Basics of Copyright and Ethics in Online Learning

Intellectual property rights copyright ethics privacy security integrity

The participants who complete the activities of this module will be able to deal with copyright related to the learning and teaching materials they produce as well as to content and media they acquire or use in the production of their own learning and teaching materials. They will understand which rights and obligations are related to the use of own and/or other learning and teaching materials. The participant will also know where to find suitable existing content and media and how to assess such material as well as how and when to use such content and media.

Furthermore the participant will be aware of ethical issues with regard to online learning, mainly those issues regarding privacy, confidentiality and security.

Learning objectives

After this short basic course, the participant will

  • understand the origin, history and nature of Intellectual Property Rights in general and Copyright in particular,
  • understand issues related to copyright in education in general,
  • understand specific challenges related to copyright in online learning,
  • be acquainted with the local implementation of copyright laws and exemptions and the related sources of information,
  • be familiar with alternative schemes for the expression of copyright, such as Creative Commons, and know the advantages and disadvantages of using such schemes
  • know where to find resources and materials that can be used and reused and knows how to assess the related rights of such materials,
  • know how to contribute to repositories that facilitate reuse and open access,
  • be able to distinguish between appropriate and allowable use of copyrighted materials and inappropriate usage,
  • know where to address yourselves for more information and/or legal and extralegal support,
  • understand ethical issues related to online education,
  • know the difference and relationship between formal legal issues and non-formal ethical issues,
  • know where to find more information, for protection, advice and/or support with regard to ethical issues.


Mathy Vanbuel, Sally Reynolds (ATiT)

Module specifications

Learning mode
Online self paced learning with short video lectures and examples, practical assignments (text)
Approximately 4 hours (including self study, research and assignments)
Computer, Internet connection
Preliminary knowledge
Basic ICT skills (basic computer and ICT literacy)
Text to be submitted as part of the course
Certificate of successful completion provided by ATiT