde: Thank you so much to the speakers! Really great to hear from you 🙂

01:12:41 Barbara Thees (she/her): Survey on Future Topics for Office Hours:

01:13:18 Jonathan Poritz: Thank you, that was great!

01:13:20 Donna Langille (she/her/hers): Thank you!

01:13:20 Zoe Wake Hyde: Have fun without me!!!

Thanks to Mei Lin for preparing the audio transcript and video captions!

Have comments or feedback about these transcripts? Let us know in the Rebus Community platform.

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