Being open (Wed 21 & Fri 23 Oct, 1pm, #OAweek)

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 | Richard White | No Comments

Note: the two sessions will be basically the same thing offered in different locations. You don’t need to come to both, though you are welcome to do so.

open access lock

‘Open lock’ CC BY-NC-ND, JISC

The nature of scholarship is changing, as are the ways in which you can engage with your research community and beyond. As part of Otago’s Open Access Week events, these sessions will consist of a series of quick fire topics on the theme of ‘being open.’ Those who come along can chose topics they’re interested in, including but not limited to:

  • creative commons
  • open educational resources (OERs)
  • hosting your own journal
  • data management (e.g. Figshare)
  • ORCID unique researcher identifiers
  • Otago University Research Archive (OUR Archive, our institutional research repository), and
  • Academic Networking sites (e.g. ResearchGate,, etc.

The quick-fire topics will serve as an invitation to attendees to engage in an open discussion where they can ask questions, share experiences or even get hands-on support. You don’t know a thing about ORCID but you know you want one? Do you apply creative commons licences to your work and want to share your experiences?  These sessions will be of use to all students/academics/researchers keen to engage in conversations around open access, the pros and cons and making the most of the various tools available.

When: 1 – 2pm Wednesday 21 October 2015
Where: Science Library Seminar Room (far-right corner from the entrance, see floorplan)

When: 1 – 2pm Friday 23 October 2015
Where: Hunter Centre G30a (ground floor, to the right inside the main entrance)

Open Access. What is it and why should I care? – plus OA baking! (1pm, Mon 19 October, #OAweek)

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 | Richard White | No Comments


Image CC BY,

Why are governments, funders and institutions around the world mandating or encouraging Open Access? What does it mean for my discipline? My department? Me, as an individual researcher or teacher?

Our opening event for OA Week offers an introduction to OA, its demonstrable benefits to the scholarly pursuit and the challenges it presents. This session will provide a broad overview of current developments in OA and examine what the future might hold.

We’ll also be launching a survey of Otago staff, which asks about practices in and attitudes towards OA publishing.

Come along and share your experiences or bring your questions.

As an added bonus there will be open access baking. You’ll have to come find out what that is!

When: 1 – 2pm Monday 19 October 2015
Where: Central Library Conference Room 3 (1st floor East end, see floorplan)
Online: join virtually via Connect

Selecting the right course resources

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 | SIMON HART | No Comments

Following the successful project to produce an open text book and document the process members of the Open Minds Group have developed a useful guide to selecting open course resources.

Refer: A Guide to selecting the right course resources

This guide outlines activities for selecting, compiling and maintaining peer reviewed content that will provide benefits to both students and the institution.

This is a timely release during Open Access week, and as academic staff reflect upon their teaching and student success during the past year. This guide will prove to be useful for teachers as they re-evaluate the learning resources that are recommended to students and for those preparing new courses.

The guide is a adaption of a worksheet developed by Dr. Judy Baker, Director of the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources, and it is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Hacking a Media Textbook (in a Weekend)

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 | Richard White | No Comments

Taking inspiration from a story about Finnish mathematicians who (successfully) attempted to write an open mathematics textbook in a weekend, this weekend (16-17 Nov) a group of intrepid Otago staff are leading collaborators from a group of institutions across Australia and New Zealand in writing a Media textbook in a weekend. Partly funded by Creative Commons, the project teams will work together in a purposely constrained timeframe to create a peer-reviewed text for use at their own institutions — and of course, being openly-licensed, for re-use by others.

Senior Lecturer in Otago’s Media, Film and Communication Department Erika Pearson says that in part the project aims to fill a gap: most introductory-level media texts are expensive for students and tend to be US-centric, rather than focused on our own cultural paradigm. The process itself will be a new experience for those involved, with teams across Australasia communicating via video link-up to keep tabs on each others’ progress — a bit like the V 48 Hours Film Competition but with teams collaborating to produce a textbook at the end of the weekend. In addition to producing a book that will be made available through institutional repositories, the process itself will be documented so that those involved can repeat and build on the process in future years and for others to learn from.

Read more about the project on its own blog or check out the Creative Commons post about it and similar initiatives around the world.

No doubt Erika and her team will welcome offerings of food and drink to keep them going over the course of the weekend!

Openly licensing your teaching materials (OSCoP, 14 October at 1pm)

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 | Richard White | No Comments

In the next Open Scholarship Open Scholarship Community of Practice, Fieke Neuman from Anatomy will be joining us to discuss the plan to share Anatomy-specific teaching resources with other institutions over the Web using Creative Commons. Please come along and join in the discussion and bring a colleague/friend!

Otago Open Scholarship Community of Practice
October 14, 1pm
Central Library Conference Room 3
Audio-conference: dial (1) 083044, enter PIN 136363 then press #

Openness around the world

Monday, January 21st, 2013 | Bill Anderson | No Comments

The current issue of the journal Open Praxis is devoted to the topic “Openness in higher education”. Have a read…

Several articles discuss the challenges of assessment – especially when learners want to credit their open learning to traditional/formal courses …

What would you do if a student asked for credit from a Udacity/Courseara/OpenLearn/OERu course?? Is there anything you could do at Otago?


UK Universities enter the MOOC-o-sphere

Sunday, December 16th, 2012 | Richard White | 7 Comments

Yes, the heading is somewhat facetious, but the first UK-based rival to the massive open on-line courses (MOOCs) Udacity, Coursera and EdX has been announced. Led by the Open University, 12 UK universities will offer on-line courses for free from 2013, though details are sketchy at this stage. Martin Bean, the OU’s Vice-Chancellor, says that MOOCs have the potential to revolutionise access to higher education and that “we want to be well positioned” (as quoted by the BBC report).

Given that the Open University has literally millions of people accessing its course materials each year, which are open to all and licensed with Creative Commons for re-use, the move makes sense in that they may be able draw more of those potential students into some more formal means of engagement. Early indications are that they will follow one of the models offered by the US MOOCs, where access is open but you pay for an optional certificate for a course or for an invigilated examination. One challenge for this consortium – as with the others – will be how to balance the cost to students for the on-line courses against that of on-campus students, who in the UK face a real cost of up to £100,000 for a degree, a government report has revealed, once interest payments are counted.

The other lingering question is whether students in on-line courses will be able to gain credit towards qualifications. This, as Mr Bean says, is the “big frontier” for on-line education in the MOOC era where the cost to students is driven down by their numbers and organisations see less tangible but no less significant value in the reputation and brand benefits ‘open access’ will bring.

Creative Commons in Dunedin, Friday 23 November

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 | Richard White | No Comments

For those in Dunedin, Creative Commons Aotearoa NZ will be hosting a discussion session just prior to the opening of the NetHui South Conference (see this post). Anything CC-related can be raised, discussed or debated, though the focus will likely be on open access and Open Educational Resources.

The session is open to anyone, regardless of whether you’re attending NetHui.  Matt McGregor, CC ANZ’s Public Lead, will be down from Wellington to facilitate.

Creative Commons Meet-up, Kakapo Room, Otago Museum, 11am Friday 23 November