Moving Your Course Online

Shifting your course from in-person to online

Transitioning your course from in-person to online teaching involves significant pedagogical and technical considerations. We don't want copyright to be one of those concerns, so Copyright Services is available to help alleviate some of those worries when transferring your course content online. There already exists robust legal exceptions to copyright related to education and fair use that apply to in-person and online teaching. Making sure your online course content is limited to enrolled students through CarmenCanvas (Carmen), Ohio State's learning management system, can help reinforce these exceptions. 

(This is an iterative document, please continue to check this link for resources and updates. Last updated March 27, 2020.)


Recording lectures and slides

If you have created slides and lecture content for your students, you can likely continue to share instructor created materials through live video conferencing or recorded lectures. Keep Teaching and the ODEE Resource Center have information on how to use CarmenZoom to schedule one-time or recurring sessions. Instructors can use their webcam or share their screen with course materials. There are also directions for how instructors can create voice-over slide presentations. Instructors often post lecture content to Carmen for students to access or review outside of class, so this is a similar practice.


Using audio or video

Using online video in teaching and learning is a common practice in higher education. The Ohio State University Libraries provides licensed access to a number of streaming video resources that can be used to support and supplement traditional lecture content. Streaming video can help students understand complex concepts that are difficult to explain using only text. Videos are available in multi-disciplinary and subject specific collections. 

Streaming video resources can be embedded directly into Carmen, and many platforms include closed captions and searchable transcripts. Instructors can use the University Libraries catalog to search for streaming video content and the ODEE Resource Center has information on how to capture and embed content into your Carmen course.

For multimedia content that is not available through the libraries, it may be more challenging. Showing video or audio in a face to face course is legal through the Classroom Use Exemption, but this same exemption doesn't translate the same way into online learning. The TEACH Act permits 'reasonable and limited' portions of audiovisual works, so making brief clips of content that is central to your teaching can help adhere to these requirements. For media that cannot be made into brief clips, consider ways that students can independently access content outside of Carmen. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Disney+ all offer options for streaming access.


Where to post your videos

You can post course videos on Carmen. Lecture capture videos on Mediasite and CarmenZoom can be linked to and embedded within Carmen. You also can post and link to videos you create on YouTube.  If you create and post videos posted on YouTube, keep in mind that some automated copyright enforcement, such as a takedown notice, or disabling of included audio or video content could occur. If you encounter something like this that you believe to be in error, you can contact for assistance.


Course readings and other resources

Many of the resources from Universities Libraries are licensed for Ohio State users. Stable web-links, or permalinks, for e-books, articles, and streaming videos can be embedded directly into Carmen modules. From there, students will login to the library with their name.# to authenticate their access. 

When off-campus, users must sign in through the proxy server to access material. More information on linking for off-campus access, including an off-campus linking tool, is available on the Linking to Library Licensed Resources guide.

In light of the COVID 19 pandemic, some vendors are providing access to their content. Please review the Vendor Love document to search for material:

If you need assistance finding supplemental online content for your students, contact your subject librarian. University Libraries has also created a guide on Keep Teaching: Temporary Remote Library Teaching Resources



When possible, link to a legitimate online copy of the work instead of posting or uploading it in Carmen. Linking helps to mitigate the risk of infringement when using legitimate resources. Use your best judgment to determine authenticity; for example, it's unlikely Disney has authorized the full reproduction of Frozen 2 uploaded to YouTube by DisneyFan123. As we mentioned above, it's easy to link to library licensed materials using permalinks that can be embedded directly into Carmen. 


Sharing copies

Depending on the content, there are different options for sharing materials with your students. Sharing portions or specific sections of works in an educational setting is often considered a fair use, whether it's in-person or online. Fair use exists as an exception to copyright law allowing the use of copyrighted materials without permission for certain purposes. A finding of fair use is based on four factors: the purpose of the use, the nature of copyrighted work, the amount of the work being used, and the effect of the use on the market for the copyrighted work. More information on fair use is available on the Copyright Services' website, along with a checklist for assistance conducting a fair use analysis

If you don't feel comfortable relaying on fair use, reach out to your subject librarian and they may be able to help suggest alternative content that is already available online through library subscriptions or publicly available content. Asking permission from the copyright owner is another option, but it may be difficult to negotiate a license in a short timeframe. 


Ownership of online course materials

The Ohio State University Intellectual Property Policy affirms that faculty own the copyright in their instructional, scholarly, and artistic works. Under the policy, students who are instructors of record for a course also own the copyright for the instructional works they create. The university is granted a license to reuse the instructional works for teaching purposes. The license allows for some shared expectations of shared -access- to instructional works for continuity of educational experiences, without those expectations affecting the ownership of the materials. Under certain circumstances, that license is perpetual. 

University policies also affirm that students own the copyright in their own coursework. Instructors can require them to submit it in particular formats, but the students continue to own their works unless a separate agreement is signed by the student.



Our handout on Copyright and eLearning can help guide you through the shift from in-person to online instruction. Contact for further information or assistance.

Adapted from Rapidly shifting your course from in-person to online from the University of Minnesota Libraries licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0