On 25th November 2020, Dr Rossana Ducato and I presented our research on remote teaching, copyright, and privacy at the 83th Nexa Lunch Seminar, research event hosted (virtually) by the Nexa Center for Internet & Society, a joint venture of the University of Turin and Polytechnic of Turin.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 in March 2020 shut down universities in most European countries. Teaching moved online and most universities are currently planning to deliver at least part of their teaching in the coming academic year in a blended form. With the online shift of teacher-student interactions, the choice of the teaching medium has never been more important (Ducato et al. 2020).
The post-pandemic university will have to make a responsible choice with regards to which tools to use to deliver their courses. Digital tools developed and operated by third parties significantly affect teachers’ and students’ fundamental rights and freedoms, including IP rights. Our research sheds light on the copyright issues arising from the use of some popular remote teaching platforms (e.g. Zoom) and it critically assesses whether these concerns remain pertinent in a post-COVID blended learning environment (Pascault et al. 2020).
Our project has analysed so far the terms and conditions, privacy policies and community guidelines of a sample of nine online services used across Europe in order to assess whether the needs of teacher and students are met. The analysis investigates whether sufficient and clear information is provided in order to enable teachers to carry out educational activities and interact with their students without uncertainties as to the potential legal consequences of their use and concerns regarding the protection of their content.
The shift to online learning exacerbated existing problems, including digital dependency
The system of public HE does not have an infrastructure that can guarantee the fundamental right to education in remote learning
We observe a trend whereby HE institutions adopt third parties platforms that do not have learning as their core or mission.
The COVID emergency left little time for scrutiny: now it’s the time to stop and think again
Crucial to invest in a public infrastructure that allows better control over data and learning content
You can find our research on remote teaching, copyright, privacy here