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Lifeplace Essay

BIBL 104BIBLEDICTIONARYPROJECTINSTRUCTIONSFor these 2 distinct projects, imagine you are writing a series of short articles for a Bible Dictionary. As we have seen in our study, Bible dictionaries are useful tools to learn more about the books, people, and places we encounter in Scripture.Your task will be to write:1.Three concise 200–250-word essays about a book, person, and setting/place from the Old Testament (Due at the end of Module/Week 5).2.Three concise 200–250-word essays about a book, person, and setting/place from the New Testament (Due at the end of Module/Week 8).Content Guidelines: Choose 1 book, person, and place from the list of the provided topics for each of the 2 projects.Your essay must include the following per item:Book:Your biblical book essay must include: The basic literary genre, authorship, date written, key themes, purposes, major events, and main personalities.Person:This essay must include: The dates of the character’s life, place of birth, summary of their role orpositions held, defining events in their life and work, contemporaries (other biblical characters they are associated with, etc.), and their legacy. If they are a biblical author, list the related works.Setting/Place (i.e., municipality, kingdom, empire):This essay must include: The keys dates (i.e., founding, demise, etc.), clarification of the location(regional description, the relevance of the place from a biblical/Ancient Near East (ANE) perspective, associated biblical books where it is a backdrop or central location), key attributes (religion, commerce, key figures, etc.), and associated biblical books.Formatting Guidelines:Use 1 Word document for each stage of submission (That is, all of your Old Testament Bible Dictionary Project will be on 1 document, and all of your New Testament Bible Dictionary Project will be on 1 document).Use 12-point, Times New Roman font.Save your document according to the following filename formats:oModule/Week 5 – LastnameFirstInitialOTBDP.doc (Example: DoeJOTBDP)oModule/Week 8 – Lastname_FirstInitialNTBDP.doc (Example: DoeJNTBDP)Use the Bible Dictionary Project Template to format your summaries.Submit the assignments to SafeAssign by the end of the assigned module/week. The first project is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 5. The second project is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Fridayof Module/Week 8.

The digital Life Place Essay assignment gives you the perfect opportunity as an instructor to teach your students about copyright law & the logistics of requesting permission from content owners. Plus, for legal reasons, you’ll want to make sure that they’re all adhering to copyright law when creating their projects.

In their narratives, your students may want to use photos, images, sound clips, or music that is copyrighted. Any texts or images published in a fixed medium are copyrighted–this includes photos posted on public websites such as Google images or Flickr. So what does this mean in terms of copyright law? What materials are our students legally allowed to use?

For an excellent resource on copyright law, see UM LibGuide on Copyrightsand the general guidelines below:


Fair Use:

Your students may be able to use copyrighted material without seeking the content owner’s permission if their project is protected under Fair Use. There are four factors to Fair Use:

  • Nature of the work used: Is the copyrighted work fiction or non-fiction? Usually, using non-fiction is protected under Fair Use moreso than fiction.
  • Substantiality: How much of the copyrighted work is being used? Typically, the more of the work that is used, the less protected the project is–for example, if your students want to use a whole series of photographs from one source or an entire song, they might encounter some difficulty.
  • Transformative effects: Does the copyrighted work form the basis for a new factual or creative work? The more transformative the project (i.e. the more you alter the content away from its original form or remove it from its original context), the more it’s protected under Fair Use.
  • Market effects: Does usage of the copyrighted work in the new project affect sales or potential sales of the original work?

You should encourage your students to consult Columbia University’s Fair Use Checklistto determine if their planned usage of the copyrighted material falls under Fair Use. If they do not feel that their project would be protected under Fair Use, you should encourage them to contact the copyrighted content-owner to ask their permission. Click here for a letter template that your students can use to request permission.

According to Samantha Hines, UM’s Distance Education Coordinator and leader of Mansfield Library’s “Copyright and Today’s Technologies” workshop, most educational projects are protected under Fair Use as long as the projects are not posted openly on the internet. Thus, if you want your students to post their digital narratives online, you will need to use a password-protected media-sharing site such as Vimeo. Not only is Vimeo free, but it also allows you to create a class channel. You can change the privacy settings so that only designated moderators can log in and view the site. After your students sign up for free Vimeo accounts, you can add them as channel moderators; this allows them to access the channel and upload their projects onto it. Since only moderators (your students) can view the channel, their projects will thus be password-protected and all copyright usage will fall under Fair Use; they should not need to contact content-owners for permission. To make doubly sure that the projects will not be accessed by outsiders, your students can also password protect the videos they upload. Vimeo is superior to YouTube in this regard–it’s a more private way to share student projects & ensure Fair Use protection.

In addition to being a great project-sharing site for the LPE, you can search for high-quality videos to use in other lessons or activities–there’s tons of great clips about sustainability (click here for an excellent series on sustainability). Vimeo makes it easy for you to search for other clips to add to your channel, so you can pick out what you’d like your students to view in class or as homework. It’s also (in my opinion) more aesthetically pleasing than YouTube. Judge for yourself–here’s a screenshot of my Vimeo class channel:


Creative Commons:

The Creative Commons license allows content creators to decide how others may use their materials in new projects. Each license has specifications and guidelines that you must adhere to when using the content–but, long story short, the copyright holders have usually granted students permission to use their materials in educational projects. The Creative Commons online database is a free and easy way for your students to search for Creative Commons licensed materials, including images on Google or Flickr, videos on blip.tv, and music on Jamendo.

Other questions?

If you have any further questions about copyright law, Fair Use, or Creative Commons, contact Tom at Thomas.Seiler@umconnect.umt.edu or UM librarian Samantha Hines at Samantha.Hines@umontana.edu. You may also consider attending one of the Mansfield Library workshops on copyright & technology;click here for a schedule & sign-up.

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