Openly Open Access
Open.Michigan is a University of Michigan (UM) initiative that enables faculty, students, and others to find, use, and create openly licensed content and provides a space for them to share educational content with the global learning community. Incubated in UM’s Medical School, Open.Michigan now encompasses the other health sciences schools, the School of Information (iSchool), and MLibrary and has become a full-blown UM effort that collaborates with universities worldwide on open educational resources.
Key to all of this has been Emily Puckett Rodgers, Open.Michigan’s open education coordinator from 2010 through 2012. “Open education is all about transparency, collaboration, and participation,” says Rodgers, who became special projects librarian at the University Library in January 2013. “With efforts like open access publishing, open education, print on demand, and collaborative spaces all becoming realities in libraries, we must figure out ways to support this work not only in policy but in practice.”
In June 2012, Open.Michigan published 16 multimedia “learning objects” (e.g., wiki-based syllabi, interactive quizzes, podcasts, tutorial videos) and 35 open educational resources from faculty representing six disciplines that are openly licensed as part of the Michigan Education Through Learning Objects (MELO 3D) project—the result of a two-year grant-funded project with faculty, staff, and students from across the university.
“Emily is passionately committed to democratic and open access to resources both within and beyond the university,” says Kristin Fontichiaro, a clinical assistant professor at the UM iSchool (and a 2012 Mover & Shaker). “Within the university, we affectionately say that Emily is everywhere, from guest-lecturing about Creative Commons in our Teaching with Technology course to cohosting an event with the UM Library and the Wikimedia Foundation.” Puckett Rodgers and Fontichiaro coauthored Shared Creations: Making Use of Creative Commons (Cherry Lake Pub., 2013), the first book for children ages four to eight about Creative Commons licensing.
Puckett Rodgers has also worked with the Ann Arbor nonprofit A2Geeks to connect open source tech projects and has been a key promoter of Mozilla Open Badges and the badg.us site in the open education resource and library communities as a way for organizations to recognize and display skills and achievements on the web.
“One of the reasons I moved from the Open.Michigan initiative to my new role in MLibrary is that I am eager to support libraries’ movement into enabling the creation of information and knowledge, not just the dissemination,” she says. “We are now faced with a learning culture that is a making culture.”