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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

Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
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.
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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