Blackboard Use Policy Committee by xumiaomaio

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									                               UAA Blackboard Use Policy Committee
                                            DRAFT

I. Purpose of Document

The purpose this document is twofold: (1) to formalize existing policies and procedures related to the
use, management, and operation of Blackboard and (2) to recommend new policies and procedures
related to the use, management, and operation of Blackboard. In crafting these recommendations, the
committee has made an effort to achieve a reasonable balance between the needs and requirements of
three groups on campus: IT Services, faculty and student users, and administrative deans and
department chairs. This document has been written for all three audiences.

II. Contributing Committee Members

Arlene Schmuland -- faculty
Heidi Mannion -- faculty
Carol Coose -- faculty
Travis Rector -- faculty
Brenda Forsythe -- faculty
Jim Weller -- ITS
Diddy Hitchins -- faculty
Michael Johnson -- faculty
Mary Franks -- ITS
Teresa Derrickson -- faculty/ITS

III. Issues for Immediate Consideration

Appropriate Use Policy
   a. appropriate behavior-- Like all users of UAA technology, Blackboard students, faculty, and
      staff must adhere to the behavior standards outlined in UAA's "Acceptable Use Policy"
      (http://technology.uaa.alaska.edu/admin/PoliciesAndProcedures/acceptableUse.cfm).
      Individual instructors may also elect to set standards for behavior that exceed these minimum
      requirements.
   b. removal of inappropriate content-- ITS technicians will remove offensive or illegal content
      from a course if asked to by the instructor of record or by the department chair and/or dean.
      Students wanting offensive or illegal content removed from a course will need to appeal their
      case to the course instructor.
   c. removal of users for inappropriate behavior-- The ITS Call Center will "disable" a student
      from a course upon written request from the instructor of record. A "disabled" student user is
      a user who is blocked from entering a given course and prevented from viewing and/or
      participating in that class. Instructors who request to have a student temporarily disabled
      because of disruptive or inappropriate behavior should consult with the Dean of Students for
      further advisement about the handling of the situation.
   d. content disclaimers-- UAA is not responsible for the accuracy, integrity, and/or legality of
      the content uploaded to Blackboard courses by its students, staff, or faculty. Users who upload
      material to Blackboard are responsible--legally and otherwise--for their own content.
   e. non-sanctioned uses of Blackboard courses-- Instructors are not permitted to use UAA's
      Blackboard system for purposes other than university-related activities. For example, the use of


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         Blackboard to conduct a personal business or to teach workshops or courses as part of a
         contract with an entity other than UAA is strictly forbidden.

User Management & Access
   a. user accounts-- All current UAA students, staff, and faculty are assigned an individual
      account on the Blackboard system. Users who are not formally teaching or taking a UAA
      course may log on to Blackboard and make use of the system-wide portal tools available (e.g.,
      calculator tool, thesaurus tool, text pad tool, etc.). Users who are not formally teaching or
      taking a UAA course do not have access to individual Banner courses. Access to individual
      courses is limited to the following groups: formally enrolled students, the instructor/s of record,
      and any additional users added at the request of the instructor of record.
   b. user access & login-- Qualified Blackboard users will access the system through a username
      and password that is person-specific. That username and password is issued by ITS and is the
      same as a person's UAA email username and password.
   c. Blackboard updates from Banner-- Students, faculty, and staff are automatically entered into
      the Blackboard system within 24 hours of being added to Banner. In other words, qualified
      Blackboard users must be in Banner before they can be added to Blackboard.
   d. schedule for populating courses with users-- Registered students and course instructors are
      added to new Blackboard courses roughly eight weeks prior to the start of a given semester.
      Newly registered students (and instructors) will continue to be added to Blackboard courses on
      a 24-hour basis from that time all the way up until the end of the add/drop period for the new
      semester. After the add/drop period, newly registered students will be added to Blackboard
      once every week (as opposed to once every day).
   e. patron accounts-- A "patron" is any person who is not affiliated with the university but who
      seeks to have formal access to UAA's Blackboard system for the purposes of being able to
      participate in a university-related activity. Patrons must have a university sponsor. A valid
      university sponsor must be a faculty or staff member of the university. Patron accounts may
      only be requested by the sponsoring party and must be emailed to the IT Call Center at
      callcenter@uaa.alaska.edu. A patron account entitles a non-UAA user to his/her own
      username and password on the Blackboard system.
   f. guest access-- A "guest" is defined as any person (UAA-affiliated or non-UAA-affiliated) who
      seeks to access UAA's Blackboard system. In contrast to Blackboard patrons, Blackboard
      guests do not receive an individual username and password on the system. Instead, they may
      access the system at any time by simply typing "guest" into both the username and password
      fields of the Blackboard login page. By default, guests do not have access to any courses on the
      UAA system. Individual instructors may elect to make their courses available to guests on a
      course-by-course basis. Individual instructors may also limit the areas within a given course
      that guests can access. It is important to know that opening up a course to guest access has the
      effect of making that course broadly available to the public. There is no way to make use of the
      "guest access" feature without allowing everyone and anyone to view that course.
   g. sample student user accounts-- All faculty members in Blackboard are assigned a sample
      student user account. Sample student accounts will automatically be added to each course
      taught by the corresponding instructor. The accounts are designed to allow instructors to view
      their courses from a student's perspective. The username and password for each sample
      student account follows a set pattern:
           username = facultyusername_student (e.g., aftd_student)
           password= facultysocialsecuritynumber_student (e.g., 88888888_student)
      Sample student user accounts should not be used as a shortcut for granting someone "patron"
      or "guest" access to a given course, as the login for each account permits a given user to access
      the entire menu of an instructor's courses rather than just one course. Instructors should know


