Sharing and openness

Last blog was about being resident or visitor on the internet. The second topic in ONL162 is about sharing and openness. Going online with courses is making knowledge open to everyone. The main problem with free open online courses is that one has difficulties as a teacher to get paid. A totally altruistic approach makes it hard to sustain as a teacher. Still, making it open and public can attract people all around the world for the knowledge one is in possession of.

As an example of the strength of open access a colleague and I wrote a paper on the topic of One Health (Lerner and Berg 2015). One Health is a field where there is collaboration between veterinary medicine, human medicine and biology in issues such as transmittable diseases between animals and humans. We tried to theoretically discuss some of the interdisciplinary decisions one has to make within such an approach. For example, should One Health share the same definition of health, what kinds of interdisciplinarity is possible within the approach and how should one look at education in the field? We didn’t expect to be cited by researchers from all continents within one and a half year after publication. During the same period of time the paper was viewed well above 10000 times. That’s the strength of open access.

In open educational resources, there seem to be a need for proper use of copyrights. The Creative Commons system (see this youtube-clip) is a good way of licensing the content. Instead of traditional copyright where one needs to ask the owner every time, one can add the Creative Commons information which makes it easier to share without “forgetting” about the author. There is also an important difference between Creative Commons and Public Domain ( In Public Domain one is free to use the content; in Creative Commons one is able to differentiate between how one is able to use the content. Also, the person/s writing the original is still acknowledged. For me this seems to be something worth thinking through which kind of Creative Common license to use for me.

To be able to sustain as a teacher I think it is possible to develop some modules that makes an interest in my topics to teach and in my department where I work. Then I could have other more thorough material (courses or literature) that could be used in order to earn money for my department.

Going back to the area of One Health, in the paper mentioned above we discuss the possibility to develop a new curriculum for One Health. One way might be to create an online open platform where different departments from different scientific disciplines might add modules that students interested in One Health could attend.

Best regards, Henrik


5 reaktioner till “Sharing and openness

  1. Intresting blogpost, and your experinces in relation to onehealth. Like to continue to discuss our possible to development some material on our institution to share as Open access (not particullary research but perhaps on Pbl..)


  2. Thank Henrik! The video you found was VERY helpful for me to finally understand how Creative Commons works. This was still a bit unclear for me when I wrote my blog. I have never considered my work good enough to be open. I think of my self as a teacher and not a researcher. But as I begin to explore and create how to use what I do through the digital platforms, I can see that I might have something useful for others. And indeed, there creative commons offers lots of useful information and resources for me to teach. This whole topic, of not reinventing the wheel, has been something I have thought about the last couple of years. I can find something to use, but I can also contribute, because I know that I have been creating some new knowledge, or at least I have created now ways to teach certain subjects, especially in the area of Presentation Technique and Rhetoric. Anyway, thanks for that video and learning that up for me. Adam.


  3. Thanks Henrik for this thought provoking blog.

    It is very true that teachers need to be paid!…this ‘minor’ detail can be a stumbling block to totally open sharing of expertise.
    However, collaborating or crowdsourcing can help create something of value where the costs (time, financial, expertise, etc) can be shared too.
    See for one example of a crowdsourced resource bank of ed tech tools.

    Another issue is that of recognition. Criteria for promotion at many institutions needs to catch up with the advent of good quality open access journals.

    One clear benefit of sharing our teaching practices is that it opens the possibility of learning from other teachers. Sometimes it is good to know that you are not alone with a particular pedagogical approach. Other times it is great to be inspired by another teacher’s different way of doing things. You will find more on this in this article from Ed Surge


  4. Academics are normally quite possessive over ”their” work, often forgetting/ignoring that the theoretical and primary aspects of ”their” work come from someone else’s work. Creative Commons should be seen as a platform where you can share your findings and ideas to the benefit of other researchers, and we should embrace it as such.



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