University Policy on Academic Conduct and sharing of course material

Does the Academic Conduct Policy allow me to share course materials with others?

Updates to the University Policy on Academic Conduct

In July 2017, the University Policy on Academic Conduct was updated to include the unethical sharing of course material as a breach of academic conduct. A further update to the Policy was made in August 2017 to clarify the meaning of "sharing of course material".

The updates were made in response to concerns that University course material was being shared outside of the Learning Management System (LMS) and students were using this material to engage in acts of academic misconduct.

What does this mean for me?
The University is committed to providing online access to learning material through the LMS, LCS and the Library. This material is made available to you for your study, research and assessment purposes. Most, if not all, of the material is protected by copyright; for more information on copyright, see the Academic Conduct Essentials Respect Intellectual Property module.

Points to consider before sharing course material
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.  

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