Design and develop learning resources

How to correctly source and site materials

If you intend to use others’ materials in part, or in whole, to create your learning resources – you will need to be familiar with the legal guidelines behind sourcing, citing, plagiarism and copyright.

What Is a Copyright?

“Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to make copies of a creative work, usually for a limited time.” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright

If you are writing new learning materials and using information from multiple locations to draft your materials, you will generally be free from the need to cite, source or gain permissions for the work. It only becomes necessary when you use direct quotes, large copies of other text (including images, diagrams, video & audio) or you intend to use it for purposes other than education.

For educational use, look at this resource: https://www.copyright.com.au/

You can access free legal advice at https://www.copyright.org.au/

What Is a Citation?

A citation identifies for the reader the original source for an idea, information, or image that is referred to in a work. 

  • In the body of a paper, the in-text citation acknowledges the source of information used. 

  • At the end of a paper, the citations are compiled on a References or Works Cited list. A basic citation includes the author, title, and publication information of the source. 

What Should You Cite?

Are you quoting two or more consecutive words from a source? Then the original source should be cited and the words or phrase placed in quotes. 

If an idea or information comes from another source, even if you put it in your own words, you still need to credit the source. 

General vs. Unfamiliar Knowledge
You do not need to cite material which is accepted common knowledge. If in doubt whether your information is common knowledge or not, cite it.

We usually think of books and articles. However, if you use material from web sites, films, music, graphs, tables, etc. you’ll also need to cite these as well.

From: Lemieux Library, University of Seattle 

Framing the resource

The first step in creating the initial draft of the learning resource is a consultation with the client to double-check the format and content that is required. There may be instances when an organisation’s priorities have changed, or additional requirements have been identified. A consultation prior to drafting the resource ensures that all aspects of the organisation’s needs and expectations are met.

The next step is to outline the resource. This involves developing headings, subheadings and a rough outline of what each section is to contain. When producing the materials for a unit of competency you might use its elements as section headings and its performance criteria for learning outcomes and subheadings. You might then include required skills and knowledge as well as relevant range statement information under the sub-heading and make notes on possible content for each subheading. An example of such a framework is shown in Element 3 of this subject in your Textbook.

Alternatively, if you are producing a learning resource based on organisational or industry codes of practice:

  • analyse the specification of the content and information you need to provide

  • sequence the information into a logical flow or series of events and tasks

  • develop headings and subheadings based on the sequence you have designed

  •  provide an overview of the contents to be included under each heading.