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       that sample student user accounts will skew the grade book statistics for a given course.
       Instructors may elect to have their sample student user account removed from their courses by
       emailing the IT Call Center.
    h. authority to add and remove users from courses-- The instructor of record has primary
       authority to add and remove students, instructors, staff members, and patrons to/from a
       course. Such users, however, may also be added to or removed from a course at the request of
       the department chair and/or dean, provided that the chair/dean copies the instructor of record
       on the request. All requests for user additions and removals must be made through the IT Call
       Center.
    i. process for adding users to courses-- Formally enrolled students in a class will automatically
       be added to the appropriate Blackboard course "shell" for that class within 24 hours of
       registering (within 24 hours of being added to Banner, that is). Non-registered students and
       additional instructors, staff members, and patrons may be added to a course, but only at the
       request of the instructor of record or the appropriate department chair and/or dean. To add
       additional users to a course, the instructor of record must email his/her request to the IT Call
       Center at callcenter@uaa.alaska.edu. In the body of the email, the instructor must identify a)
       the name of the course, b) the Course ID, c) the name and username of the individual to be
       added, and d) the instructor's phone number. If the request is being made by a department
       chair or dean, then the email message must also be copied in full to the instructor of record.
       After the request has been received, the IT Call Center will assign a requisition number to the
       task and will email that number back to the requesting instructor. The IT Call Center will also
       notify the requesting instructor when the task has been completed. The maximum turn-around
       time for such requests is 48 hours.
    j. automated "disables" and removals of students from courses-- [Note: Due to the
       complexity of this policy, the details of the automated removal process have been outlined in a
       short Flash movie, which may be viewed at
       http://hosting.uaa.alaska.edu/designteam/Blackboard/blackboard_revised.swf.] Beginning on
       the first day of registration, all dropped students in Banner will be "disabled" in Blackboard
       once every 24 hours. Blackboard uses the term "disabled" to designate students who are
       blocked from entering a given course, but whose grades in that course still remain recoverable.
       Between Day 1 and Day 5 of the new semester, all disabled students in Blackboard and all
       newly dropped students will be removed, that is, deleted from Blackboard once every 24 hours.
       Blackboard uses the term "removed" to designate students who are not only blocked from
       entering a given course, but students whose grades have been fully deleted from that course as
       well and are no longer recoverable. From Day 5 up until Day 16 of the semester (Day 16 being
       approximately two days after the official Add/Drop period), dropped students will again be
       disabled in Blackboard once every 24 hours. On Day 16 of the semester, all disabled students
       in Blackboard will be removed one last time. From Day 16 on through to the end of the
       semester, all officially withdrawn students will be "disabled" in Blackboard once every 24 hours.
    k. Section 508 compliancy-- Although the Blackboard software program itself is compliant with
       Section 508 standards, not all of the content uploaded to Blackboard is. Instructors and
       students are therefore urged to consider ways to make their files and other materials accessible
       to users with disabilities. The Disability Support Services Office on campus is available to
       provide assistance in this regard.

