Copyright of e-Learning Content and Related Operational Procedures

Copyright of e-learning content and other related matters

Who owns the copyright of e-learning content?

・ Internal regulations approved by the Faculty of Engineering and the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology stipulate that the copyright of e-learning content shall belong to the instructors who gave the videotaped lectures. It should be noted, however, that the instructors as generally stated in syllabi and other documents are not necessarily the authors who created the works. For example, when more than one teacher lectures on a course or when a non-Hokkaido University instructor gives a lecture, a Hokkaido University member – referred to here as Teacher A – is stated as the instructor in the syllabus. However, if Teacher A gave the first to seventh lectures and Teacher B gave the eighth to fifteenth lectures, Teacher A owns the copyright of the content of the first to seventh lectures and Teacher B that of the content of the eighth to fifteenth lectures.

Asking instructors to authorize CEED to videotape and broadcast the content

・ The ownership of the copyright of e-learning content by instructors means that CEED is not allowed to videotape and broadcast their lectures in the first place. Accordingly, CEED asks instructors to authorize its staff to undertake activities necessary for the production and broadcasting of e-learning content, such as videotaping their lectures, editing videotaped lectures for viewing and uploading the edited videos to its server for broadcasting via the Internet. However, since CEED doesn’t have the copyright transferred to it, instructors may, at their discretion, instruct CEED to take such measures as stopping broadcasting the videos and changing the content if those activities become inconvenient to them.

Scope of people eligible to view the content

・ CEED asks instructors to unconditionally allow students of Hokkaido University and its partner institutions to view the content they have authorized CEED to produce and broadcast when the students so request unless otherwise indicated by the instructors. This is because CEED’s e-learning courses aim to provide as much support as possible to students who are eager to learn, such as those who seek to use the e-learning system for preparing and reviewing their classwork and those aspiring to obtain knowledge in fields other than those of their specialization. However, unspecified third parties cannot view the content without the knowledge of the system administrator because those wishing to view the content must create accounts that require the input of their personal information into CEED’s e-learning system and viewing becomes possible only after CEED has completed tasks to approve their applications.

Content updates, revisions, deletions, etc.

・ CEED asks instructors to allow students to continue to view their videorecorded lectures (i.e., their copyrighted works) after they retire unless otherwise provided for. However, this does not apply for completion, which, in principle, becomes impossible on the day of retirement. However, the content can continue to be used if both the instructor concerned and his or her successor, who will teach the same course after his or her retirement, allow.
・ The content of e-learning courses can be updated. Contact CEED when the content becomes dated and needs updates.
・ If for any reason instructors want to delete the content, they are asked to contact CEED. CEED also respond to requests for revisions of course materials and other changes.

Agreements concerning the authorization for CEED to produce and broadcast e-learning content

・ To clarify the fact that CEED needs to obtain the authorization of instructors to undertake activities necessary for the production and broadcasting of e-learning content whose copyright belongs to them, CEED briefs instructors who will give lectures about the e-learning in advance and has them sign a notice of confirmation after they have fully understood CEED’S activities.
Notice of Confirmation concerning e-Learning Content Production and Usage (PDF, 25.7 kb)

Putting in writing the rules concerning e-learning at CEED

・ The rules described above are clearly specified in the internal regulations that were submitted to and approved by a meeting of the Faculty of Engineering and the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology.
Internal Regulations Concerning the Handling of Copyrights, Etc. for e-Learning Content at the Center for Engineering Education Development in Hokkaido University’s Faculty of Engineering (PDF, 37.5 kb)

Operational procedures for e-learning content

Requirements for using the content as materials for completion and credit recognition

・ CEED’s e-learning content consists of lecture videos, handouts and the like, but students cannot earn credits simply by viewing lecture videos. Those who can use for completion are graduate students recognized to have difficulty in attending regular face-to-face classes, such as part-time students (with jobs), credited auditors (i.e., students taking one or more courses of their choice) and special auditors (i.e., students from other universities taking specific subjects to earn credits) living in remote locations and graduate students who are away from the campus for a long time for such reasons as overseas study and internships. They are also required to undergo procedures for submitting reports and receiving assignments in order to check their levels of understanding after they have viewed lecture videos.

Content as ancillary materials to make regular lessons even more effective and practical

・ Recently, such approaches as blended learning and flip teaching have been much talked about, and it has been reported that educational benefits are improved by having students acquire basic knowledge using e-learning content for preparing and reviewing their classwork and using face-to-face lessons as a forum for practical education such as seminars, discussions and other interactive activities. CEED’s e-learning system also enables such usage. For example, the system is versatile enough to meet the needs of instructors, such as the need to check students’ levels of understanding through interacting with students on bulletin boards and giving them quizzes.

Other advantages of producing and using the e-learning system

・ When students miss classes for reasons including sick leave, bereavement leave, overseas study, internships and job-hunting activities, the e-learning system is available in place of supplementary classes. (However, they must take exams, submit reports, answer quizzes in the e-learning system and engage in other activities to check their levels of understanding.)
・ When instructors have to cancel their classes for reasons such as business trips, the e-learning system is available in place of supplementary classes and therefore helps to reduce delays in coursework.