What is the OpenContent directory?
The OpenContent directory is a place for UCT staff and students to share their teaching resources with the rest of the world. Often this material resides on our computer hard drives where it is inaccessible to others, or on Vula where it is only available to select members of the UCT community. The OpenContent directory provides a space in which to share resources beyond UCT, so that others can use them in their own teaching and learning environments.
What is OpenContent?
Open content is also referred to as 'open courseware' or 'open educational resources' (OER). They are licensed educational materials (usually digital) that can be used by anyone, shared freely and adapted to suit a particular purpose.
The global nature of the internet and its ever-increasing culture of sharing have enabled the growth of the OER movement. Teaching and learning resources that were once only shared within departments and communities of practice, or at a cost, can now be made freely available to educators and students worldwide. Furthermore, in this age of abundant information where it can be difficult to find suitable resources for teaching and learning, OER offer educators and students access to top quality materials that can be adapted to suit their specific needs.
What's in it for me?
The OpenContent directory gives you a space to share your teaching materials with the world, a place to garner feedback and stories, and a place to profile yourself internationally as an open scholar. Here you can also access other educators’ work, which you can use or adapt to augment your own teaching, possibly saving hours of preparation!
How do I log in?
While the OpenContent directory exists as a global portal for browsing and accessing UCT’s open educational resources, only UCT staff members and students can log in to contribute to this directory.
As a UCT staff member or student you can log in to OpenContent with your UCT username and password. If you are unable to log in to OpenContent, please check that your username and password are correctly entered and, if you're using the UCT network, that your password hasn't expired.
For further assistance with your login details, please use Password Self Service or log a call with the IT Help Desk.
How do I license and create open content?
Creating open content is easy. All you need to do is take your original resources (e.g. PowerPoint slides, booklets, tests, videos, podcasts and simulations) and apply an open licence.
This directory promotes the use of Creative Commons licences for specifying how others may use, share and adapt resources, and encourages authors to make their resources as open as possible. See ‘What is a creative commons licence?’ for further information, and ‘Get a CC licence’ for step-by-step instructions.
Once you have licensed your work you need to find a place to host it online before you can link it to this directory. See ‘Where can I host my resource?’ for more details.
What is a Creative Commons licence?
The OpenContent directory encourages the use of Creative Commons licensing.
Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation devoted to expanding the range of creative works available to others to legally share and build upon. The organisation has released several variations of copyright licences which allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators. Creative Commons has been described as being at the forefront of the 'Copyleft' movement, which seeks to support the building of a richer public domain by providing an alternative 'Some rights reserved' compared to the traditional 'All rights reserved' licence.
For more information on Creative Commons consult the document What is Creative Commons?
|License||Clause||Code||Meaning for Users||Meaning for Creators|
|Attribution||BY||Attribution is always implied when using the Creative Commons license. This license will ensure anyone who uses your work will give you credit for being the creator.||You can use the content as long as you reference the original creator.|
|Non-Commercial||NC||You can freely use the work as long as it is not for commercial gain.||Your work will not be used by others for commercial gain.|
|No Derivatives||ND||You can use the work in its original verbatim form alone. You may not adapt or re-work the material.||Your work will be available for use in its original form and will not be modified.|
|Share Alike||SA||You can use the content freely as long as you also share it using the same license in which you found it.||Anyone who uses your work will share it the same way you have, ensuring the continuing openness of your original work.|
Creative commons gives us space to operate between full copyright and the public domain. Each license combines a set of restrictions which protect certain rights while letting others know what they can do with the material. Some of the licenses are quite restrictive and actually resemble full copyright while others are quite lenient and require attribution only. The chart below shows the full range of licenses available.
Get a Creative Commons license
Licensing your work is as simple as visiting the Creative Commons website, clicking the "get a licence button", selecting the conditions of the licence, and stipulating your jurisdiction
If you want to apply the licence to a web page, simply copy and paste the HTML code into the relevant file(s). Click here to view some examples of referencing openly licensed content.
If you want to apply the licence to documents that reside on your computer (e.g. MSWord documents and presentations) you need to gather the plain text and button manually. This can be tricky so we have created the following screencast to help you through the process.
|Licensing offline works (Youtube Alternative: If you can not view the video above)|
If you are familiar with the licensing process, you can also simply cut and paste your license from the table below. It is best practice to include both the license badge and the license text somewhere in your document.
|Licence Badge||Licence Text|
|This work is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 South Africa License. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/za/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California 94105, USA.|
|This work is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/za/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California 94105, USA.|
|This work is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.5 South Africa License. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.5/za/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California 94105, USA.|
|This work is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.5 South Africa License. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/za/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California 94105, USA.|
|This work is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/za/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California 94105, USA.|
|This work is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 South Africa License. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/za/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California 94105, USA.|
Where can I host my resource?
The OpenContent directory is designed as a place to describe and showcase teaching and learning content already hosted elsewhere on the web. Resources can be stored on departmental servers, on Vula, or on media-specific sharing sites such as Slideshare (for ppt presentations), YouTube (video), or Flickr (image collections).
