Guide To Using External Sources In Your MOOC

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are online courses which are available to a global audience of learners from a wide range of countries. Learners can access the courses for free and the MOOC platform entails course content being distributed far and wide.

Copyright infringement is heightened if third party materials are included within your course without appropriate permission. Careful consideration should be given before deciding to use any third-party material.

You cannot rely on institutional or library licenses (e.g. e-journals) for use in MOOCs as these can only be used by University of Glasgow staff and students for institutional courses. To aid in avoiding potential copyright problems with materials which may be used in a MOOC, you may wish to do the following:

  • Create your own in-house materials
  • Use open access materials (like Creative Commons)
  • Seek permission with third parties to use their materials/content (help with rights clearance can be discussed with the Library if required)

Creative Commons

Creative Commons (CC) is a suite of licenses available online and to the general public, which facilitate the distribution of normally copyrighted works. The CC license can be used by the author of a work to extend the right to other people to build upon and share the work they have created.

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials which are freely available online for everyone to utilise. The types of OER resources can vary from; full courses and modules, lectures, quizzes, images, videos, pedagogical materials, tests and whole host of other mediums and tools which are contained in online collections around the world. When utilising or developing OER resources, refer to the ‌Creative Commons attribution licenses to ensure these materials are being used or distributed appropriately.

  • JISC Digital Media - find video, audio and images online using guidance from Jisc
  • OER Commons - online digital library and network
  • JORUM - UK repository for sharing Open Educational Resources, for HE and FE

Finding and Using Media

Current educational copyright exceptions do not extend to MOOCs. Therefore, if you wish to use images in MOOCs and you don’t have permission to use them, find below a selection of image banks. When using images from the online sources below, refer to the Creative Commons license suite, to ensure you are using an image that has a license that is suitable for your needs.