Two recent articles provide worthwhile comparisons and contrasts between online learning (with Independent Learning being just one example) and the now-widespread emergency online teaching/learning.
It’s certainly amazing how quickly institutions have been able to continue instruction in the midst of face-to-face instruction being cancelled, but it’s also important to note the difference between typical online courses (the instructional design component is mentioned in both articles) vs an emergency change in teaching modality.
Copyright can be a dry subject, but author Thomas Tobin and a team of artists have created a comic book that explains – with clear language, striking visuals, and fun – some do’s and don’ts of copyright law within academia. At 14 pages, it’s a quick read, and there’s a handy one-page summary for someone wondering whether or not they can use copyrighted material in their class. A few takeaways:
Copyright law doesn’t prohibit linking to copyrighted material (for example, something posted to YouTube). However, for ethical reasons, we should avoid linking to online material that we think might have broken copyright law.
Many owners of content give permission for others to copy, share, or recreate their content. See if there’s a Creative Commons license agreement, or something similar, to check if you can copy it.
Fair Use is a legal defense that, while not concrete, offers some guidelines:
Purpose: Are you copying something for teaching or research, or for monetary gain?
Amount: Are you including a sample or the entirety of a work?
Nature of the work: Factual information is generally more shareable than creative works.
Economic impact: If you include this content in your course, will the copyright owner potentially lose income?
If you still aren’t sure, you might even be able to contact the copyright owner and ask him or her for permission to copy their work for your course.