Using Creative Commons Certificates to Enhance Courses

In Spring 2022, Suzanne Mangrum and Kim Godwin both completed the Creative Commons Certificate. The purpose of the certificate was to strength our own knowledge of copyright and Creative Commons (CC) policies and procedures. Why would we need this? In the digital world, we often drop images into an online course or classroom presentation, but do we think about where this content comes from and who owns the rights? Probably not, at least not much. The following is a short version of what you might consider the next time you are searching for content. 

First, knowing your CCs. There are six (6) CC licenses and two additional Public Domain or CC0 that waives all rights by the creator to the content. Public Domain, items like the newly added original Winnie the Pooh original images, not the Disney ones the A.A. Milne ones, or Happy Birthday are in the public domain and can be used freely. The remaining six, found on the Creative Commons Licenses website, allow for varying levels of sharing. Aim for content such as images, articles, graphics, etc. that are the least restricted if you can, or CC BY CC BY.png (stick figure). This simply means you give credit to the content developer(s), I mean no one wants to plagiarize right?! Try to avoid anything with no derivatives Attribution NoDerivs.png (equal sign) as these cannot be altered in anyway, including translations or adaptions. 

Second, and this one is not as much about CCs as what they can do for you and your students. As more of the world has gone virtual in recent years, we must be more aware of the impacts of our images and resources and what these represent. Making the conscious decision on what we are sharing can impact our students through diversity, equity, and inclusion. Are the images in your course representing our diverse student population including race, gender, abilities, etc. Are the authors of your articles and text representative of students? What about videos or podcasts? Using CCs promotes awareness of our students. 

Great, Dr. Godwin, now what? The easiest way to find images and graphics is through the Creative Commons website. Images and content are also freely available through Wikipedia, Pexels, Pixababy, Freepix, iStock, OER Resources & Repositories, and so many more. Search away and see what you can find to enhance your courses. Have questions or need assistance? Please feel free to contact us anytime.