Who Owns Your Teaching?

Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

Back at the turn of the century during an earlier period of interest in delivering courses online, some universities tried to claim ownership of materials developed by faculty for their teaching. A number of IP policies pushed in this direction until faculty objected and administrators started to understand just how often teaching materials needed to be updated. Of course, anyone with real teaching experience understood this from the start, but that’s another story.

It seems that this issue has arisen again in the context of the rapid shift to online teaching as a result of COVID19. The growing use of Zoom and other video platforms is leading to a growing number of lecture videos being uploaded into university systems. Writing in The Verge, James Vincent reports on the experiences of faculty at a number of universities in the US and the UK. Although recordings made outside institutional course platforms might escape claims from universities, in some cases institutions are asserting ownership of anything on the LMS. There are concerns, both in the US and the UK, that once course lecture are recorded, they may be used to replace faculty, particularly if economic conditions require layoffs.

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