Using previous students' work as exemplars - am I allowed?

Using student exemplars of work or activities completed previously in your subject is a fantastic way to convey what quality looks like and to provide students with a richer understanding of the activity, or when done appropriately perhaps even assessment task, you are asking them to complete. It can open new questions and conversations about activities and assessments that otherwise wouldn't be possible and is encouraged as good practice.

However, did you know that you cannot use past students' work without the explicit approval of the student(s) who created that content? Students own the intellectual property (IP) of the work they create as part of their learning and privacy law also requires student permission for their work to be reused.

To use exemplars from previous cohorts, it is suggested that you seek permission in a written form (such as email) from the relevant students and ask them if you can share their work, identifying how it will be shared, and why you wish to share their work. It's good practice to de-identify the student and let the student know you will be doing this.

Relatedly, while you might decide students' past work is neither beneficial nor appropriate for your current students, it may be worthwhile to still consider in regards to demonstrating the subject design and activities to prospective students through your LMS subject preview.

More information about intellectual property for students.

To get support on how to manage sharing student content in the LMS, submit a support request.

More Information

Catherine Manning