Long Title: Digital Copyright for eLearning
Universita della Svizzera Italiana
Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana
ETH Zürich
Université de Genève
Domain: ELS
Status: finished
Start Date: 01.09.2009
End Date: 30.09.2011
Project Leader: S. Tardini

DICE provides support to teaching and non-teaching staff of Swiss higher education institutions in copyright management of digital content for eLearning. Instructional resources as a handbook and interactive case studies on intellectual property help to remove felt barriers to the production and sharing of digital content.


Component Description
DICE website Access to all the resources developed
Case Studies 8 interactive case studies
DICE Handbook Handbook on Digital copyright in education, in 4 languages; The handbook contains also a detailed presentation of the methodology (DICE Decision-Tree)
Other resources and material Resources and presented materials from the 3 workshops held in Geneva, Zurich and Lugano; other online events
Article about DICE Article on SWITCHjournal (March 2011, p. 28/29); different promotional activities

The main value of the resources and materials developed by the DICE project is to provide the Swiss academic community with basic resources on the issue of copyright in education, in order to allow them to tackle the basic problems they encounter in their teaching and research activities. As emerged during the project, this is a very topical issue in education, and the project has surely provided an initial basic answer to it, a sort of "first-aid kit". The main accomplishments of the project can be summarized as follows:

  • Increased awareness in the Swiss academic community of the relevance of the issue of copyright in education
  • Acquisition of fundamental skills on copyright in education in teachers and academic and non-academic staff of Swiss universities
  • Availability of instructional and consultation materials on the topic

The business plan for the future association has been developed and agreed on by all partners.
A planned project extension should allow to establish the necessary structures.

Initial Situation

The experience of the Swiss Virtual Campus has brought many teachers in Swiss higher education institutions to introduce digital technologies into their practice, achieving advantages in terms of quality and outreach. A key element to sustain and possibly increase this process is the possibility to access, share and reuse digital content.
Legal regulations concerning copyright play a key role in regulating this process. Merely anecdotal knowledge, or ignorance, of such norms and of the related enforcement practices is a strong limitation in the spread of eLearning in schools and nation-wide, as it can lead to
(a) unconscious breaches against author or owners of rights; or
(b) too strict self-imposed limitations.
Both would and do reduce the production, exchange and reuse of digital content.


The specific goals of DICE are:

  1. Increasing awareness of copyright issues related with digital content, in order to provide sound knowledge and eliminate unreasonable fears.
  2. Developing fundamental skills in intellectual property and copyright management for higher education staff (e.g. understanding basic rules applicable in Switzerland, using Creative Commons licenses, etc.).
  3. Increase the readiness and ability of authors to publishing open access resources (aka Open Educational Resources).

The achievement of such goals will happen through:

  1. creation of printed and digital instructional resources about copyright regulations;
  2. set-up of an online course on intellectual property based on the CALIS platform;
  3. set-up of a dynamic web site that serves as main reference;
  4. set-up of an expertise center in digital copyright (e-learning-related copyright issues).


Empowering teachers and staff is the key to maximize the benefit achievement of digital technologies in education.
The expected impact of DICE is:

  • the removal of felt barriers to the production and sharing of digital content, eventually resulting in
  • a larger production and share of digital content, and in
  • a wider practice of reuse of digital content, both from Switzerland and abroad.