Effective open licensing policy and
practice for Australian universities

Update on OEL Toolkit development

  • 2
  • October 25, 2016

The OEL project team is currently developing an Open Education Licensing Toolkit for use by the Australian Higher Education sector. The toolkit design is based on information from a survey, conducted in 2015, of individual managers, policy makers, educators, educational content developers and information professionals at Australian universities with an interest in Open Educational Resources and Open Educational Practices. The toolkit will help staff at Higher Education institutions who are developing online educational resources match open licensing decisions to the educational and business strategies of their organisation.

Technical infrastructure for the toolkit is being developed by the Tasmanian Institute of Learning and Teaching. An underlying database of short information snippets is linked to the navigation interface which directs users to sources of information about open licensing that are relevant to their specific needs. The online interface guides users through a series of decisions to describe the activity they are undertaking. Initially the user selects one of 5 access points:

  • Finding a resource
  • Using or modifying a resource
  • Making a resource
  • Sharing a resource
  • Reviewing a Resource

They then follow a guided decision tree path, answering questions about their plans for the development or use of the OER resource. As they progress through the pathway this generates an individualised selection of snippets of information about open licensing that are relevant to that user’s specific needs. The information is provided in plain language with links to authoritative external sources.

At the end of the decision tree path, users are provided with a Guidance Summary of resources designed around their specific question and answer pathway, which can be printed out or emailed to themselves or others for further use in the development process. Answers in the Guidance Summary resource are provided under one or more of the following categories:

  • General
  • Licences/compatibility
  • Making available
  • Media
  • Ownership/permissions
  • Policy/governance

As part of the toolkit development the OEL team held a series of practical workshops with stakeholders around Australia from July to October 2016, to test the toolkit content and interface. Participants in the workshops provided valuable input into the further development of the toolkit. Assistance with the workshops was kindly provided by Curtin University in Perth, Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, who we’d like to thank for their assistance with the project.

Development of the toolkit is continuing and the team is currently planning to have it available online from late November 2016. The toolkit will be accessible from www.oel.edu.au.