January 2010
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This blog was primarily written by our new recruit and educational technologist – James Peard.  But we are having trouble getting him ‘author’ rights so I’m posting it (Tom).

As we are all feeling the target to deliver 360 credits looming ever closer, we have decided to modify our approach just a little.   We aim to hit our target by mid February.  This would mean there would be ample time for packaging and depositing the materials, evaluating the project and any additional materials we gain at a later stage would be a bonus.

We will not relax our vigilance on any e.g. copyright and IP issues.    But we will now no longer spend so much time in seeking alternative ‘infringement-free’ replacements.    We had begun our clearing process by taking a ‘proportionate’ view on the number of credits we could claim for the amount of material we had cleared.   But we are now taking a more mainstream approach whereby we will ‘claim’ the credits so long as the volume of material cleared is sufficiently representative of the course as a whole.

This approach has been ratified by our internal Steering Group and is regarded as a pragmatic (and overdue?) response to the myriad of IP issues we are encountering.    It also means that we will gain valuable new insights into the pros and cons of such a modified approach. Naturally we still see the quality of the materials as being important so we are keeping a close eye on this and will still be looking for alternatives if we feel that removing content from a unit will really reduce its quality.  (I’m not going to enter the debate here regarding what we mean by ‘quality!)

Personally I have found this approach quite effective, although I have viewed it as a slightly backwards approach to how I used to work. Now rather than sitting on unfinished units which have outstanding IPR issues, I can just remove the problematic areas so that the units are still complete and ready to be deposited. If any issues are resolved at a later stage the removed content can be replaced.

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