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ARL Issue Brief: MOOCs + Libraries = ???

Last Updated on October 22, 2012, 5:50 pm ET

Research libraries have a stake in MOOCs – who owns the course content, what kinds of materials are incorporated into the virtual classroom and assigned for outside reading, what happens to the data they generate about online learning, whether the courses are accessible for all kinds of learners, and on and on. The laws that shape how we use content in traditional courses may apply in new and unusual ways to these courses, further sharpening the need for active library engagement.

In a relatively short Issue Brief (PDF), I’ve outlined some of the legal questions relevant to library collaboration in MOOC teaching, as well as the related policy issues these new courses raise. A discussion draft was circulated to ARL members prior to the fall membership meeting, and benefitted substantially from their input during the meeting. The draft was also revised in some key places to reflect holdings in the wonderful HathiTrust fair use decision. We hope this will be helpful for anyone in the library world who is thinking about how research libraries fit into the MOOC landscape.