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Exploring the legal implications of life long learning

Christina Smart
Last modified 29 Mar, 2005
Published 08 Mar, 2005
A report from the MLEs for Lifelong Learning programme meeting

Project teams funded by the MLEs for lifelong learning programme met in Birmingham a couple of weeks ago to discuss progress and lessons learned so far. The second phase of the programme has been running for 18 months and will finish in July 2005, one of the aims of this event was to discuss findings and to highlight important issues which will benefit the new e-learning programme.

The focus of the MLEs for lifelong learning programme is to explore the requirements for supporting students as they move between educational institutions and the workplace. Many of the projects have been looking at Personal Development Planning (PDP), e-portfolios and the organisational processes that support student transitions.

A number of legal questions arise from the life long learner record or e-portfolio including ownership and control of personal data. Also, those projects developing software frequently need to consider issues of Intellectual Property Rights and Open Source licensing.

To support projects in their consideration of such issues the programme funded a project to provide legal guidance. Andrew Charlesworth from the project outlined the approaches that projects should adopt to avoid problems. Recommendations include that projects working across several institutions should develop Consortium agreements from the beginning of the project detailing what the obligations and responsibilities of each institution in the partnership are. Andrew also suggested that projects should keep a Rights Management Register detailing what code software developers had used in projects and what the conditions for use of the code are.

Many projects found the legal guidance very useful and recommended that this type of support should be available to projects in JISCs e-learning programme, particularly those conducting regional pilot projects involving several institutions. A Legal Issues workshop is being held on the 11th April in Wolverhampton for those interested in finding out more.

The programme also included showcasing the new interface to the ioNode open source middleware developed by the SHELL project to develop a cross institutional Managed Learning Environment based on the service oriented approach.

Resources

All the presentations from the programme meeting are now available

Information on the phase 2 projects funded under the MLEs for life long learning programme

“Study to Explore the Legal and Records Management Issues Relating to the Concept of the Lifelong Learner Record” project web site

An interesting article by Kraan exploring the implications of software patents on open source developments, Patents, Open Standards and Open Source

 

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