2. Online Educational Learning

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Jimbo B. Andres2012-0568

Online Educational LearningIntroduction

Online Learning has a history that spans almost two centuries (Spector, Merrill, Merrienboer, & Driscoll, 2008), and this time period represents significant changes in how learning occurs and is communicated. From basic correspondence through postal service to the wide variety of tools available through the Internet, society has embraced new forms of communication through the years. One such form, online learning, is known to have a history of access beginning in the 1980s whereas another term, referred to as e-learning, does not have its origins fully disclosed (Harasim, 2000)

As technology dominates the space and even penetrates individuals mind, we find that a relaxed use of technology and everything that it offers become more difficult to control. It seems that its logic when started to move no one can just stop. This is also true to online learning, since this method of acquiring knowledge involves the use of technology. If the use of technology cannot just be controlled, in the same manner, engaging in online learning, if not absolutely the same, when it moves because of its logic and system of its own, despite of regulations would evade rights. Thus, it is important to know how the learning environment is used, and the influences of the tools and techniques that distinguish the differences in learning outcomes as the technology evolves.

Online Learning has challenged traditional models of teaching and learning in higher education and forced institutions of higher education to reexamine a variety of policies related to issues such as curriculum development and control, evaluation of faculty and students, ownership and use of intellectual property. From a legal perspective, the technology and scope involved in online or distance education pose particular challenges because many legal and policy standards applicable to higher education are based largely on the traditional model of brick-and-mortar classrooms and face-to-face interaction. These issues have become important not just with regard to distance-education courses, but in all other courses where the technology and techniques of distance education are incorporated to at least some extent Alger, 2001).

Revisiting of policies on matters pertaining to online educational learning, the use of online materials, and even the laws guiding the use of them, and even the integrity to protect the rights and privacy of the creators be protected. These topics necessitates the importance of this paper, aside from the fact that a look on copyrights and the nature, effect and consequences of creative commons in online educational learning.

The normative aspect, which is the values of technology and online educational learning, shall be evaluated because while laws or regulations are important to be considered but the ethical values of this nature should not be downplayed. Laws and regulations provides the limitations and extent, while ethical values help in determining what is good and bad, which guide judgment.

I. What is Online Learning?

Online learning is described as wholly online learning (Oblinger & Oblinger, 2005), whereas others simply reference the technology medium or context with which it is used (Lowenthal, Wilson, & Parish, 2009. Others display direct relationships between previously described modes and online learning by stating that one uses the technology used in the other (Rekkedal et al., 2003). Online learning is described by most authors as access to learning experiences via the use of some technology (Benson, 2002; Carliner, 2003; Conrad, 2002). Both Benson and Conrad identify online learning as a more recent version of distance learning which improves access to educational opportunities for learners as described as both nontraditional and disenfranchised. Other authors discuss not only the accessibility of online learning but also its connectivity, flexibility and ability to promote varied interactions (Ally, 2004; Hilts & Turoff, 2005). Hiltz and Turoff (2005) in particular not only elude to online learnings relationship with distance learning and traditional delivery system but then, like Benson (2002) makes a clear statement that online learning is a newer version or, and improved version of distance learning (Moore, Deane & Galyen, 2010).

These authors believe that there is a relationship between distance learning and online learning however unsure on how this relationship happened. And because of these uncertainties people are led into doubt whether or not this method of education truly answers the need of learners to become a human person with knowledge and that knowledge be used in accord to promoting values that would help promote in the building of community in real world. While this seems to be within the realm of subjectivity, but this has to be taken into consideration especially if not guided with values.

II. Ownership and Control of Online Materials: Issue on Copyright

Major national associations such as the American Council on Education (ACE), Associations American Universities (AAU), and American Association of University Professors (AAUP) have called upon institutions to review their existing intellectual property policies and practices with regard to online education and have developed policy recommendations in this area, this is in light of the complexity and expense of the resources involves in developing online course materials, many institutions are revisiting their intellectual property policies to clarify how they apply to online educational materials (Alger, 2001).

In considering the question of ownership of online educational materials, institutions must take into account not only the academic tradition and practical considerations of policy administration but also the legal standards under copyright law. Copyright law involves a bundle of rights, and questions of ownership and use of online materials, and this should not be viewed as an all-or-nothing, zero-sum game (Alger, 2001) because of the fact that, theres a need to recognize the best policies and practices and balance the rights of individual creators and contributors as well as the needs of the institutions as communities of scholars and learners, which the cyber is the arena.

In the Philippines, issues on ownership must be given so much consideration. Faculty members create lots of scholarly works regardless of commercial value, and the burden of claiming and exercising ownership over all such works would be substantial in practice, especially in cases of publishing contracts for articles and textbooks and even access to these works online.

This ownership rights and interests in online course materials are rooted in legal and educational policy considerations. Traditionally, most colleges and universities have not sought to assert copyright over ordinary course materials and other scholarly works (Gorman, Robert A., Intellectual Property: The rights of Faculty as Creators and Users,). However, even if we have such policies which assert institutional ownership, still the prevailing issue on ownership continues to evade rights.