Course Management
   a. course size limitations-- There are no size limitations associated with UAA Blackboard
       courses. In other words, there are no limitations on the size or number of files that instructors
       and students can upload to a given course. Note that uploading large files to Blackboard may



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         take a long time, and your browser may time out during the process. If that happens, contact
         the IT Call Center for assistance.
    b.   creation schedule for new courses-- New Blackboard courses are created at the end of the
         eighth week of the semester prior to the term in question. Blackboard courses for the spring
         semester, for example, are created around the middle of October of the previous fall semester.
         All summer courses, regardless of the session to which they belong, are created at the end of
         the eighth week of the previous spring semester.
    c.   copying courses-- The instructor of record has the ability, through the course control panel,
         to copy the content of one course into the shell of a pre-existing course which he/she also
         teaches. If an instructor wants an existing course to be copied to a brand new course shell (e.g.,
         one that is not yet on the system), then he/she must email the IT Call Center at
         callcenter@uaa.alaska.edu to have that set up. The Call Center will only accept "course copy"
         requests from the course instructor.
    d.   archiving courses-- The instructor of record has the ability, through the course control panel,
         to archive his/her courses at any time. Archiving a course does not delete the course from the
         system. Instead, it simply provides the instructor with an off-line copy of that course in zipped
         format. Archived courses in zipped format may be re-imported into the Blackboard system by
         using the tools provided in the course control panel.
    e.   instructor-initiated deletion of courses-- The instructor of record has the ability, through
         the control panel's "recycle course" feature, to delete the content of any course he/she is
         teaching. The "recycle course" feature only deletes the content of a course; however, it does not
         remove the course shell from the instructor's list of courses. If an instructor wants an existing
         course to be fully deleted, then he/she must email the IT Call Center at
         callcenter@uaa.alaska.edu to have that request processed. The Call Center will only accept
         "course delete" requests from the course instructor of record.
    f.   automated deletion of courses-- (Note: this policy does not apply to development courses or
         to organizations, which will not be automatically deleted from Blackboard.) Expired
         Blackboard courses will remain on the system for a minimum of three years--three years from
         the last day of the semester in which the course was taught (thus, a course taught in Fall 2004
         will only be eligible for deletion after December 2007). Each year, courses eligible for deletion
         will be deleted on April 15. On the previous March 1, a notice about such deletions will be
         posted to the general university community in a manner deemed appropriate by ITS.
         Additionally, on that same day, email notifications of impending course deletions will be sent to
         each instructor. Instructors will have until April 1 to email the IT Call Center and request that a
         particular course be retained for an additional year. Instructors wanting to save an archived
         copy of their courses before April 15 may do so by using the archive feature in the control
         panel (see section on "archiving courses"). While IT Services will automatically retain an
         archived copy of all deleted courses, such archives are not easily accessed (either by the
         instructor or by ITS) and therefore should not be relied upon as a retrievable copy of a deleted
         course.
    g.   development courses-- A development course refers to any course on the Blackboard system
         that is not a formal Banner course. Development courses are generally set up to accommodate
         workshop training classes. They are also set up for faculty and staff who would like to practice
         using Blackboard.
    h.   setting up development courses-- Development courses may be set up by university faculty
         and staff. To request a development course, the instructor or staff member must email his/her
         request to the IT Call Center at callcenter@uaa.alaska.edu. In the body of the email, the
         requesting individual must identify a) his/her phone number, b) the desired name of the course,
         c) the name and username of the user/s to be added to the course, and d) the role of each user
         (e.g., "student" or "instructor"). After the request has been received, the IT Call Center will


