Being on the Safe Side: Intellectual Property Rights and Transparency in E-Learning

Being on the Safe Side: Intellectual Property Rights and Transparency in E-Learning

M. Banu Gundogan (Middle East Technical University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8844-5.ch006
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Transparency, a term usually associated with not hiding anything, is also used in computing for things or actions which take place without any visible effect. Since e-learning relies mainly on computing, the term transparency within this context can arouse a conflict; it can both be a threat and a credibility issue. It can be a threat if invisible digital actions aim to harm or misuse the e-learning system, and it can be a credibility issue when all parties involved are able to see and follow what is happening and how. This chapter approaches the term transparency as in its basic definition implying clearness and visibility within the framework of intellectual property issues regarding student works. Although e-learning institutions may reveal their codes of conduct encompassing these issues, prospective and current students may need more information on how their rights in terms of submitted original works or any work product would be protected. This chapter proposes various virtual platform arrangements to assist transparency on handling intellectual property issues for students.
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Trust, Accountability, And Transparency In E-Learning

In terms of achieving best learning experiences, trust is an essential component of a student-instructor relationship (Wooten & McCroskey, 1996). Studies designate trust as crucial to the success and future of e-learning by focusing on building and maintaining students’ trust (Wang, 2014) and the instructors are held responsible in gaining the trust of their online students (Baker, 2013). Prospective students associate trust with credibility and current e-learning students are less likely to drop out when they trust the process (Ghosh et al., 2001). Trust issues range from information security issues (Hashem, 2011; Liu & Wu, 2010), to participation in virtual teams and online collaboration (Al-Ani et al., 2013; Casaló et al., 2008), moreover, it is stated that students develop a trust relationship where they believe that assessments are fair (Berry, 2009). Prior positive experience and the good reputation of the e-learning system or the instructor are found noteworthy (Anwar & Greer, 2012) and trust-inducing factors which form the students’ perception about the trustworthiness of e-learning are grouped as

  • 1.


  • 2.


  • 3.

    Instructor socio-communicative style, and

  • 4.

    Privacy & security (Wang, 2014).

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