Teaching an online course: embedding digital copyright

Isle of Wight sunriseI’ve had a busy few weeks with my regular job, various Information Literacy Group tasks, copyright-related projects, and no less than three external events: APT in Greenwich, the CILIP Conference in Liverpool and a UnionLearn meeting where I spoke about IL. On top of this I have spent the last 6 weeks running an online course, Teaching in a Digital Age (TIDA). I followed the 23 Things for Libraries courses that ran several years ago at Cambridge and at Oxford. I wanted to launch one at that time at LSE for teaching staff, and so to get the opportunity to do this for my International Programmes secondment has been fascinating, a lot of fun and a real learning experience for me. I have over 20 students on the course from India, Malta, Malaysia and the UK. Every Monday and Friday I’ve been scheduling the new blog posts to go live and sending emails to gently encourage students to stay engaged. The most difficult part of the course, aside from the rather fast pace, has been keeping up with the students’ blogs! I wondered if they would take to blogging, but the vast majority really seem to have got stuck in! You can see all the students listed on the TIDA blogroll.

I have to say, the week I was most excited about was teaching them about Creative Commons and finding open educational resources, and to many of the teachers it seems to have been a real eye opener. And what a great way to demonstrate that understanding about copyright and licenses is a fundamental part of being a digital teacher. I’ve collected together some of the posts from the teachers on this topic below, as I think reading their reflections say a lot about how to teach copyright to academics – make it relevant, timely and straightforward, but most of all embed it in the course!

The course continues for another week – this week’s topic is managing information and getting organised exploring tools such as Dropbox, Evernote, Zotero and the concept of tagging.

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Getting the whole picture

Fallen tree in Knole Park, Sevenoaks

Tomorrow I am off to Tampere in Finland to the IFLA satellite meeting on information literacy, aptly named ‘The road to information literacy‘. For me it feels like a journey from where I started at LSE in the User Education team in the Library to where I am now in the Centre for Learning Technology. And the journey continues as my department looks set to become integrated within the larger Information Management Technology department at LSE. Working in a very small team has many advantages as you have to build good links with those around you in your institution. I thought things were well coordinated and joined up but the survey of information literacy using the broad ANCIL framework, suggests there is still much work to do, particularly at undergraduate level. For me this is largely because something so important as information literacy can’t be the responsibility of just one department or service, so collaboration is really essential.

Katy, Maria and I are running a workshop on Friday where we hope to start people off on their road to information literacy, or if they are well on their way already, perhaps provide some additional directions or maps to guide their journey. If you are attending the conference do come along to our workshop on Friday afternoon where we will share some findings to date and give an overview about how to use ANCIL as an audit tool. If you are not attending I have made the slides available on Slideshare.