Open Access refers to free and unrestricted access via the Internet to articles published in scholarly journals, book chapters or monographs. Using Open Access articles in online courses is something that seems to be very inviting to course creators, as there is nothing less expensive than free.
If you want to go this route, you have to carefully observe the licence under which an article is published, and take all relevant steps to obtain permission to use the article.Usage rights are usually defined in the applicable usage licence attached to the article. Just because an article is Open Access does not mean copyright is not involved – it just means that the article is free to access.
Authors usually do not mind their articles being used as long as they are properly referenced, since their articles get more exposure in this way.
Examples of successful implementations:
- Open Education Resources (OER), www.oercommons.org, have made teaching and learning materials freely available to use. This supports shared teacher expertise and peer-based learning.
- eCPD®, www.healthcare.ecpd.co.za, makes use of Open Access scholarly articles that are peer-reviewed as reading material for healthcare professionals’ continuous professional development (CPD) courses.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), http://ocw.mit.edu, offers open courses free of charge, and then only charges for the examination.
Although Open Access articles are free to access, there may still be certain usage limitations applicable. It may also be a challenge to find Open Access material that complements your course outcomes.
In support of Open Access Week 2013 (21 – 27 October 2013), a global week providing academic and research communities with the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of Open Access resources and to share what they have learned with colleagues and peers, we are holding a free webinar.
Learn more about the Open Access licence and the advantages and challenges it holds when using Open Access content in your eLearning courses, and see examples of effective implementations in our 30-minute online webinar on 23 October 2013 at 4:00 PM – 04:30 PM, GMT +2. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.