Monday, 14 November 2016

Copyright: Playing the Game

I freely admit to not being the biggest fan of teaching copyright. I like to be able to have a concrete explanation for things and that doesn't always happen when discussing copyright! However needing to know about copyright is unavoidable when working in an academic library and providing training to librarians. It's a topic I often get asked about so I've tried to educate myself about it since I took on my role last year.
 
One problem with teaching copyright is that it can often be hard to keep people interested as there is a lot of information to take in. The good news is that Naomi Korn, Chris Morrison and Dr Jane Secker have developed a great interactive way to teach copyright: The Copyright Card Game. They have generously made all of the resources for teaching the game available via a Creative Commons licence so last week I ran it for some colleagues through Cambridge Librarians in Training.
 
I've played the game before with someone else running it but never invigilated before. The good news is that everything needed is already prepared - instructions, cards and presentation. I always find it hard teaching from someone else's slides. This is by no means a criticism as the slides are very well laid out and explained but it's always easier when you've developed something yourself. I ran through them a couple of times myself before the actual session and this seemed to solve most problems.
 

 
The session itself went well. There were only three attendees which was a bit of a disappointment at first but in the end I think this ended up working to our advantage. Participants were able to have a proper discussion about the various problems covered and they all said how much more interesting the workshop was as a result.

The workshop itself built up from simple to more complex scenarios which eventually allowed participants to conduct a copyright audit of various situations. This is the real advantage of the game approach over normal teaching - it allows the participants to get some hand-on experience of applying copyright licences and exceptions to real situations. Hopefully this will help their new knowledge to stick. Whilst it was easier for me as I had the answers, running the game also helped me to learn more about copyright and it brought up some interesting discussions which made me think.
 
If you're new to copyright or want to learn more I think running or participating in the game is a great way to expand your knowledge. Whilst it's still not my favourite topic I'm less worried about teaching copyright now which is saying something!

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