Student Engagement Plan

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When embarking on an open textbook project, you may also want to include students in the writing process. It's important to discuss with students the benefits, barriers, and potential risks associated to publishing their work openly. First and foremost it is important for students to recognize their rights as knowledge creators and for you to know the limits of what can be required in an open assignment.

Students & Intellectual Property

According to UBC's Intellectual Property Rights Policies, students own the copyright of their work. This means any work created as a part of their coursework can only be published with the consent of the student creator. For open assignments this will require a great deal of communication about the intended purpose for sharing their work as well as an option to not take part in the open resource being created. The following are some best practices when engaging in this discussion with your students:

  1. Discuss with students the benefits and risks of engaging in open educational resources creation, and why you are asking them to publish their work openly.
  2. Engage in a discussion about intellectual property. Consider offering a workshop with UBC Library for students to understand Copyright, open copyright licenses, intellectual property, and working in the open. Contact your subject librarian to learn more.
  3. Discuss the various options they have for choosing a license for their work.
  4. If you are publishing students' work on a course site, ask for students' permission regarding how long they would like their work to be posted publicly. Some may not mind having it posted indefinitely, but some may wish to have their work taken down as soon as the class is finished. At the very least, let them know that if they later decide they would like it taken down, they can contact you.
  5. Provide students with a variety of options to share or not share their work publicly. These options could include:
    • publishing with a pseudonym
    • publishing in a way that only other people in that class can see their work
    • submitting only to the instructor or T.A.
    • publishing publicly with or without an open license

Memorandum of Understanding for Student & Faculty Partnerships

Developing a statement of agreement that lays out clearly the rights of the students when participating in open resource development can be useful to help students both understand their role in the project and licensing implications. This will allow you to be more certain that the students have understood their rights when agreeing to be a part of it.

Orange Download.png Downloadable Templates

Memorandum of Understanding for Student & Faculty Partnerships [Word]



Non-UBC Hosted Sites

Sample Communications to Students About Platforms

In this course, students will be using (specify tool or platform), which is (specify what the tool is). This tool will help us (specify how students will be using the tool). During the account creation process, you will be required to provide your name and other identifying information. This tool is hosted on servers in (specify where). By using this service, you are consenting to storage of your information in (the location). If you choose not to provide your consent, see the instructor for alternate arrangements.

If students create videos or presentation slides that you and they would like to make into open educational resources, you might be wondering about asking them to post their work to sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Slideshare, or similar sites. It is important to be aware of and comply with BC FIPPA regulations (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act) about identifying information for students being stored outside of Canada.

Of course students may choose to use applications or tools that are hosted outside of the country, but they just cannot be required to use their personal accounts to meet the academic requirements of the course. Many tools and platforms, however, have options for users to remain anonymous through the use of an alias. The Commissioner’s office has indicated that if use of the tool is required for a course, students must be given an option to use an alias.

According to this fact sheet from the University Counsel office on disclosing personal information outside of Canada, at UBC, Cloud-based tools may be used under the following conditions:

  • In the course description, or in a written communication to the students, describe the cloud-based service and the information that it will be storing or accessing, and explain that if the students choose not to provide their consent to this storage or access, they must see the instructor to make alternate arrangements; and
  • Make alternate arrangements for students who refuse to provide their consent, such as allowing them to sign in to the service using a false name and non-identifying email address

You may also choose to link to resources for students that can help them make an informed decision about their digital presence.

CTLT Privacy and Consent Guidelines

CTLT has developed a set of guidelines and tools to support informed and ethical engagement around student privacy with non-UBC hosted technologies:

Privacy and Risks

When working in the open, a concern that comes up for both students and professors is privacy. Aspects of learning can feel like a private endeavour and working in the open can require deliberate decision-making about how to best manage privacy and online identity.

When sharing work openly, questions to reflect upon include:

  • What agency do I have in deciding to work in the open?
  • Who will see my work?
  • What control do I have over it?
  • Who owns my data?
  • Whose voices are heard online and whose are left out and why?
  • What support do I have?

Resources for Students

The Digital Tattoo project highlights resources developed by students to help their peers make decisions about their online participation and identity formation:

See this page on Student Privacy and Consent for more information on student privacy and storing of identifying information outside of Canada.

Digital Tattoo Privacy Resources

What do you know about connecting and working online? What do you need to learn? The Digital Tattoo Project has created resources for understanding and protecting your online identity:






Adaption Statements

source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/Documentation:Open_Textbook_Publishing_Guide/Student_Engagement