APIC on copyright compliance in a time of online teaching

June 12, 2020

We caught up with Dr Michelle Cavaleri, Director of Academic Enhancement at Asia Pacific International College (APIC) to chat about copyright licensing, the big shift to online teaching and the Copyright Agency’s new online platform for the delivery of digital content FLEX.

What made you decide to get the Statutory Education Licence, managed by the Copyright Agency?
The Statutory Education Licence is the most simple and straightforward way to ensure that APIC is compliant with Australian Copyright Law. It allows us to use third-party copyright material for educational purposes without having to go through the onerous process of seeking permission from the copyright owner. It also assures us that fair compensation is made to the creators of content used in learning and teaching.

How has the Statutory Education Licence impacted the teaching and learning experience at APIC?
The Licence allows us to use and provide students with a rich and wide range of high-quality resources in learning and teaching.

Why is copyright compliance important to APIC?
APIC uses a rich and wide range of resources for learning and teaching, including third party materials. We are committed to ensuring that staff understand and use appropriate practices so that all uses of copyright material are compliant. In addition, we teach students about academic integrity and professional ethics and so as an organisation, we need to practice what we preach!

How well-prepared was APIC for the big shift to online teaching?
Before COVID-19, APIC offered on-campus classes only, so the sudden shift to online teaching was a significant change for us. Luckily, our online class spaces on the learning management system were already well developed, and we also have excellent online resources such as digital library databases and academic skills resources. We paused the semester for a week while we closed the campus and transitioned to working from home. We also spent the week undertaking training to brush up on using Zoom and other tools for online classes, adjusting assessment tasks for online delivery, discussing online pedagogy, and purchasing more e-books.

How did the Statutory Education Licence help you with this?
The Statutory Education Licence helped us transition smoothly to online delivery. We are always vigilant about following the usual copyright guidelines, such as ensuring that the copying is within the limits and acknowledging all material with a proper and accurate citation; however, with the move to online teaching, new scenarios and questions cropped up. For example, academic staff asked whether there were any issues with recording online lectures/classes, and whether we could scan and upload book chapters to the class spaces (which we don’t usually need to do) given that students couldn’t access the library’s physical resources on-campus. When we delved in the details of the Licence, we were able to establish that we could apply the same principles to online delivery as face-to-face delivery and take a common-sense approach to compliance, without overcomplicating things.

APIC recently began a trial of FLEX, the Copyright Agency’s new online platform for delivering digital content under the Statutory Education Licence. What influenced this decision?
We like the idea of having a platform to help us ensure that all uses of copyright material are compliant. We are also excited about having access to digital original files from major publishers and being able to prepare course reading material more simply and efficiently.

Anything else you would like to add?
I’d like to say thanks to the Copyright Agency for their ongoing advice and support.

Thanks Michelle!

About APIC:
Asia Pacific International College (APIC) is a small, private non-university higher education institution within the Education Centre of Australia (ECA) group. APIC offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in business, business information systems and project management. They have a primarily international student body, with campuses in Sydney and Melbourne.