Way back in 2003 I think it was, I worked on accessibility aspects of the National Learning Network materials. We carried out a lot of testing with end users with a range of disabilities. There were some innovative and creative solutions put forward by the developers and they loved working with the students. I used one of the learning objects as the basis of the main study in my PhD in E-Learning and Blindness. In the study I compared ten sighted students and ten blind students working through a learning object. The learning object had to be able to be used by a blind person without them needing any support/intervention at all and the chosen content, Sports Injuries certainly did the trick. note the screen reader functionality on the first page - I wonder if that is still needed - with advances in technology?
I am now re-visiting the NLN content. Having had a quick look I am interested to see if it is OER - I am not sure from my initial look if it is or not or indeed who may use it. I want to look at how accessible it really is across the board and how current it is.
I looked at the site on two occasions and could not find any information on copyright/licensing. I did find this - 'LSIS have worked with Xtensis, who developed the service under the contract with JANET(UK), to ensure its continued operation for the next two years. The site is run by LSIS from July 22nd. Xtensis have kindly granted a free license to use the software that delivers the site, so it looks and performs much the same as it did before.' Note that the year relating to July 22nd above is 2011 although that information is on another page. So at the point of writing (7th June 2012) the operation will continue for just over a year.
This is the license information that is contained on the NLN website:
This site does not collect personally identifiable data. The site uses a cookie to hold preferences (such as which version of the home page grid - "schools" or "other" you last viewed, but this is not linked to any personally identifiable information. A cookie is also used by AddThis - a third-party service which provides the sharing buttons on Learning Object details pages - which will track which services you use to share, on this and any other site that uses AddThis for sharing services.
A third party asset is a unit of content (e.g. text, illustration, picture, video sequence, audio sequence, etc) in which the Intellectual Property Rights are owned by a party other than us, and which has been included in the NLN Materials under a licence granted by a third party to us. Under the terms of the Licence you may use these types of asset in the same way that you use other content. That is, you have the right to load, execute, store, display and copy the content provided that this is for educational, not-for-profit purposes as described above. However there are certain additional criteria relating to their use, particularly in respect of disaggregation and combination with other resources, and the timescales for which the third party assets have been licensed. These restrictions are listed in in the document included below. (b) How will I know that content is a “third party asset”?
You can find information about third party content by referring to the document linked below. Information is also contained in each subject area’s accompanying Tutor Documentation. This can be found here or by clicking the Tutor Guide link on any Learning Object page within the site. (c) What are the limitations on use of third party assets?
Unlike other content, some third party owned assets might have a fixed term to their licence. This information will be specified in the sources listed above. Where there is a fixed term to the use of these assets, they should not be used in any way after the expiry of the term, and any materials created separately using content from the NLN Materials which contain known expired-term third party assets should likewise cease to be used and they should be disposed of. (d) Can I disaggregate third party asset content from other content in a learning object?
The document included below lists those third party assets which can and cannot be disaggregated. Where third party content can be disaggregated from a learning object and combined with other NLN Materials content to form new materials this must be carried out in accordance with the Licence relating to the general use of the NLN Materials, and the usage pattern must not be one of the exclusions described in the next section. (e) What are my rights in terms of using these types of assets (outside of the learning object)?
Provided that you use third party assets in accordance with these guidelines, the restrictions listed below, and the Licence, your rights are protected. In particular, third party assets should only be used for educational, not-for-profit activities, as described above.
The following are specific instances where your rights are not protected from any future claims brought by the owners of third party assets:
Third party assets are disaggregated from their learning object context and combined with new content that does not come from the original or any other of the NLN Materials (e.g. content that you have created yourself or obtained from another source) unless this is expressly permitted in the list linked to below. Third party assets are modified without written authorisation from the owner of the third party assets supplier of the NLN Materials; Third party assets are used in a way which is not consistent with use in an educational, not-for-profit manner.
(f) What precautions should I take when using third party assets?
If you wish to use third party assets outside of their original learning object context, you are advised to keep a careful record of where the asset came from (i.e. which learning object, which NLN Round) and to reference ownership of Intellectual Property Rights and the assets visibly in the same way that you would reference any other source of information.
E.g. NLN Round 4 Family Learning (2005). Parenting Styles. Valid to … (insert a date if there is a fixed term to the use of the asset).
Where there is a time limit on the use of the asset, it is important to include a “Valid to ...” statement: this indicates that the asset’s Intellectual Property Rights belong to a third party and that it is available for your use within affixed time period. (g) How should I manage my use of third party assets?
Provided that you use visible referencing, including a detail of Intellectual Property Rights and any licence expiry date, and that you use these assets in a manner consistent with the Licence, and any restrictions given in this document, you will be able to derive benefits from the content in the same way as any other content. It would be advisable to dispose of any licence-expired third party assets. List of Learning Objects with 3rd Party Assets
List of Learning Objects with Third Party Assets (Word document)
EM E-Safety Project
I recently atttended the International Blended Learning Conference in Hertfordshire - 13th and 14th June 2012. I was most interested in a session from Southampton Solent speaking about the use of OERs to inform Sixth Form students about whether to study business and how to start to build towards a business career.It is a JISC funded project Opening up a Future in Business. There is quite a lot of video content - interviews with entrepreneurs for example. I was very interested to hear that they decided not to include too much information on how to use videos. It was whilst I was listening to the presentation that I realised it was a very similar set of resources to the EM E-Safety Project funded by LSIS. In this project we are creating a web site which will host a range of resources relating to e-Safety for learners with learning difficulties. The resources are being produced using strict accessibility guidelines and practice and under Creative Commons. I shall be reviewing the development of the project in this wiki as it grows.
So what elements of OER did we include on the site? It was important to have a page setting out copyright information as the users of the resoruces and in this case teachers