With Creative Commons now being used by people all over the world to openly license over a billion pieces of content, a good working knowledge of what Creative Commons is and how it works is critical.

Creative Commons is developing a series of certificates to provide organizations and individuals with a range of options for increasing knowledge and use of Creative Commons.

The Creative Commons Master Certificate will define the full body of knowledge and skills needed to master CC. This master certificate will be of interest to those who need a broad and deep understanding of all things Creative Commons.

In addition, custom certificates are being designed for specific types of individuals and organizations. Initially Creative Commons is focusing on creating a specific CC Certificate for 1. educators, 2. government, and 3. librarians. The CC Certificate for each of these will include a subset of learning outcomes from the overall CC Master Certificate along with new learning outcomes specific to each role.

All certificates will include both a modular set of learning materials that can be used independently for informal learning, and a formal, structured and facilitated certificate the can be taken for official certification.

CC is grateful for initial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute for Museum and Library Services who have provided funding for the development of the CC Master Certificate and specialized versions for educators, government, and librarians.

Creative Commons is seeking to engage the entire open community in the development of these certificates.

We plan to design and develop the certificates openly on the web in a way that allows for public input and contribution. We currently are experimenting with making all the certificate designs available for review and edit through GitHub and other tools.

In addition we are looking to tap into as much subject matter expertise as possible through the formation of certificate working groups. A working group of Creative Commons staff has been formed to provide subject matter expertise on the CC Master Certificate. We’re also reaching out through our networks to form working groups with librarians, educators and government to ensure the specialized certificates are relevant and appropriately targeted to each group.

A Creative Commons Certificate librarian working group is being formed through coordinated outreach in consultation with organizations like the American Library Association, Digital Public Library of America, and SPARC.

The government and educator versions of the certificate are being created to satisfy needs that emerged out of the US Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grant and the 700+ community colleges who are grantees. Creative Commons is reaching out to these and others for expertise on the government and educator versions of the certificate.

A working group of participants from across Creative Commons global affiliate network has also been formed to help ensure initial work takes into consideration internationalization and localization.

If you’d like to be actively involved in any of these working groups let us know.

Certificates will be created as Creative Commons licensed Open Educational Resources reusing and remixing as many existing openly licensed resources as possible. We’re looking to aggregate, adopt, and adapt existing materials as much as possible and only develop new content for areas where nothing already exists. We’ll be inviting you to identify all materials you’re aware of and map them to certificate learning outcomes.

Rather than focusing our initial efforts on content development we’ll instead focus on defining learning outcomes along with associated activities and assessments that effectively test those outcomes. Our aim is to have assessments be 100% performance-based, testing people on their ability to use Creative Commons in applied and practical ways. One form of activity and assessment will include having certificate participants create actual certificate content as OER. Co-creation with participants will build up a pool of community created Creative Commons Certificate content, targeted to learning outcomes, in many different languages, localized to different parts of the world, and curated by Creative Commons.

If you have thoughts, resources, or interest in helping out please let us know.

We currently have a submission in to the Knight Foundation’s “How might libraries serve 21st century information needs?” challenge brief. If successful, we plan to engage working groups of librarians in multi-day sprint workshops to do everything from co-defining learning outcomes, to identifying existing CC related openly licensed curricula, beta testing curricula, and defining optimal modes of delivery and duration. If you think that is a good idea or want to be part of those sprints we invite you to express interest by sharing your comments here Creative Commons (CC) Certificate for Librarians

In future development, Creative Commons is planning for a train-the-trainer certification which will authorize others to deliver Creative Commons certificates on its behalf in different parts of the world. We welcome expressions of interest from other organizations wanting to work with us on this.

As CC embarks on its strategy to “foster a vibrant, usable, and collaborative global commons”, Creative Commons certificates will play a critical role in ensuring participation scales in informed and skilled ways.

Originally published to the Creative Commons Blog April 5, 2016