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Creative Commons Licensing for Students

Introduces Creative Commons licenses to students and helps them select licenses for their own work for class assignments and beyond.

In This Guide


Instructors! If you assign this guide to students in your classes, please notify D'Arcy so we can keep records of guide usage.


So your instructor wants you to consider applying a Creative Commons license to your work for this class. What does that mean? How do you choose which license to use? If your instructor is choosing the license type to be used, what does it mean to opt in or out of including your work? This guide is intended to be a very brief overview of the things you need to know to make this decision.

Be sure to read through each of the tabs/pages in this guide in order (Overview, Copyright, and Creative Commons Licenses). I have included links to additional information throughout in case you are interested in learning more. You do not need to read linked material except for the one I have marked "essential" on the Creative Commons tab/page. Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions (see Contact Me box on this page)!

Key Takeaways

After reading through all the tab/pages in this guide, I hope you will remember these key things:

1. Your writings and other works are copyrighted automatically ("all rights reserved").

2. Applying a Creative Commons license to your work allows you to easily communicate what rights you are willing to share with others.

3. The type of license you select determines what others can and cannot do with your work.

4. Applying a Creative Commons license on the works you create promotes sharing of knowledge and ideas.

These will make more sense to you as you read through this guide.

Contact Me

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D'Arcy Hutchings
Instructional Design Librarian,
Associate Professor

Creative Commons License

This work by D'Arcy Hutchings is licensed under the Creative Commons license CC BY 4.0. Note that linked content is covered by its own licenses.

I encourage you to license your derivative works under Creative Commons as well to facilitate sharing and reuse of educational materials.

Estimated Reading Time

Estimated reading time of this entire guide is 10-12 minutes.