Sharing UWA course material
Is it OK to download and share course material such as lecture presentation slides, tutorial handouts, exam papers and ebooks?
The University is committed to providing online access to learning material through the Learning Management System (LMS), Lecture Capture System (LCS), and the Library. All course material, such as presentation slides, lecture and tutorial handouts, unit outlines and exam papers, is protected under the Copyright Act and remains the property of the University staff member who created the material. Other scholarly material accessible from the LMS or via the Library, such as ebooks and journal articles, is made available to you under licensing agreements that permits access for personal educational use, but not sharing with others.
You are not allowed to share these materials outside of the LMS - for example, by uploading them to study resource file sharing websites or emailing them to friends at other universities. Distributing course material outside of the LMS without the permission of the copyright owner is a breach of the University Policy on Academic Conduct. The Academic Conduct Essentials (ACE) online unit contains more information on ethical scholarship and the academic conduct expectations at UWA.
Points to consider before sharing course material
There may be instances where you can share course material with others. Before you share course material outside of the LMS, consider the following:
- Does the copyright in the material belong to you? As a UWA student, you own the copyright in anything you create. It's generally okay to incorporate a couple of quotes from a textbook or your lecturer into your shared study notes without needing to seek permission, as long as you acknowledge who created the work quoted and where you obtained it. However, if you use substantial amounts of someone else's work - for example, if you have included copies of lecture PowerPoint slides or images from textbooks in your own personal study notes - you should consider the below points before sharing the material.
- Did the copyright owner grant you permission to share the material? If you have received explicit permission from the copyright owner to share the material with others, you may do so. Ideally permission should be in writing (e.g. in an email, or in an LMS announcement post).
- Who will have access to the material? Are you sharing the material with your classmates, or are you sharing the material on an open website? If you are sharing the material with people who are not enrolled in the unit with you, you should seek the copyright owner's permission first.
- Are you selling the material? Consider the ethical implications of making money or receiving some kind of reward (e.g. discounts, website credits, free services etc.) for sharing course material. Does it align with the University Policy on Academic Conduct definition of ethical scholarship and academic integrity?
- Are you sharing the material to help others commit an act of academic misconduct? If the answer to this question is yes, you should not share the material.