OER14 homeApplication › Mr Steve Stapleton

Creative Commons licensing in multiple contexts (Moodle, MOOCs and FutureLearn)

Monday 14:00-15:30 (2), Grainger Suite

Type: Short paper

Theme: MOOCs and open courses

#oer14 #abs55


Mr Steve Stapleton, Open Nottingham Project Manager, The University of Nottingham, [email protected]
Mr Andy Beggan, Head of Learning Technology, The University of Nottingham, [email protected]


Since 2007, the University of Nottingham has released OER through the U-Now website. Resources made available in U-Now are offered under the Creative Commons ‘Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike’ licence, and users can view the resources on the site or download them in re-useable formats. The OER publication model at Nottingham is strong, with over 70% of schools having a U-Now presence. In addition to the U-Now website, the university has created a number of OER tools and services that support the creation and attribution of Creative Commons resources and images. These include the Xpert search engine, Xerte on-line toolkits, and the Xpert Image Attribution tool.

During 2013, and with the support of JISC funding, Nottingham expanded its OER portfolio by creating and openly releasing a number of Moodle plug-ins that allow Moodle users to: Find and automatically attribute openly licensed images, Upload their own images and automatically attribute them; Specify a URL for an image and have that image automatically attributed. In addition to these developments, the University also joined FutureLearn, the UK led Massive Open On-line Course (MOOC) platform. The first FutureLearn MOOC offered by Nottingham is: Sustainability, Society and You, with both the course content and course structure made openly available under a Creative Commons licence.

At the core of the OER work completed in 2013 at Nottingham was the need to examine licensing issues and to decide on appropriate Creative Commons strategies. The Moodle plug-in work highlighted the need to balance the desire to offer easy to use functionality, with the requirement to reduce or remove the potential for users to infringe licence or copyright restrictions. This is especially important when automating attribution processes for use by users who may have limited or no prior knowledge of OER.

Discussions about licensing were also at the centre of offering the ‘Sustainability, Society and You’ MOOC on FutureLearn under a Creative Commons licence. The MOOC is based around a number of open resources that had been published by Nottingham during 2012. These resources had incorporated third party OER from multiple sources offered under various Creative Commons options, including both ‘commercial’ and ‘non-commercial’ licensed resources. A number of questions relating to licensing were faced by the Nottingham MOOC development team, including: Does the existing non-commercial element of Creative Commons provide sufficient permission to include third party non-commercial OER in a FutureLearn course? Would authors of non-commercial OER be happy for their resources to be included in a FutureLearn MOOC? How do commercial publishers respond to requests to include content in a FutureLearn MOOC?

This presentation will examine issues relating to the use of Creative Commons licensed resources across multiple contexts. It will provide a demonstration of the open Moodle plug-ins and discuss how the licensing decisions made through the development process might help inform wider discussions on open licensing. It will also discuss the process and implications of offering a Creative Commons licensed MOOC through the FutureLearn platform and offers a case study for an OER based MOOC approach.

Funding acknowledgements

JISC/HEA funding as part of the UKOER programme for the Moodle plug-in work referred to in the abstract.


Recap recording


Further details

Keywords: MOOC, FutureLearn, Sustainability, Nottingham, Moodle, licence

Mr Steve Stapleton, Open Nottingham Project Manager, University of nottingham

Twitter abstract: Creative Commons Licensing in multiple contexts (Moodle, MOOCs and FutureLearn)