In an exciting development for open education at UTS, a new UTS procedure has recently been published that provides guidance on sharing educational materials within UTS and publishing open educational resources. Read on to learn a bit more about it! 

What is the UTS Open Access Teaching & Learning Procedure? 

The UTS Open Access Teaching & Learning Procedure is one of two new procedures recently published to the UTS Policy suite, to support the UTS Open Access (OA) Policy. While people might think of an OA Policy as being relevant only to research outputs, the UTS OA Policy addresses both research outputs and educational materials. In order to provide comprehensive support for each of these aspects, two separate procedures have been developed: 

These procedures provide a practical framework for UTS authors to contribute to the University’s aim of sharing its scholarship as widely as possible, as part of a commitment to delivering public good and broad societal benefit. 

Who is it for? 

The Teaching & Learning Open Access Procedure is relevant for all UTS staff, students and affiliates wanting to share course and educational material within UTS, and/or publish open educational resources (OER). It provides advice on how to approach both these activities, including obtaining permission where necessary, copyright & licensing considerations, appropriate platforms for hosting, and who to contact for further support. 

Why should I use it?

If you’re reading this post, chances are you’ll already be aware of the numerous advantages of open education and the growing trend in the Higher Education sector towards exploring more open educational practices. The new Open Access T&L Procedure is one way that UTS is endorsing this movement. 

By actively sharing educational materials you can help promote the principles of open education, which include accessibility, inclusivity, and affordability; and contribute to the democratisation of knowledge. Sharing content encourages collaboration and innovation – allowing educators to build upon each other’s work, adapt materials to suit their specific needs, and collectively improve the quality of content. 

The procedure acknowledges that a culture shift towards embracing these practices will take time. Therefore, alongside a section on publishing OER (intended for widespread sharing to an external audience), the procedure also contains a section on pathways for sharing material internally within UTS – recognising that this is an important first step in cultivating this cultural shift. 

What do I need to do?

The procedure encourages the sharing of a wide range of course content and materials, including lecture notes, modules, assignments, quizzes, presentations, multimedia resources, and other learning materials. You are encouraged to consider the question “can I share this content?”, in relation to all course and educational material. 

For sharing educational materials within UTS, Table 4.15 of the procedure outlines the recommended UTS platforms for hosting shareable content.   

Additionally, authors are encouraged to publish course and educational materials as OER whenever possible, ensuring they are appropriately licensed to permit free and perpetual access, re-use and adaptation.  

An important step in the publishing process is obtaining the relevant permission (‘necessary rights’) to publish and ensuring that the content does not infringe on any existing IP rights or copyrights. The ‘Publishing OER’ and ‘Copyright & licensing’ sections of the procedure provide further guidance on this. 

Who can help me?

The project team that developed the new procedures included staff from UTS Library and LX Lab, and these are the two units at UTS who can provide additional support. UTS Library provides advice on publication, copyright and licensing, and appropriate discipline repositories (UTS Library: Contact us). LX Lab provides support with authoring, publication, and promotion of open access educational resources (LX Lab: Contact us). 

Over to you!

Since their recent publication, the UTS Open Access Teaching & Learning Procedure and its research counterpart have generated interest and discussion across the university community.  Now, it’s time for you – authors and creators at UTS – to build on this momentum by putting them to the test. 

As the first iteration of these procedures, we need them to be used and engaged with, so we know how to improve them in the future.  Your experiences and suggestions will help refine future versions of the procedures and identify areas where additional support and resources are needed to further the UTS commitment to open education and scholarship.  

Join the discussion