The new enclosure movement | Harold Jarche

Approximate Reading Time: 2 minutes

The new enclosure movement | Harold Jarche.

I’m really quite conflicted about this. On the one hand I believe we should share our skills and knowledge so others can benefit. I think this is especially true for academics, who benefit from public funds. This is true even in private universities, and even when funded by private companies because they all get grants and tax breaks. Directly or indirectly, a great deal of the research done in academic institutions is funded by the taxpayer. Therefor, they should share when they learn with the people who paid for it.

On the other hand, I am not currently employed by any university. Should I still share my research? My leaning is to  say yes, but I still have bills to pay like everyone else, so now what?

There’s also that central piece there in the image: trust.

When it comes to instructional design and teaching, I have had quite a few innovative ideas. I have made illustrations and examples that took many, many hours to create. Over the years I have put a LOT of my ideas out there. Then people started taking my ideas without crediting the source. I don’t mind sharing my ideas, really I don’t…. but I HATE people who take my ideas without giving me credit for having had them…. and I especially hate it when people start to pass my ideas off as their own.

So now I watermark my pictures (I have literally 1000’s of pictures on our farm website). I put copyright notices on everything. I fully realize that this does not stop people from stealing, but at least it’s something.

I used to teach a data architecture course, and I had a great many notes and examples. They used to be publicly available, but then other instructors started using my stuff without asking or crediting me. Along with the usual thefts from places like China and India, I was getting regular requests for assignment solutions. What pushed it over the edge was when other people in my own department started using my stuff without asking.

In the last year I’ve started playing around with gamification in one of the courses I teach (correction: TAUGHT). I’ve been looking around, and there are precious few Education courses that deviate from the standard: read these papers; discuss them; do an assignment or two; write a paper. Everything has a rubric (whether it makes sense to have one or not), and everything is marked that way it’s always been marked. Mine is different (more on that in subsequent posts).

I DID have the whole course publicly available (except for student work of course). I don’t anymore. The problem? TRUST. I know people who would take my ideas and “forget” to mention where they came from. Sad, but true.

What’s the solution? If anyone has any ideas, please feel free to share!


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The new enclosure movement | Harold Jarche — 1 Comment

  1. Two (different solutions):

    Don’t share.

    Don’t care that people steal your work.

    Unfortunately, neither are what you want, which is having people give credit where credit is due. Unfortunately scholarly ethics seem to have died along with tenure-track positions.

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