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Joel Thierstein's contribution to the OSS and OER in Education Series. In this post, he provides the opportunity to open a conversation on the critical role of faculty in the ecosystem that supports the creation, distribution, use, and reuse of OER.

Author - Joel Thierstein, "The Role of University Faculty in the OER World". Originally submitted May 1st, 2008 to the OSS and OER in Education Series, Terra Incognita blog (Penn State World Campus), edited by Ken Udas.

We are at the beginning of a remarkable period in human history. We are entering a web 2.0 world - a world where networked communities inform decisions on both the individual and societal level. These networked communities involve a significant amount of discussion. This posting is made in that spirit. The purpose is not to provide answers but to raise questions. And thus, each paragraph is a series of questions. I have opened each paragraph with a framing question. The questions that follow are meant to further expose the underlying issues. Again, the purpose is to inspire discussion.


What is the role of university faculty in society?

The traditional role of university faculty has been to advance the knowledge bases within their respective disciplines. Essentially, a faculty member’s responsibility to the academy is to think. In the United States and much of the western world, university faculty are given lifetime appointments (tenure), so they can advance the knowledge base in society without fear of reprisal for non-traditional or controversial ideas. Tenure also allows faculty to think generationally rather than short term. Finally, tenure also allows faculty to develop ideas based on pure thought rather than for commercial gain.


What is the relationship between university faculty and intellectual property rights?

If the role of faculty is to produce knowledge, do faculty have a right to the protection of their intellectual property? Does that intellectual property belong to the university or government agency or corporation who supports the faculty member’s position? How is this relationship different in different parts of the world?

In what ways does OER impact the relationship between university faculty and their intellectual property rights? Because of its open nature, does the OER community demand that the university faculty member give up their intellectual property and place their creations into the open space? If not, does OER demand that the university faculty member give up part of their intellectual property rights? If so, which part? The paragraphs below explore some of the options.


Should the work of a faculty member be attributed to the faculty member?

What role does society play in the development of the knowledge-base? If we are truly moving into a web 2.0 world where society contributes to the knowledge-base on a mass scale, how much attribution is required for any one individual? By the same token, do users have the right to know who created or contributed to the body of work in order to vet or filter the information? If the goal is to advance the knowledge-base as quickly as possible, isn’t it necessary to have attribution in order to separate the quality material from that of lesser relevance? If filters like attribution are applied, doesn’t that cause the reinforcement of the status quo and cause the degradation of innovative ways of think or looking at a problem from a completely different perspective? Because in many parts of the world it is expected that faculty members will go out and work on projects outside the university in order to pay their salaries, is it more or less important that attribution be a part of the retained right when work is put into the OER space?

Questions & Answers

what are two classical macroeconomics and what're their theories say about their equations?
what is the formula for calculating elasticity
aza Reply
what is elasticity of demand?
Rita Reply
Causes of economic growth
pierre Reply
What is elasticity of demand
What are the causes of economic growth
economic growth, establishment of industry, encourage of investor's, farm productivities, creation of institutions, construction of good road etc
elasticity of demand can be said to be the responsiveness of demand to a change in prices
impact of collusion in the economy referring to inefficiencies illustrated by means of graph
nondumiso Reply
The Factor price will determine the choice of techniques to produce.Expantiate
what is elasticity of demand?
Etta Reply
state and explain two types of demand
Institution involved in money market
Gande Reply
what is Economics
Kwame Reply
Economic is the study of scarcity
Economics is the study of a lot of things. It is split up into two areas of study, Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. Microeconomics is the study of an individual's choices in the economy and Macroeconomics is the study of the economy as a whole.
Economics is a science that studies human scarcity
What is Equilibrium price?
Equilibrium is the market clearing price. The point at which quantity demanded equals quantity supplied. The point at which the supply and demand curves intersect.
Equilibrium price*
Refers to the study of how producers use limited resources to satisfy human unlimited wants
why is economics important
Derrick Reply
What will you do as a consumer if you are not at equilibrium?
chukwu Reply
am new I will like to know about the graph relationship
Gloria Reply
comment on WTO principle on trading system. trade without discrimination
Omben Reply
optimize z=f(x,y)=6x²-9x-3xy-7y+5y²
Alex Reply
What is an indifference curve?
layla Reply
different levels of utilities of a person in a given set of bundles of goods
identify and quantify five social costs and social benefits of building a school
Mokgobo Reply
identify and quantity five social costs and social benefits of building a hospital
short run vs long run
state the law of diminishing return?
The Law of Diminishing (Marginal) Returns simply states that at some point in time a business/operation/etc.'s increased productivity will begin to decline.
For example, if a small pizza shop currently has 3 workers in the kitchen at any given time,and hiring 1 more worker will increase productivity, at some number of workers hired will the business see a decrease in productivity because the capital resources that the pizza shop has is not infinite.
Five social benefits of building a hospital, in my opinion and depending on where it's built, would be 1) Increased care for neighboring residents, 2) Potential jobs for individuals, 3) May decrease the travel time residents need to endure in order to reach the nearest hospital
4) May create work-study programs for individuals who aspire to be future Doctors, Nurses, Physicians, etc. 5) Assuming there are local pharmaceutical businesses nearby, the hospital may decide to purchase supplies local, increasing the business' sales. Thus, generating more income.
5 costs of building a hospital would be 1) Increased noise and waste pollution from service vehicles and hospital visitors, 2) May require large amounts of space, possibly jeopardizing nearby animal habitats, 3) May see an increase in traffic and possibly car accidents from frantic individuals
racing to see their injured friends, family members, etc. 4) Constructing a hospital and hiring staff is very expensive 5) To use funds, private or public, to finance the construction of a hospital cannot be used to fund any other projects. (The concept of opportunity costs.)
what is meant by inteference with the price mechanism operation?
We use a Supply and Demand graph to illustrate at what price level will the market for a certain good or service be at equilibrium. If the price for a good or service is set too high, consumers will be less inclined to buy that product Thus, creating a surplus.
This surplus will eventually drive the price back down to it's equilibrium point. Similarly, if a price for a good or service is set too low, individuals would be more inclined to buy more of a certain product, creating a shortage. This shortage will cause sellers to drive the price back up to the
equilibrium point.
in a comparison of the stages of meiosis to the stage of mitosis, which stages are unique to meiosis and which stages have the same event in botg meiosis and mitosis
Leah Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, The impact of open source software on education. OpenStax CNX. Mar 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10431/1.7
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