Manchester Metropolitan University

Creative approaches to embedding copyright in information literacy teaching

Presenter: Jane Secker
Co-presenters: Chris Morrison
Start time: 10:00
End time: 11:00
Room: 029
Chair: Elaine Sykes


Learning outcomes:

• To share current practices and experiences of teaching copyright embedded into information literacy

• To explore ideas for embedding copyright education into wider information literacy teaching;

• To determine how copyright and information literacy teaching can be underpinned with suitable learning theories and pedagogical approaches

It is increasingly important for students and academics to understand copyright and intellectual property (IP) issues and for this to be taught as part of information and digital literacy (Secker and Morrison, 2015). Copyright is relevant to a number of information professionals' responsibilities such as supporting researchers making theses and publications open access; helping teachers to find and re-purpose open education resources or teaching students how to use third party content in presentations, blog posts or videos. In each case it is important the individuals know how to use information ethically, giving credit to people whose work they use and avoid infringing copyright law. However, teaching copyright is often challenging for librarians and dedicated copyright training sessions are rarely popular with staff or students.

The workshop provides an opportunity to share current practices and experiences of teaching copyright as part of wider IL. It involves group work to generate ideas for how to teach copyright in new, innovative ways and to embed it into a discipline. Each group is given a scenario to work on during the session.

This workshop uses an interactive approach to learning design. Each group selects one of four cards that determines their scenario. They will then be asked to design a teaching intervention. The cards cover:

1) Audience: e.g. PhD students in the School of architecture, first year undergraduate music students, new teaching staff in the department of History, senior teaching staff in medicine etc.

2) Learning Theories: e.g. constructivism, critical literacy, active learning, experiential learning

3) Teaching methods: e.g. online, games based learning, group discussion, simulation

4) Topics: e.g. Using and finding images, understanding the benefits of open access, understanding copyright exceptions, protecting your own copyright.

Each group will develop a creative teaching intervention which they will present at the end of the workshop. They will also be asked to consider how their new teaching session will be assessed and evaluated, to ensure they have met the identified learning outcomes. They will identify how this session relates to other aspects of information literacy.

The workshop leaders will conclude by sharing some of their innovative approaches to copyright education.


10 minute introduction / warm up activity sharing current approaches to copyright education

30 minute group work devising new teaching interventions with 4 groups of 6 people each working on a scenario. A worksheet will be completed by each group.

15 minute report back from each group to present their ideas.

5 minute wrap up by presenters.

Equipment / room layout

Cabaret style room with flip chart paper and pens. Max 25 participants


Secker, J and Morrison, C. (2015) Why copyright is a fundamental part of digital and information literacy. CILIP Blog post. Available at:

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  • Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals
  • Journal of Information Literacy

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