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Understanding the benefits of digitization

Page history last edited by David Porter 12 years, 10 months ago


There is an increasing demand and a new opportunity for institutions to make their curriculum resources more accessible and to promote this access to a wider and increasingly diverse audience. Digitization is seen as the most important way to achieve this and is something that all institutions must consider as part of their strategic plan.


This section gives a brief overview of the benefits of digitization and the attributes of openness in the context of educational resources. 


A culture of sharing

The video, A Shared Culture, brings together the concepts of digitization, openness and demonstrates the ways that we all can benefit from clearly licensed creative works that allow us to use them freely and openly.



A Shared Culture by Jesse Dylan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike (CC BY-NC-SA) license.



Click the link to A Shared Culture. The web page describes how the video was made and shows the source images that were collected to create the video. Each of the images has its own Creative Commons (CC) license that specifies how it can be used.


In this case, the video and images can be used, reused and redistributed for any purpose, except commercial use.



Digitization is defined as being the conversion of analog items into digital format for the purpose of extending access and, where appropriate, to assist with preservation. Digitization also refers to the management of new materials created in digital formats.


The benefits of digitization

Digitization has many facets and the following are among the main benefits:



  • To provide on-demand local, national and international access to courses, curriculum resources or collections

  • To open up collections that cannot always be accessed physically by users, e.g. fragile cultural materials

  • To enhance opportunities for increasing the number of potential students in courses or users of collections and to allow greater public interface with institutional assets


Enhanced services

  • To use existing courses or resources in new or different ways 

  • To further e-learning opportunities

  • To create innovative content packages in response to user demand



  • To build partnerships between institutions to improve the quality of digitization projects by sharing resources, adopting common standards and facilitating good practice and the exchange of information and expertise

  • To identify funding opportunities which require a collaborative element to be successful

  • To bring information about courses and resources that have already been digitized through federated search strategies


Promotion and marketing

  • To raise awareness of the range of courses and educational resources available for study

  • To promote the use of both local and international OER to further study needs





Consider the benefits of digitization outlined in this section of the workshop. Which of these benefits is mostly closely connected to needs you may have in your work or teaching?


Select a benefit and match it with a need that you have to make your work more accessible or more malleable in an educational context? 


Benefits of digitization Specific need you would like to address in your work or context




Creative Commons (2008). A shared culture. Available: http://creativecommons.org/videos/a-shared-culture 




Comments (1)

wayne mackintosh said

at 9:21 pm on Apr 3, 2011

Mmm -- I think this page is trying to cover too many concepts. Recommendation:

1) Keep the focus on digitisation
2) Move the 4Rs to a separate sub-page: "Towards a definition of OER"
3) Deal with creative commons licenses separately -- I'd suggest a new Module on CC licensing -- you have a full set of free materials you can use, see: http://wikieducator.org/Creative_Commons_unplugged/Introduction and its various subpages. You are free to use these resources (they are CC-BY).

Also the inclusion of NC video is going to cause issues later down the track -- consider using free alternatives. Legally, if this course is CC-BY-SA, we cannot embed non-conforming licenses -- at best we can use an external link. Something to think about.


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