Students own copyright for any works they create, regardless of whether it’s a class assignment. This means they control the reuse of their work. If the student is a minor, his/her parent or guardian also has a say in how the work can be used. Additionally, FERPA (Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act, 34 CFR Part 99) prevents an institution from disclosing or publishing a student’s written examination or paper without prior written consent.
If you would like to reuse student work, you should ask the student(s) for permission (or their parent or guardian if the student is a minor). Emory instructors can either draft your own [permissions request] or use Emory’s Student Work Distribution Permission form.
In your permission request, state explicitly how you intend to reuse the work. Will it be shared only with students in a particular class, as a model assignment? Are you planning to showcase student work on a publicly accessible website or blog? Will the material only be available for a single semester, or will it be available indefinitely? Do you plan to edit or modify the student’s work?
Keep a record of all permissions, just in case there are issues in the future. Always get a written response granting permission, such as a signed form or email.
Remember, students are not required to grant permission for reuse. If they would like their work to remain private, you must respect their wishes.
Emory policy on intellectual property created by students
The Emory Intellectual Property Policy specifies that
Emory generally does not claim ownership of Intellectual Property created by Students in the course of their education. Student Contributors will own the Intellectual Property they create, except where the Intellectual Property was:
Specifically assigned and funded by Emory;
Developed with the use of substantially more Emory Support than is normally provided to Emory Personnel; or
Developed under an externally funded agreement with Emory, unless otherwise provided in the agreement.
Students that may fall under the exceptions above will promptly disclose to OTT the existence of any Intellectual Property to which they have contributed, and such Students will be deemed Emory Personnel with respect to any such Intellectual Property.