MoodleNet and Free Cultural Works

MoodleNet is a new open social media platform for educators, focused on professional development and open content.

To facilitate the ‘open content’ part of MoodleNet’s mission, we propose that users sharing content via upload may choose from three open licenses, all provided by Creative Commons:

These are Free Culture licenses, defined in the following way: 

  1. the freedom to use the work and enjoy the benefits of using it
  2. the freedom to study the work and to apply knowledge acquired from it
  3. the freedom to make and redistribute copies, in whole or in part, of the information or expression
  4. the freedom to make changes and improvements, and to distribute derivative works

There is more detail about this on the Creative Commons website, which goes into much more detail about Free Cultural Works.

By taking this approach to uploading content to MoodleNet we would be following the lead of Wikimedia Commons, who have a comprehensive page on what is and what is not allowed on their platform. We believe that we can take a simpler approach with MoodleNet, with the added advantage that Creative Commons licences are already translated into most major languages.

Here is a (low-fidelity) wireframe example workflow for a user uploading a resource to MoodleNet:

User chooses the option to upload a resource to a collection
User chooses the option to upload a resource to a collection
User enters title, description, and hashtags
User enters title, description, and hashtags
User can change license from collection default
User can change license from collection default

What do you think of this approach? Is this what you were expecting? What else would you like to see (if anything)?

4 thoughts on “MoodleNet and Free Cultural Works

  1. Just a quick note:

    In germany we teach educators the “TULLU”-rule most of the time, which explains how to properly attribute a resource regarding the requirements of the creative commons license contract.
    (can’t remember the english translation right now, but there is one ;-))

    So many times there are resources in the web where it is not clear, how to attribute them properly, e.g. “who is the author? is the project the author? or is the person+project the correct attribution? who is rights holder? who should i list as author to be legally correct”?

    To avoid that confusion, a field “attribute author(s) the following” would be really useful (the cc choose tool hides this option under a slideout “Help others attribute you!
    This part is optional, but filling it out will add machine-readable metadata to the suggested HTML!” >>
    Unfortunately I don’t think many people see it because of the slideout-solution (there is a google code of summer project working on a new version of the choose tool right now, #gsoc-license-chooser in CCs slack community)

    I developed the following quick & dirty, so that there is a visible option for add an author attribution field:

    Another solution would be to introduce the rule, that uploaded material should be attributed generally by naming the Moodle-Net User/Profile name?

    Another side note: There are different CC license versions, so some resources are still CC BY 2.0 or CC BY 3.0, and there were lots of country licenses back then, e.g. CC BY UK, DE, etc.). That should be considered as well if users should upload resources, which they did not create themselves? (I don’t know if that is an option or if it is only about self-created content?)

    Best regards!

    1. Thanks Matthias! I have, in fact, got a a post-it note on my desk saying WHO MADE THIS RESOURCE? after a very useful conversation with Thomas Haubner from Tutory earlier this month.

      We’re trying to make the process of adding a resource to MoodleNet as easy as possible — whether you created it yourself, or are sharing someone else’s openly-licensed resource. I have to say that it’s not an easy thing to do.

      As a team, we’ve already done quite a deep dive into the fields we should make available to users when uploading resources. You can see some of this in MDLNET-389.

      The complexity is in presenting users, many of whom aren’t as embedded in the open education movement as you and I are, with options that make sense. A huge long form with many boxes and options is sub-optimal.

      That being said, we do want to be accurate (and legal!) so we will indeed have to take onboard technical and UX suggestions, including yours. Thanks again!

      1. Thanks for the reply! I wish the moodlenet-team all the best regarding this huge and important task! 🙂 I’m very curious which UI you’ll finally come up with, I would strongly agree that long forms and boxes are suboptimal for busy educators (but librarians and curators love long forms and metadata, maybe there is a hidden potential ;-))

        Just a quick note regarding metadata: It is the fortunate case that we’ll have a small funding in germany to professionally discuss and develop an OER metadata standard for higher education. I’ll send them your links as well to keep them up-to-date. Also we experiment with SKOS and ActivityPub as well here, see (just fiy). It would be really, really cool if we could connect MoodleNet, Merlot, OASIS and other international collection efforts in near future.

        Personal opinion as a sidenote: I think technical formats (e.g. h5p, powerpoint) matter a lot for educators, but that can be recognized automatically via mimetype. And educational sector seems to be important, but maybe that can be retrieved automatically from the user profile (MERLOT asks users all this stuff on registration – most OER repositories do not have this user data so uploading is therefore a pain in the a** ;-))

        All the best!

        1. SkoHub looks really cool, thanks for the link!

          Our approach will be iterative, but I think that we’ll stick to these three principles:

          1. Make resource upload as easy and straightforward as possible for the less technical user
          2. Automatically pull in whatever metadata we can
          3. Provide an option for more advanced (‘power’) users to add as much detail as they want/can.

          I think the thing to remember here is that we’re effectively competing with other social networks, rather than OER repositories. MoodleNet is designed to be the curated sweet spot between proactively searching for resources, and serendipitously discovering them.

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