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ERIC Number: EJ774604
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 24
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-8756-3894
Faculty Distance Courseware Ownership and the "Wal-Mart" Approach to Higher Education
Talab, Rosemary
TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, v51 n4 p9-12 Jul 2007
Whether by choice or necessity, colleges and universities are in competition with each other for the burgeoning web-based course market. Spurred by the growth of the for-profits such as the University of Phoenix, institutions have reasons, both practical and philosophical,"...to secure a position in ownership and control of faculty-produced digital intellectual property" (DiRamio & Kops, 2004). Web-based courses and distance learning courseware require more technical support, faculty setup, and campus resources. As a result, universities are increasingly becoming de facto courseware owners. Two questions that need to be asked at this time are: (1) To what extent are institutions becoming "big-box" stores--courseware "Walmarts"?; and (2) To what extent do faculty wish to be compensated based on collective bargaining models rather than on faculty intellectual property rights? "Substantial Use" of university resources is the fulcrum of the university's need to assert ownership over faculty courses. It is the crux of many if not most distance course ownership issues. the university tends to own the courseware that is most valuable for faculty to produce. Faculty own the courseware that is least valuable. From the standpoint of the university, this is a fair exchange and hopefully, a sound investment. From the standpoint of the faculty member, who is increasingly called upon to use "substantial" resources to develop courseware, serious decisions about courseware ownership arise, particularly with regard to distance learning and digitally based courseware. "Fair use," also important to this discussion, involves another layer of uncertainty in developing expensive and/or labor-intensive distance learning courses, particularly digital ones, as professors make use of audio conferencing, group online collaboration tools, blogs, and wikis. Ultimately, the concept that invigorates this debate on intellectual property, apart from the basic ones of compensation, control, and authorship, is that of academic freedom. This author concludes that it is essential that faculty retain intellectual property rights and remain vigilant about intellectual property protections.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York; Pennsylvania
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998