Professor Sells Podcasts of Lectures; Is Asked to Stop
From the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Robert L. Schrag, a communications professor at North Carolina State University, recorded his classroom lectures and offered them for sale on a website for $2.50 each. There wasn’t a great market for them (only 12 bought, with a total of $11 going to Schrag), but the practice nonetheless raised some difficult questions. NCSU, like many universities, allows its professors to retain their copyrights, so Schrag wasn’t infringing on the University’s copyright (however, a different result might obtain at other schools with different policies). Yet, the practice of a professor getting double-paid for classroom duty implicates some complex fairness norms, plus there is at least a hypothetical concern that some students might be willing to pay to bypass classroom attendance for the convenience of podcasted lectures.
After the communications dean indicated that she was bothered by the practice, Schrag stopped. However, surely we haven’t heard the last of this practice–or of other ways that enterprising professors can generate alternative revenue streams.
UPDATE: I’ve learned that a site, TeachersPayTeachers.com, is trying to make a market for teachers to sell lesson plans to other teachers.