This fact necessitates the importance of revisiting our laws to protect not only the works themselves but the creators of those works. This proposition is very important because in the absence of, or in the lack of laws, or even in the not up to date laws, everything is open to abuse because in just a click, especially if unguarded, many things will happen, which if given proper accord this could be prevented and protected.

III. Ownership and Control of Online Materials: Issue on Creative Commons

With the generating interest in the issue of intellectual property in the information age, Creative Commons has provided institutional, practical and legal support for individuals and groups wishing to experiment with culture more freely (Berry, 2005)

Creative Commons(CC) is anon-profit organizationdevoted to expanding the range ofcreative works available for others to build upon legally and to share.The organization has released severalcopyright-licensesknown as Creative Commons licensesfree of charge to the public. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waivefor the benefit of recipients or other creators. An easy-to-understand one-page explanation of rights, with associated visual symbols, explains the specifics of each Creative Commons license. Creative Commons licenses do not replace copyright, but are based upon it. They replace individual negotiations for specific rights between copyright owner (licensor) and licensee, which are necessary under an "all rights reserved" copyright management, with a "some rights reserved" management employing standardized licenses for re-use cases where no commercial compensation is sought by the copyright owner. The result is an agile, low-overhead and low-cost copyright-management regime, profiting both copyright owners and licensees (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons).

Nothing is absolute, and thus, nothing is perfect. No one can just claim the one is better than the other or the other is better than the one. In a game of chess, while it is the player who sets the rule but it is the rule that sets the game. In like manner, what we want is the best choice of all alternatives because what we choose is the best and what we dont choose do not negate their importance. Critics are fearful on the participation of Creative Commons in this information age, to quote some criticisms:

Critics feared that Creative Commons could erode the copyright system over timeor allow "some of our most precious resources the creativity of individuals to be simply tossed into the commons to be exploited by whomever has spare time and a magic marker."

Mako Hillasserted that Creative Commons fails to establish a "base level of freedom" that all Creative Commons licenses must meet, and with which all licensors and users must comply. "By failing to take any firm ethical position and draw any line in the sand, CC is a missed opportunity.... CC has replaced what could have been a call for a world where 'essential rights are unreservable' with the relatively hollow call for 'some rights reserved.'" He also argued that Creative Commons worsenslicense proliferation, by providing multiple licenses that areincompatible.

Richard Stallmanof theFSFstated in 2005 that he couldnt support Creative Commons as an activity because "it adopted some additional licenses which do not give everyone that minimum freedom", that freedom being "the freedom to share, non-commercially, any published work"

Although Creative Commons offers multiple licenses for different uses, some critics suggested that the licenses still do not address the differences among the media or among the various concerns that different authors have(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons).

However, Lessig amidst this criticism pointed out that aim of Creative Commons it to provide middle to two extreme views of copyright protection- one demanding that all rights be controlled, and the other arguing that none should be controlled. Thus, Creative Commons provides a third option that allows authors to pick and choose which rights they want to control and which they want to grant to others. The multitude of licenses reflects the multitude of rights that can be passed on to subsequent creators (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons).

In a complex world, especially now that in a blink of an eye changes occurred which was unimaginable prior to renaissance, and even before the first printing press was invented, no can doubt how technology and cyber space shape the lives of people. Along with this undeniable fact is the emergence of rights, which call for recognition and protection.

What we have is the best alternatives to recognize these rights that sought protection. While it is true that Creative Commons has weaknesses but its aim has something to do with the call of recognition and protection. Never that it undermines the role of copyright law but it helps copyright law to protect which copyright law fails to recognize and protect.

Copyright law while essential does not determine the totally of things because copyright law alone does not determine the recognition and protection of certain rights. Thus, in this fast changing world the importance of aggiornamento has to be placed especially in the information age. Because while we are amazed with the gigantic changes in technology we failed to forget that technology alone does not determine a human being. It is very basic that man is the beginning and man is the end, without discrediting the Being in which no other great being can ever be conceived.

IV. Academic Freedom and Integrity Issues

Online learning raises special concerns with academic freedom and educational quality, for example, individuals who create original course materials are not involved at all in the use of those materials and do not interact with students. Thus, their ideas are left in the hands of others to interpret and revise. It is a clear principle in Hermeneutics that the individuals who are responsible for the delivery of the course may not have the same expertise or training as the creators.

Now, the issues on integrity have yet to be answered in this rapidly changing environment. Reports on online learning, concluded that the standardization of online education based on a business model can rob students of the diversity of knowledge that individual professors bring to the classroom. This arises from the fact of seeking revenues, thus, institutions must be especially careful to consider questions of how various types of online learning courses and programs reflect and further their core educational missions (American Federation of teachers: A Virtual Revolution: Trends in the Expansion of Distance Education, 2001). In the light of the rapid development in technology and learners choose, instead, to engage in an online educational learning, the following questions sought answers, Who is responsible for deciding when permission should be sought, and from whom? Who is responsible for the following through with these clearances if necessary?

V. Conclusion

The lack of measures to guide the complexities of the cyber space and the information affect not only the online educational learning but also the building of foundations which this learning should rest. And because of these complexities, the failure to describe in sufficient poses problem that threatened not only the arena of space but the whole environment. This not only impacts the evaluation of such learning experiences but also the future of successfully delivered distance learning events. This paper shows great diffe...


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