Rapidly Shifting Courses for Remote Instruction

Rapidly Shifting Your Course from In-person to Remote Instruction

ZSR Library is committed to assisting Wake Forest faculty in the shift to remote instruction. In addition to the resources available on the University’s Keep Teaching site, the Library shares the following information to provide guidance to faculty.

Please note that as of March 27 at 5pm, ZSR Library is closed and offering remote services only. Access to the physical collection is no longer possible and scans of physical items are unavailable until further notice. Online collections remain available and electronic course reserves may still be requested, although there may be requests that cannot be filled digitally. 

This site is evolving and subject to change. Last updated March 28, 2020.

Copyright & Course Materials

There are a lot of pedagogical and technical issues that make the shift from in-person to remote instruction challenging, but for once, copyright is not a big additional area of worry! Most of the legal issues are the same in both contexts. If it was okay to do in class, it is often okay to do remotely, especially when your remote course access is limited to the same enrolled students.

Guidance for specific instances is below. If you need assistance thinking through these issues, a Fair Use Checklist can be a helpful tool.

Course Lectures

Slide Images

If it was legal to show slide images in class, it is likely legal to show them to students via live video conferencing or in recorded videos. This may be a surprise if you have heard that there is a big difference between class lecture slides and online conference slides – but the issue is usually less offline versus online, than a restricted versus an unrestricted audience. As long as your new course video is being shared through course websites limited to the same enrolled students, the legal issues are fairly similar.

Many instructors routinely post a copy of their slides as a file for students to access after in-person course meetings, which also likely doesn’t present any new issues after remote course meetings.

In-Lecture Use of Audio or Video

Here, the differences between remote and in-person teaching can be a bit more complex. Playing audio or video off of physical media during an in-person class session is 100% legal at Wake Forest University under a provision of copyright law called the “Classroom Use Exemption”. However, that exemption doesn’t cover playing the same media online. If you can limit audio and video use for your course to relatively brief clips, you may be able to include those in lecture recordings or live-casts under the copyright provision called fair use. For media use longer than brief clips, you may need to have students independently access the content outside of your lecture videos. Some further options are outlined below.

Course Readings & Multimedia Materials

Hopefully, by mid-semester, your students have already gotten access to all assigned reading materials. If you want to share additional readings with them as you revise instructional plans – or if you want students to share more resources with each other in an online discussion board, keep in mind some simple guidelines:

It’s Always Easiest to Link!

Linking to publicly available online content like news websites, existing online videos, etc., is rarely a copyright issue. (Better not to link to existing content that looks obviously infringing itself. For instance, the shaky hand-held camera recording of the entire “Black Panther” movie, uploaded to YouTube by Joe Schmoe, is probably not a good thing to link to. But Sara Someone’s 2-minute video of herself and her best friend talking over a few of the pivotal scenes may be fair use, and is not something you should worry about linking to.)

Linking to subscription content through the Library is also a great option – a lot of our subscription content will have DOIs, PURLs, or other “permalink” options, all of which should work even for off-campus users. For assistance linking to any particular libraries subscription content, contact us.

Sharing Copies

Making copies of new materials for students (by downloading and uploading files, or by scanning from physical documents) can present some copyright issues, but they’re not different from those involved in deciding whether to share something online with your students when you are meeting in-person. It’s better not to make copies of entire works – but most instructors don’t do that! Copying portions of works to share with students will often be fair use.

Where an instructor doesn’t feel comfortable relying on fair use, a subject specialist librarian may be able to suggest alternative content that is already online through library subscriptions, or publicly online content. The Library may also be able to help you seek formal copyright permissions to provide copies to students – but there may be some issues with getting permissions on short timelines.

Multimedia Viewing & Listening

Showing an entire movie or film or musical work remotely may be a bit more of an issue than playing it in class – but there may be options for your students to access it independently online. The Library already has quite a bit of licensed streaming video content, which you are welcome to use in your remote course. The Library also already has subscriptions to a significant set of streaming audio options for WFU users.

We may be able to purchase streaming access for additional media, but standard commercial streaming options like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Disney+ may sometimes be the easiest option. (For exclusive content, the commercial services may be the only option.)

Access to E-Textbooks

In response to the fact that many students were away from campus when shifts to remote teaching were announced and therefore cannot retrieve needed course textbooks from their dorm rooms, multiple vendors are providing free access to ebooks and digital textbooks. RedShelf and VitalSource are two platforms aggregating digital textbooks available to students from approved institutions, including Wake Forest. Vendor Love in the Time of COVID-19 lists publishers that are granting free access to journals and ebooks. If you have questions about these access allowances or do not see the texts you need, contact Molly Keener or your library liaison.

Reference Services

Research & Instruction Services

Research & Instruction Services will continue to provide reference services via email and chat. Library employees will be staffing these services from 8am to 8pm. Additionally the Library’s Research Guides are available for faculty and student use.

Faculty may also contact their library liaisons or a subject specialist directly with questions. Liaisons will work with their ZSR colleagues to address faculty inquiries.

Special Collections & Archives

Special Collections & Archives will continue to provide reference services via email, chat, phone, and text. Access to those services can be found on the Special Collections & Archives website. Although our full range of research is limited by the library’s closure, our online digital collectionspublished subject guides, and additional online resources may prove quite useful to your remote research or teaching.

In-person appointments are not available until further notice. Library hours will be updated on the ZSR Library website.

Virtual Consultation for Faculty

Want to have a Zoom meeting for help transitioning your course? Schedule with Molly Keener, Kyle Denlinger, or the WFU Remote Teaching Support group.

More Questions? Need Help?

Contact Molly Keener, your library liaison, or the Course Reserves department for assistance!

Adapted from “Rapidly shifting your course from in-person to online” by Nancy Sims, University of Minnesota Libraries, and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.