Question: Use of Student Work

A member of the nursing faculty has been contacted by her neighborhood community education program and asked to give a presentation to a group of young adults on the topic of drug abuse. In preparing for her presentation, she remembers that she still has an electronic copy of a PowerPoint presentation from last term that one of her students submitted as part of a final project. The student project was on the dangers of crack and was particularly well done. Although she'll use some of her own research and handouts in her presentation, she decides to use the student's work as well, incorporating the student's PowerPoint slides into her own PowerPoint presentation on drug abuse. Is her use of the student's work without the student's permission appropriate?

No. Intellectual property rights in student works belong to the student who created the work. A creative work like this PowerPoint presentation, created by a student to meet course requirements, is the property of the student and may not be used by the faculty member without permission from the student. Even though the faculty member intends to use the student's presentation for an educational purpose and the material in the presentation is largely factual, the fact that the faculty member plans on using the student's entire presentation (and in the creative format developed by the student) weighs against a determination of "fair use" (an exception to copyright). The faculty member should contact the student for permission to use the presentation.