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Academic Integrity

Resources and information about academic integrity.

Course Sharing Websites

What are course sharing websites?

Course sharing websites (such as Chegg, Course Hero, and StuDocu) offer students a variety of resources such as textbook rentals, course notes, homework help, test preparation guides, and examples of papers written for a class. If used in ethical and legal ways, these can all be beneficial to students. However, there has been increased national concern about the ethical practices and use of these websites. Here are some issues to consider when deciding whether or not to use a course sharing website.

  • Copyright: In general, most educational materials are copyrighted even if there is not a copyright notice attached. The Copyright tab on the left has more detailed information and guidance.
  • Sharing work: Is it ethical or legal to upload someone else's work such as a professor's study guide for a test?
  • Take down notices: Does the sharing site make it easy or difficult to get materials taken down due to copyright violations?
  • Potential cheating: 
    • These sites can be used to facilitate uploading or downloading answers to an exam or quiz
    • Distance learning and online exams may increase pressure students are feeling
    • The stress of being a student, especially in the time of COVID, may impact decision making

Articles about Course Sharing Websites

Recent articles highlight some of the ethical concerns related to course sharing websites. 

Copyright and Course Sharing Websites

As described in more detail on the Copyright page of this guide, located on the left side bar, SCU faculty and staff retain copyright over their teaching materials. Students who upload a faculty or staff member's teaching materials to course-sharing websites are violating copyright.

Copyright and Course Sharing Websites

Removing Your Materials From Course Sharing Websites

If your materials have been posted on one of these sites without your permission, you can request that the materials be removed. Most course sharing websites have online forms to request the removal of materials. Direct links to some of these forms are listed below:

Brock University provides useful templates for requesting materials be removed from both Canadian and US Websites on their Faculty-owned Materials page