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Openness of the Digital Educational Resources Published at the Croatian Universities' Web Sites

Aim

The aim of this poster presentation is to show the openness of the digital educational resources published on the Croatian universities’ web sites.

Methods

When we discuss about the openness of the content used in the teaching process it is important to distinguish an open access approach from an open educational resource. Open access (OA) is a free and unobstructed online access to digital scientific information that enables reading, storing, distributing, retrieving, retrieving, indexing and/or other legitimate use. Free in this context means permanently free of any restrictions and setting conditions for access and use (1). Open access is a movement whose main objective is to support the free flow of scientific information. The open approach refers to the publication model for which the scientific literature in electronic form is freely and unlimitedly available on the Internet.

Open Educational Resources (OER) refers to any type of educational material that is publicly available or published under an open license. Their main feature of openness is the possibility of legal and free transcription, use, adaptation, and sharing among users. Open Educational Resources can be of different types, and their classification relies on the classification of digital education resources. Classification used in this paper is based on those defined in Edutorij, a repository of digital educational content. Authors of digital educational resources that wish to store their work within Edutorij can classify them within the following categories: manuals, textbooks, books, lectures, workbooks, task collections, atlases, online courses, educational games, learning scenarios and lesson, lectures and scripts, final and seminar papers, educational modules, papers, journals and all other content related to education and teaching programs. Since Edutorij was first created for the purpose of storing school contents, classification should be adapted to the higher education context. Therefore, in the research conducted in this paper, the following classification is used: e-books, e-textbooks, presentations, scripts, articles, videos, and web pages.

License is a document that specifies the terms of use of a resource. An open license authorizes access to, reuse, and redistribution of work with limited or no restrictions. Works on which licenses are not tagged are subject to copyright laws prohibiting unauthorized re-distribution and re-use of third parties and may remain in effect for 70 years after the death of the author. Open licenses allow authors to give more freedom to the users of their work, which can result in continuous improvement of their own works by accessing a large number of users and creation of a number of new works created on the basis of translation and processing. In order to identify the work with one of the licenses, the author has to answer a few questions and will respond according to his responses to the appropriate licensing license that one can apply to its digital resources.

Results and Discussion

The research was conducted by reviewing the web sites of the faculties and university departments of public universities in the Republic of Croatia. Public universities are selected because of the recommendations of various European and world initiatives to make intellectual work, in this case educational resources, financed by public money made available to the wider community. The results of the analysis conducted from January to July 2019 show the following:

  • Approximately 6,000 units of digital resources have been found.

  • About 60 % of the resources consists of scripts, presentations 30 %, scientific and professional articles 2 %, e-textbooks 2 %, and video content only 1 %.

  • The most common file format is PDF 78 %, then PPT 6 %, DOC 5 %, HTML 3 %, and finally XLS 1 %.

Regarding the licensing of found resources, there is only an inconsiderable number of openly licenced resources by Creative Commons licences (2). Most of the resources are publicly available free of charge but not tagged with certain license, so copyright laws prohibit unauthorized re-distribution and re-use of third parties.

0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%
Fig. 1. Share of a certain type of digital educational content
0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%PDFPPTDOCHTMLXLS
Fig. 2. Share of a certain type of file format

Conclusion

Numerous digital teaching resources has been published publicly on university websites, but a small number of them are licensed to define ways of using, sharing, adapting and re-distributing. The found types of digital resources show the dominance of simpler forms of digital content or rather a small number of interactive and multimedia content. Furthermore, considering the need to follow the recommendations of European and global open access initiatives, it is necessary to devise systematic approach for acceptance of open educational resources and align their implementation with the regulations of higher education institutions (3,4).

  • Jasminka MaravićJasminka MaravićCARNet Department for Education Support

    Jasminka Maravić is Project Manager at CARNet Department for Education Support. During her 14 years in CARNet she has been involved in… More →