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       assign a requisition number to the task and will email that number back to the requesting
       individual. The IT Call Center will also notify that person once the task has been completed.
       The maximum turn-around time for development course requests is 48 hours.
    i. course availability settings for new courses-- By default, all newly created courses in
       Blackboard are "unavailable" to student users. That means that while a newly created course is
       automatically "on" and accessible to the instructor of record, the course is automatically "off"
       and inaccessible to all students in the class. Instructors are responsible for manually turning on
       each of their courses for their students. Such action must be done through the control panel.
       The IT Call Center will email instructors a reminder of that necessary action two weeks prior to
       the start of each new semester.
    j. course availability settings for expired courses-- By default, all expired courses will
       automatically revert to "unavailable" status one month from the last day of the semester in
       which the course was taught. Instructors may use the options in the control panel to override
       that "unavailable" setting. (Note: This policy is designed to fulfill part of the institutional
       requirements mandated by the TEACH Act.)
    k. organizations-- an "organization" is a Blackboard course shell that is set up for the purposes
       of facilitating a non-course-related activity (i.e., an online forum for a committee, a book club, a
       student group, etc.). Organizations may only be set up for university-related groups and/or
       events.
    l. setting up organizations-- Organizations (sometimes called "communities") may be set up by
       university faculty, staff, and students. To set up an organization, the organization lead must
       email his/her request to the IT Call Center at callcenter@uaa.alaska.edu. In the body of the
       email, the requesting individual must identify a) his/her phone number, b) the desired name of
       the organization, c) the names and usernames of the users to be added to the organization, and
       d) the role of each user (e.g., "participant" or "leader"). After the request has been received, the
       IT Call Center will assign a requisition number to the task and will email that number back to
       the requesting individual. The IT Call Center will also notify that person once the task has been
       completed. The maximum turn-around time for such requests is 48 hours.

Information Accuracy & Security
    a. user information-- In an effort to comply with FERPA regulations, the current default settings
       in Blackboard prevent student users from inadvertently making their personal information
       available to other users in a course. The one exception to this occurs in the discussion board,
       where student email address are always visible to the entire class unless a user happens to post
       anonymously. This is a known bug in the Blackboard software.
    b. course rosters-- Although there are two rosters in each Blackboard course (one visible to
       students and another visible to instructors), neither of those rosters should be consulted as the
       "master list" of all formally registered students in a course. Banner, not Blackboard, should be
       sought to provide an up-to-date account of who is formally enrolled in a course and who is not.
    c. grade book-- Instructors should always keep a backup copy of their online grade books. IT
       Services does not have the staffing to retrieve lost or deleted grades from stored backup copies
       of courses and will not expend the resources to do so..
    d. administrative access-- [The committee strongly recommends that IT Services come up with
       an internal policy about who is granted administrative access to Blackboard. Such a policy, the
       committee feels, should be published as part of this document. That policy would address the
       following kinds of questions:
            who is granted administrative access to Blackboard courses (what groups within IT and
               what specific individuals?)
            under what circumstances is it appropriate (and inappropriate) for a person with
               administrative access to enter and view a course?


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                 under what circumstances is it appropriate for a person with administrative access to
                  make alterations to a course?
                 what other specific behaviors on the system are allowed or not allowed by those with
                  administrative access?
                 will individual instructors be notified if a student of theirs happens to have
                  administrative access?
                 what kind of confidentiality statement do IT personnel sign before given administrative
                  access to Blackboard?
                 what consequences are there for abusing one's status as a system administrator?]

Copyright & Ownership
   a. copyright-protected materials-- Current copyright law (including fair use and the TEACH
       Act) allows students and instructors to post copyright-protected materials to Blackboard for
       course-related activities without obtaining prior permission. Such materials may not be saved,
       printed, copied, or further disseminated by students. Instructors are encouraged to accompany
       all copyright-protected works in Blackboard with a visible explanation about the appropriate
       and legal handling of such content. Instructors are also encouraged to "turn off" or delete such
       materials in Blackboard once their use in the course has passed. Implementing both practices is
       a requirement for those who seek to take advantage of the exemptions of the TEACH Act.
   b. external links-- Instructors creating external links to websites from within Blackboard are
       encouraged to check the box next to the standing option that reads "launch item in external
       window." Not choosing that option means that the external website will open up within the
       frame of Blackboard itself, without reflecting the URL address for the linked site. "Capturing"
       a website in this manner is illegal and should be avoided.

System Maintenance, Outages, & Upgrades
    a. notification of scheduled outages-- Scheduled maintenance outages in Blackboard will always
       occur at some point between midnight on Saturday and noon the following Sunday. The IT
       Call Center will use appropriate means to alert UAA students, staff, and faculty of scheduled
       maintenance outages at least 72 hours before the outage occurs. "Appropriate means" could
       include any or all of the following: emailing the UAA Community listserv, posting a message to
       the UAAOnline homepage, posting a message to the Blackboard login page.
    b. notification of unscheduled outages-- The IT Call Center will use appropriate means to
       notify UAA students, staff, and faculty of unscheduled outages within one hour of the outage
       being detected or reported. All unscheduled outages and problems must be reported, even if
       the problem has already been solved. If an outage or problem cannot be quickly solved, then a
       new, updated notice shall be posted to users once every 24 hours until the problem is resolved.
    c. reporting outages and performance problems-- Users who detect problems with the
       Blackboard system (e.g., outages, error messages, slow load time, etc.) should contact the IT
       Call Center immediately to report the issue.


