I have just sent the interim report for the Mosaic project to JISC, which has provided a good chance to think about where we have got to so far. The main news is we have decided to delay the launch of the course “Voices from the Past: The Earliest English Literature” until January 2009. This is due to several different factors, but the main one is the fact that it is going to take us a while to clear all the copyright – the first spreadsheet is complete and currently contains 206 items, a daunting number.
The process of copyright clearance is still the big unknown for this project, as really we are just at the start of what is probably going to be a long slow process. However, what is gratifying has been discovering that the content was out there in the first place, if not in the repositories or as learning objects, and that there was enough to make a coherent academically rigorous course.
I think it is worth noting that the success of the project thus far is substantially down to the efforts of Sandie Byrne our main “author” or in this case “compiler” or “linker”? There is no doubt that working in this way uses skills that many academics do not have and even for those that do, there is definitely a need to think more deeply about the cost benefit of reuse as opposed to creation, stepping away from the theoretical stance that it ought to be more efficient and examining the reality.