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What Do You Think About A College Professor Using My Instructional Materials Without Telling Me?

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What Do You Think About A College Professor Using My Instructional Materials Without Telling Me?

Postby Mason » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:24 pm

I wrote a book that several colleges are now using to teach their courses about a specific software. I was honored when I found this out. When I updated the book to reflect changes in the latest version of the application, I contacted the only professor I knew was using my book at that time (about a year ago) and asked if he would like a free copy of the new book to evaluate for his class. Almost immediately, he asked me if I'd like to be an adjunct professor in his department and teach the class, which was great because he was already teaching it as an online course so I didn't have to move to the state where he was located. At that time, the only question was whether enough students were going to enroll in the class for it to be offered in the next semester. A week before the semester began, he told me that it was a go. I really had to scramble -- especially to use the video software that was to be used for presentations. (Bandwidth problems) Also, there was a lot of confusion and delay in getting my paperwork through HR. The professor kept telling me everything was going to be okay, but then, after I'd been teaching for a month, he said the dean was very upset that he had hired me. I was told that the dean's issue was that I lived in another state and things were kind of touch and go for a while. But it appeared that everything was resolved and I continued to teach.

Because I hadn't had time to develop all of my own assignments, I used some of the professor's assignments with his permission. One of the assignments was particularly difficult and would require students to do things that I knew they weren't prepared to do. It was a difficult assignment even for me! So I decided to create videos that would show people how to do these very advanced tasks. Some of what I taught them was pretty challenging and I put a lot of time into coming up with innovative ways for them to perform these tasks that wouldn't overwhelm them.

The session went well. The students felt that even though the subject was difficult, I had been a great teacher and that they had learned a lot (I've been teaching online courses for more than 10 years and am a licensed teacher). The professor was delighted with my teaching methods and we both were looking forward to working together in the future.

On the Friday before the Fall session started on the following Monday, the professor called and said that the dean was outraged that I would be continuing to teach the course. He had been monitoring my class closely and agreed that I was an excellent teacher, but the fact was that the course doesn't have high enrollments and frankly, the school was paying me more than they were getting in tuition from the students.

So I was told I would no longer be teaching for the school. The professor and I continued to correspond every now and then, mostly when he had a question about how to do something in the application.

When the course started, I told the professor that my email addy was still on the course email list, meaning that I was receiving all of the emails that he sent students and that students sent him. He never took my name off the list, and since there weren't that many emails, I really didn't mind. Besides, it gave me the opportunity to see that he was giving me credit for the help I was giving him. I really don't know if he knows I'm still on the email list.

Today, I got an email to the class that disturbed me. The class has reached that very difficult assignment--the one that I created the special videos for. While he has been using his own videos for the rest of the class, he has given students links to my special videos for this assignment in the email. The links are not posted on the course schedule page.

I feel torn about the ethics of what he's doing because he didn't ask for my permission to use the videos I created when I was teaching the class. He does tell the students that I created the videos, something that is very obvious upon viewing them. I just feel a bit taken advantage of -- that my teaching materials are being used without asking me if that's okay. Am I being too sensitive? Thanks!
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Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:21 am

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