ALT CoOL SIG Annual Report

Co-Chair’s Introduction

Photo of Jane Secker and Chris Morrison
Jane Secker and Chris Morrison, ALT CoOL SIG Co-Chairs

Welcome to our first annual report of the Copyright and Online Learning (CoOL) SIG of the Association of Learning Technology. The SIG was formed in November 2020 and this report covers our first full year of activity since being formed following approval by the ALT Board. 

We have continued to see a growing interest in copyright and online learning as the COVID-19 pandemic has continued and many educational institutions have continued teaching online. The report outlines the activities of the group in the first year and we were honoured to act as the Co-Chairs for this group from its formation in November 2020. While the group’s activities have centred on our ‘Copyright in a time of Crisis’ webinars (rebranded as ‘Copyright in a time of Uncertainty’) we were really pleased to recruit a full committee which has enabled us to work on various projects and initiatives outlined in more detail in this report. We recognise all the hard work that the copyright community has done in 2021 and we look forward to brighter times in 2022.

Jane Secker and Chris Morrison ALT CoOL SIG Co-chairs 

Overview of activities 2021

During 2021 the group formed a committee (see Committee List below) and held 4 meetings (March, June, September and December 2021). We highlighted several areas of activity for the group and formed several working groups to coordinate our activities in the following area:

  • Accessibility and copyright – this group has met several times and are working on several projects to explore the legality of accessibility tools and to draw up guidance on best practice in making scanned readings accessible. 
  • Copyright education and training resources – this group curated a list of resources for IFLA on UK copyright education and training and the list was subsequently made available online via the ALT blog
  • The ALT Ethical framework was launched in 2021 and there is a small working group keeping a watching brief on this, feeding into the developments and looking to provide case studies. 

Report on events

Icepops 2021

The Icepops conference ran as a free online event in July 2021 called I Can’t Believe It’s Not Icepops! Over 100 people attended the day which was held on Zoom. The presentations were recorded and further details are available on the Icepops website

  • Our webinars are now on the ALT YouTube Channel and our website
  • Number of webinars: 45 in total since March 2020 including 17 webinars held in 2021
  • Topics covered: Copyright issues in Canada, Spain, Germany, Australia and the UK during the pandemic; Printed music licensing; education collective licensing, use of film and audiovisual works in online learning, open educational resources, e-textbook licensing and lots more. We also ran several closed webinars on using images online and copyright infringement notices and controlled digital lending (see below).  
  • Evaluation report summary: In September 2021 we undertook a short survey to collect feedback on our webinar series to find out what people thought of the topics we had covered, the frequency of the webinars and the impact they might have had on organisations and individuals. We are in the process of producing a summary report but feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. 61 individuals responded to the survey, many of whom said they valued the webinars during the pandemic to keep up to date, to feel part of a community and to help them plan their services. 

Controlled Digital Lending event joint with NAG

In addition to our regular webinars we ran a closed event joint with the National Acquisitions Group (NAG) in September 2021 which had 250 registrations. Speakers at the event included: David Prosser, RLUK, Dr Emily Hudson, Kings College London and Kevin O’Donovan from LSE. We were also joined for a panel discussion by Kyle K Courtney, Harvard University’s copyright librarian and a key figure who created the concept of CDL. 

Planning for Fair Dealing week in 2022

A sub-group is planning a series of activities and events for Fair Use / Fair Dealing week which runs in February each year and to date has been largely a US and Canadian event. A launch event is being planned on Monday 21st February as well as a series of other events. It is anticipated these events will be online due to ongoing restrictions. 

Conferences and presentations 

Jane and Chris presented about Copyright and Online Learning and the work of the SIG at a wide range of external conferences including the following events: 

  • BOBCATSSS Conference in January 2021
  • OER21xDomains online conference in March 2021
  • ABC Conference in Canada in May 2021
  • CILIP Copyright conference in May 2021
  • USIU Africa (Kenya) in May 2021
  • Creating Knowledge conference in June 2021
  • SCURL Conference in June 2021
  • FestivIL conference in July 2021
  • ALT-C conference in August 2021
  • ECIL Conference in September 2021
  • NAG webinar in November 2021
  • Open House event at the ALT Winter Conference in December 2021

Social Media and Communications 

We set up a Twitter account and a newsletter / mailing list in 2021. There are currently 169 followers to the twitter account. The newsletter has 123 subscribers. We continue to use LIS-Copyseek to promote our events the ALT Blog and also the Copyrightliteracy.org website. The group created a logo and also have t-shirts and other merchandise available to purchase in the ALT Store. 

Collaboration and networking

The group recognises there are many existing groups in the copyright space and so has tried to work in collaboration with as many of these as possible. The organisations include:

  • Scottish Confederation of University & Research Libraries (SCURL) – several committee members are also members of the SCURL Copyright and Legal Matters group and we have presented at two of their online events in 2021
  • National Acquisitions Group (NAG) we ran a joint event on CDL in September 2021 and also presented at their webinar week in November 2021
  • LACA (Libraries and Archives Coalition) – Jane and Chris gave a presentation to the group in December 2021
  • ALT Open Education SIG – we ran a joint webinar with this group and liaise with the committee. 
  • Creative Commons – we have collaborated over the use of openly licensed images and crediting them in education.
  • RLUK – we have worked together on a joint webinar on CDL and been discussing an increased focus on open educational resources.

List of Committee members

Co-Chairs: Jane Secker (City, University of London) and Chris Morrison (University of Kent)

Co-Secretary: Jenny Greene (University of Bangor), Caroline Lloyd (University of Nottingham)

Events coordinator: Elizabeth Charles (Birkbeck, University of London), Shazia Arif (Brunel,

University of London)

Marketing and communications officer: Greg Walters (Glasgow University)

Legal expert: Emily Hudson (Kings College London)

International networking: Kyle Courtney (Harvard University), Melanie Johnson (University

of Auckland), Irene Barranco Garcia (University of Greenwich)

Other Officers: Samantha Ahern (UCL),  Stephen Penton (City, University of London), Deborah Ferns (University of Strathclyde), Chris Jones (University of Reading), Kate

Vasili (Middlesex University), Neil Sprunt (Manchester University), Hannah Pyman (University of Essex), Erica Wine (Coventry University), Sarah Barkla (Bodleian Libraries,

University of Oxford), Charlie Farley (University of Edinburgh), Lorna Campbell (University of Edinburgh), Bart Meletti (Learning on Screen), Scott Pryor (Cardiff University)

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