Lectures may also be considered a public disclosure. The following are some simple guidelines for faculty members to follow when presenting material to students. First, be certain that the presented material is not connected to any personally conducted research/idea for any agency or individual. Each problem has multiple solutions. Faculty members should be certain they are not presenting their unique solution to their students.
Second, faculty members should not allow any video or audio recording of their lectures or distribute copies of slide presentations that contain proprietary information or information that is not within the public domain. UI Faculty-Staff Handbook 4700 F-7 already prohibits electronic recording of lectures without an instructor’s permission. Faculty members should inform students of this policy and enforce it within their classrooms.
Third, faculty members can request confidentiality from their students in a syllabus. The following is an example of a statement that may be included in an undergraduate course syllabus to help protect intellectual property:
As students many of you will have opportunities to participate in research projects. An important aspect of conducting research is protecting confidential information. To prepare you for participating in and conducting research projects in educational and professional environments, you will be expected to protect information identified as confidential in this course.
ANY INFORMATION ORALLY OR VISUALLY IDENTIFIED BY THE INSTRUCTOR AS CONFIDENTIAL OR PROPRIETARY SHALL NOT BE DISTRIBUTED OR DISCUSSED OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM, unless as part of a learning activity related to this course. During such learning activities, confidential information shall only be discussed with other class members or the instructor. DISTRIBUTING INCLUDES POSTING TO THE INTERNET IN ANY FORM.
According to University of Idaho policy, STUDENTS MAY NOT ELECTRONICALLY RECORD ANY CLASS LECTURES WITHOUT THE INSTRUCTOR’S PERMISSION (UI Faculty-Staff Handbook 4700 F-7). I do not grant such permission. Additionally, students will not have access to any slides presented in this course.
By participating in this course, each student agrees to not to distribute or discuss any confidential information outside of class and accepts that doing so may result in receiving a failing grade for the course.
Instructors should draw students’ attention to any language requesting confidentiality in the syllabus in order to provide notice to the students that such a request is being made. Since much of what instructors divulge is within the public domain, instructors should identify confidential material during their presentations to students. This practice will remind students of the request for confidentiality and identify what information students should hold confidential.
Nevertheless, when a course is partnered with an outside agency, faculty members should be certain that all involved students have signed a non-disclosure agreement to prevent disclosure of an outside agency’s intellectual property. The OTT staff can guide you to the proper form for use in your course.