No, You Can’t Have My Slide Decks…Not Yours.

Every so often I’ve read or heard about students taking instructor material and posting that material onto third-party sites. Now, these sites (which shall not be named) ostensibly claim to be there to help students, but at least on one site the more documents you upload, the more material you can access.

So, being paranoid protective of my materials,  I dived into one of these sites to look up content for the class I teach.  What did I find?

Three sets of my slide decks that I shared in Spring 2018.  And I have to ask…

It’s not like my slide decks would be super-helpful for the student looking to learn how to adequately communicate scientific information to the masses.  Most people would likely find my first class of the semester slide deck as useless as the 3 of hearts in a game of euchre.  However, here’s the deal…that’s MY creation.  Not the student who pulled that information and posted it.  This student took advantage of the fact that I put my slide decks on line.  Again, why?  What did this student get from it?  Did they get deeper access to a website full of materials that probably shouldn’t be shared in the first place?

What did I get out of it?  Nothing.

Not a dime. Not even free credit from this third-party site.

So this semester I’ve gone a different route.  I’m still posting my slide decks, but I’m sharing them via Google Slides and I’m shutting off the ability for students to download or print them.  I can’t stop them from doing screen captures, but if I can provide this information to students without them being able to download/print my work, that’s what I want to do.  However, is it too much to ask that my material not be taken and shared with others that I have not given permission to have that content?

So students…think twice before you take your instructor’s work and post it online. Would you want them to post your homework online for everyone to view?  If the answer is no, then return the favor.

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