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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

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit 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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