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Policies and Guidelines

Intellectual Property and Course Materials

The Office of Research and Strategic Partnerships has information on how PSU's intellectual property policy pertains to course materials. The site summarizes that policy and links to both the OUS Internal Management Directive (IMD) 6.2 and the Oregon Administrative Rules governing intellectual property. 


PSU's Millar Library website maintains a detailed web page on copyright law and guidelines. It includes numerous links to helpful legal interpretations and specific examples of how to use copyrighted materials for teaching. 

Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning

Portland State is committed to creating an inclusive learning environment that ensures access for students and faculty with disabilities. Information technologies and media offer increasing oportunitites for teaching and learning, but they also require careful adherence to the basic requirements of accessibility. Courses that are not accessible to all learners should have learning outcomes that clearly indicate why they may not be feasible for those with a physical disability.

Desire2Learn, the primary learning management system at PSU, complies with current standards for screen-reader use to navigate its interface. The content uploaded to each course, however, must be prepared in ways that make those materials accessible. This includes adhering to basic standards of HTML or text file formatting (headers and alt-text for images), the use of OCR text-recognition for PDFs, and the use of transcripts or subtitles for audiovisual media. 

Good guidelines and instructions on preparing instructional materials for the web can be found in the links below. In addition, new policies are currently being adopted at Oregon State University, and PSU will soon put similar policies in place. In the meantime, the link to the OSU policy below serves as a good model for the approach to be adopted. 

OSU Accessibility Policy 

Accessibility Guides from the San Francisco State University's Center for Teaching and Faculty Development

SFSU Course Accessibility Checklist (with links to instructions on preparing accessible course materials)

SFSU's Accessible Technology Initiative page on course materials 

California State University Accessible Technology Resources (including video tutorials on preparing Word docs, PowerPoint, and PDFs). 

A tutorial on the principles of Universal Design for Learning