Files hosted on Vula can be made publicly available. You can do this by navigating to the resource you want to share, clicking on the ‘Actions’ button to the right of the resource name, and then clicking ‘Edit Details’. As long as you are the site owner or the person who uploaded the file, you will be able to see the option ‘Availability and Access’. Click on ‘This file is publicly viewable’ to make the file accessible to anyone on the internet. At the bottom of the page is the ‘Web Address (URL)’ which you can use to point people to the file. This is the URL you will enter into the directory.
If you are having trouble finding a place to store your resources but want to share, please get in touch with the OpenContent team via the ‘Feedback’ link at the top of this page. We can help!
How do I start contributing?
Do you have a teaching and learning resource that you’d like to share? Is it free from third-party copyright (or you have written permisson from the third party to use the material in your material for online distribution) and licensed with a Creative Commons or similar open licence? If so, you are ready to create a link to that resource in the OpenContent directory.
To submit your resource:
Definitions of metadata fields
The following fields are collected during the submission of an OER.
(* Required fields)
Give your resource a descriptive title.
Enter the author(s)/creator(s) of the resource.
Provide the web address where your resource is stored (e.g. Vula, departmental server). Note: This page does not allow you to upload your resource. The URL you provide gives the direct link to where the resource is located.
Describe the content of the resource in as much detail as possible.
Teaching & Learning Context
Describe the recommended learning context or prerequisites for the appropriate use of the teaching and learning tool. This can be as simple as sharing a story of how the material has been used in your own teaching.
In the case of a resource being an outcome of a funded project, please specify the funding institution.
You are encouraged to attach an image which represents the resource. This may be an image from within the material, a screenshot of the cover, or a relevant graphic which represents the contents. If you do not provide an image a suitable one will be selected for you on moderation.
Creative Commons Licence*
Submitting a resource to the UCT OpenContent directory implies the desire to share your educational resource with the world. OER UCT recommends the Creative Commons licence as it protects the attribution rights of the creator while allowing others to make free use of the material.
Select the faculty in which the material was created or the faculty the material most cohesively represents.
Select the department in which the material was created or the department the material most cohesively represents.
Select the item which best describes the document type of your resource.
Select the item which best describes the material type of your resource.
Select the language your resource is written in.
Select the recommended student level your resource is intended for.
Please add tags which describe your resource in more detail. For instance, if you selected the Faculty of Science and the Department of Physics, you might want to tag this resource with something like ‘Newton's Laws’ if the material is specifically about that topic.
Understanding the moderation process
When you submit a resource it will not immediately appear in the list of OpenContent resources, as it will first need to be moderated by a site administrator.
In the moderation process, your resource is checked for completeness, authenticity and any apparent licensing conflicts. An image will also be added to your resource at this stage if none was specified previously.
You can expect to receive an initial response from the OpenContent team within 2 working days. Should any issues arise in the moderation process, you will be contacted by the site administrator.
How do I manage my submitted resources?
Once your submitted content has been moderated, it will appear in the list of OpenContent resources. The quickest way to view your submitted resources is to click on the ‘My Account’ button at the top of the page.
Your contributions are listed along with your profile. You can edit or refresh your submission at any time. If, for instance, you update the learning material and store it in a new location, it’s easy to adjust the abstract or change the link which points to the resource.
The OpenContent team will periodically check for faulty links and notify you if there is a problem with any of your resources.
How do I manage my profile?
The OpenContent directory allows you to profile your work by linking all your contributions to your profile page. Once logged in, you can edit your profile by clicking on ‘My Account’. Here you will be able to add a picture of yourself and a biography describing your background, research interests and links to other websites where your work is featured.
Note: Your profile sources your faculty details and full name from the UCT directory. For this reason, these details cannot be changed in the OpenContent site.
How do I interact with this site?
Search and Browse Resources
The search bar appears on all pages and allows you to thoroughly search the site for specific content. An advanced search, which enables you to search in any of the available categories, is also available. By clicking terms such as ‘Faculty’, ‘Department’, ‘Tags’ or ‘Media Type’, you can show resources which only fall into a certain category. From the site homepage you can browse by faculty, popular resources, and keywords.
Search and Browse Contributors
You can click on contributors' names to view profile information and a list of all their submissions. Contributors are contactable via their profiles. You may also search for users and authors using the search bar.
Have you found a resource you particularly enjoyed and found useful? You can indicate this to the author and other site users by clicking on the star-rating image on the main resource page.
Bookmarking and Sharing Resources
Found a resource you particularly enjoyed and want to share via one of your social networks? The ‘Share/Save’ button on the main resource page allows you to quickly send out a link via Facebook or Twitter. You may also email the resource to a colleague or bookmark it in your browser.
Commenting on Resources
If the author has enabled comments on their resources, you will be able to provide written feedback. Please note that it is the responsibility of the author to moderate and respond to comments submitted.
Adding the site or category to your RSS feed
You can subscribe to receive updates from this site using your favorite RSS reader. If you want to subscribe to a specific faculty, department or contributor, you can click on the RSS icon for that content listing.