IV. Issues for Future Consideration

Copyright & Ownership (more issues)
       a. Who owns Blackboard courses?
          a. This issue of ownership of academic material has always been heatedly debated. It is far
             beyond the scope of this committee to put a resolution on that issue. This committee
             recommends that by default instructor created content be owned by the instructor. If
             chair or other department leader wants a course designed for department and general


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               use then a contract between department and instructor should be drawn and signed.
               AHS already does something similar to this when having faculty design general use
               courses. It is this committee’s recommendation that such a contract be drawn for
               general UAA distribution and use.
         b. Who owns student-created materials in Blackboard courses?
            a. We defer to appropriate use and student handbook. In general though, student materials
               are owned by the student and require written permission from the student for re-use or
               re-transmission. An example is an exemplary term paper being used as an example for
               future classes.
         c. Who owns the institution-wide data related to the use of Blackboard?
            a. Within the bounds of privacy and copyright, institution wide blackboard data is owned
               by the University. Examples include aggregate performance data and statistical profiles
               of student blackboard behavior.
         d. IN GENERAL WE RESOLVED
            a. All Blackboard specific content is copyright Blackboard Inc.
            b. Faculty data belongs to the faculty unless contracted otherwise
            c. Student data belongs to the student
            d. General UAA content, like letter marks, word marks, and statistics belong to the
               University. (probably to be regulated through academic affairs?)

System Maintenance, Outages, & Upgrades (more issues)
    a. How should decisions about system upgrades and migrations be made?
    b. Who should be involved in those decisions?
    c. What mechanisms should students and faculty use to formally request new features, new fixes,
       or new enhancements to Blackboard?
    d. How will those requests be reviewed and decided upon?
    e. ITS will seek guidance from a task force of interested faculty and students to gauge timing,
       scope and impact in much the same manner that the Blackboard6 upgrade was conducted.
       Feature requests (“Please purchase and install X”, “Can we make it do X?”) can be sent to the
       ITS Callcenter. ITS will ultimately lend their expertise to technical items like Backups,
       Maintenance, Outages, & Upgrades. ITS will seek feedback via public forums and mailing lists
       about significant changes. All changes will be announced in UAA community forums via the
       ITS Callcenter.

Support & Training
   a. Who should be the primary contact for Blackboard technical support?
           1. Callcenter
   b. What kinds of training opportunities should exist for students and faculty who want to learn
       Blackboard?
   c. Who should provide such training?
   d. How will community campuses take advantage of such training?
           1. Student training from Callcenter technicians in the public access computer labs during
              the first 2 weeks of every semester. The schedules is online.
           2. Faculty training for blackboard is available via ATS
           3. This committee recommends that satellite campuses be included in training
              opportunities using any, all or combinations of the following mediums in descending
              precedence
                   ATS/ITS Sends a trainer to the campus
                   “Train the trainer” where a representative from the satellite attends an
                       Anchorage course or workshop.


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                     Video conference
                     Audio Conference
             4. This committee also recommends that ATS add a “Course Building” workshop to its
                curriculum. This would be an open time in the NMC lab before a semester when
                instructors can come work on their courses while ATS/ITS staff attend the lab and help
                with the specific questions that are neglected in a training course, but always arise in real
                world course work. This draws a lot from Teresa’s “Jazz Hour” idea.

Course Settings
   a. What default navigation links should be included in all courses upon creation?
   b. What default tool links should be included in all courses upon creation?
           o Blackboard’s default settings are acceptable. For navigation links and tool links.
   c. Are there any features in Blackboard that faculty should not have access to?
           o In order to provide synchronization with the UA’s Student Information System (SIS)
               certain Blackboard features for instructors have been disabled. These include:
                    Course creation and deletion
                    User creation, deletion, and modification
                    Enrollment creation and deletion
   d. Are there any features in Blackboard that students should not have access to?
           o No
   e. What groups, organizations, or individuals should be making decisions about such default
       features and settings?
           o The same task force mentioned under Support & Training




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