Copyrighted Sharing

Pearson Books, which I used to sell, has taken a major leap in the Open Commons Resources website.  It used to be that traditional paper book companies were dabbling in the digital domain, by offering bonus material online to compliment their text books.   Now with a simple search (or advanced search) it’s easy to see that many different institutions are offering their material on the open commons sites.

This entire 28 lesson Plan from lays out each lesson for teaching The American Short Story, along with tasks (listening, watching, reading, speaking), activities, assessments, going deeper segments etc.  On the OER site, Pearson won’t allow remix or share capabilities.  The digital resources are also still connected to the printed book that accompanies the course.  I can see why Pearson would offer the Open Commons resource as a “commercial” to purchase their textbooks.   I wonder if other institutions on OER, like College Programs, offer the material in hopes of selling the course for credit.

On the other hand, is built more on the idealism of sharing material by individual contributors.  Just take a look at their suggestions for using, contributing, and saying “thank you” by giving credit to the author.  However the same search for “American Short Story Lesson Plans” took me to a page that amalgamates other search engine’s results.

I didn’t start with such a vague search, but when I searched for more specific lessons, both sites did not find any results.  The pay off with lengthy searches could be an ongoing unit or series of lessons with fantastic resources for the time spent to pay off.

1 comment so far ↓

  • #   Keith on 09.28.16 at 11:44 pm     Reply

    Hi Delano,

    I think the search for open use materials is most often a starting point where the teacher is hoping for something that is half suitable, but in a form that it can be modified to become what is needed.

    I know that in some standardized courses – like first-year university courses – you can find open textbooks that will be nearly complete for the course. Some of the chapters assigned in this course are from an open textbook by Tony Bates.

    When I produce materials I am either creating them for courses I am teaching or for courses I am supporting at Royal Roads. Often I need to consider the copyright environment in which I will first use them. Different universities will consider these materials to belong to the instructor or to the university. Often I will post activities for my own courses as creative commons licensed on a blog before using them in any course. That way I know I’ll continue to have access to them in the future.


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