Intellectual Property Challenge

Below is a sample post created for the 2015 Spring Focused Inquiry Faculty Institute. My colleagues and I were asked to add five links to the sample text and include an image and video. The activity was meant to test our understanding of documentation of online materials and the ethical use of others’ intellectual property on the web. With that in mind, my group made sure that our image and video were in the public domain or not proprietary and when clicked would open the pages where we found them. We concluded that the links themselves in the text were adequate documentation, meaning a separate list of sources was unnecessary. I wish that linking was possible in the tools that I have my students use to create infographics, which is the one assignment in my section of UNIV 200 where these documentation issues arise. My students typically end up creating an abbreviated list of works cited and credits for images found online, and it would be much less obtrusive to link to these materials. Essentially they’re creating a static product—a single image—that often refers to web materials. Yet the output is easily shareable because it’s a single image and not a multimedia creation. I hadn’t considered the infographic medium in that way before, and maybe that’s worth mentioning to my students.


Map of Richmond, VA (Wikimedia Commons)

Richmond, VA is one of the oldest cities in America and is famous for being the capital of the confederacy. Today, Richmond is a thriving, metropolitan city with much to do and see in the day and night. Richmond is home to many colleges and universities, including Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Richmond, and Virginia Union. There are also several community colleges in the area, including J. Sargeant Reynolds and John Tyler Community College, as well as vocational colleges like ECPI College of Technology and ITT Technical Institute.

Arts and culture in Richmond are thriving. The city is home to the VA Historical Society and the VA Museum of Fine Arts, as well as the Science Museum of VA, the Children’s Museum of Richmond, and the VA Center for Architecture. Other interesting historical sights include the Edgar Allen Poe House and Museum, the John Marshall House and Hollywood Cemetery. Monument Avenue is well-known for it’s confederate statues commemorating soldiers such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

Performing arts flourish in Richmond. The Landmark Theater, Carpenter Center, Barksdale Theater and Empire Theater are notable venues for formal performances. For music, the Richmond Folk Festival is a multi-day event that hosts folk, bluegrass and country music every summer. Many smaller theaters and venues throughout the city are home to live music on a daily or weekly basis as well. Finally, the Richmond Mural Project and the RVA Street Art Festival have facilitated the production of murals by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists throughout the city. According to Shane Pomajambo, owner of the Art Whino Gallery and sponsor of the Richmond Mural Project, the murals that were produced during 2014 “continue to build Richmond’s reputation as a go to destination” that invites “exploration of the city.” In addition, this project has beautified many less than beautiful or simply plain areas in Richmond.

About the author


Dr. Matthew James Vechinski is an associate professor in the Department of Focused Inquiry at Virginia Commonwealth University. His teaching draws on his interest in process-based writing instruction, communication design, and service-learning. His research centers on authors’ relationships with editors and publishers, with a particular focus on writers of short fiction for American periodicals as well as postmodern and contemporary experimental novelists. He has also written on design, collecting, and social media.

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