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Blackboard Use Policy

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

  • (Approved by the Chancellor, December 2008)
  • (Revised December 16, 2013, revisions approved by the Chancellor, December 16, 2013)

Purpose

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro's (hereinafter "University") computing and telecommunication networks, computing equipment, and computing resources are owned by the University and are provided to support the academic and administrative functions of the University. Federal and state law, and University policies and procedures govern the use of this equipment and technologies.

Any additional requirements must be in compliance with: applicable federal and state laws; any contractual agreement with the University and vendors, such as Blackboard, Inc.; and this policy.

Blackboard Learn is designated as a nonpublic forum and is strictly limited by and subject to this policy.

Scope

This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, and others who use UNCG's implementation of Blackboard Learn and Blackboard Mobile Learn, herein referred to collectively as "Blackboard Learn." Adherence to this policy will help protect the integrity of Blackboard Learn at the University. The "managing unit" is defined as the university academic or administrative department or division vested with the day-to-day operations of Blackboard Learn, and the managing unit is the Division of Information Technology Services (ITS).

Policy

Data Governance

Stewardship and custodianship of data brought into or created within the Blackboard Learn application will be the responsibility of steward(s) and custodian(s) defined under UNCG's Data Governance Program.

Blackboard Learn Use, Operations and Security

  1. All users of Blackboard Learn must authenticate with unique user credentials.
  2. All users of Blackboard Learn must adhere to the Acceptable Use of Computing and Electronic Resources Policy.
  3. All users of Blackboard Learn must adhere to data and information system protection standards as stated in the University’s Data Classification Policy and policy regarding Information Security
  4. All users of Blackboard Learn must not use the system for purposes other than University-affiliated activities.
  5. The University is not responsible for the accuracy, integrity, and/or legality of the content uploaded to Blackboard Learn.

User management and access

  1. All users of Blackboard Learn must access the system through a designated account.
  2. University faculty shall be allowed to have a test student account.
  3. Guest accounts must be renewed each year. Renewal is at the discretion of the University.
  4. Users of the Blackboard Learn system may be granted roles with elevated privileges, including access to restricted data as defined by the University’s Data Classification policy (e.g., FERPA-protected data). Elevation of privileges must be assigned in accordance with University policy. The data steward determines appropriate role elevation practices. ITS, the managing unit of the system, shall revoke or alter elevated privileges when notified of violations.
  5. The managing unit of the system shall disable access or remove users for inappropriate behavior.

Access to Blackboard Learn

  1. Blackboard Learn administrators shall restrict course accounts and individual file uploads to a size that permits archiving.
  2. Courses shall be retained on Blackboard Learn for two academic years, or as determined and announced to campus.
  3. The managing unit shall remove illegal content or content that is in violation of University policies or contractual agreements.
  4. Banner is the sole repository of official course grades and rosters. While roster and gradebook information in Blackboard Learn is confidential, Blackboard Learn is not the official record of course grades and rosters.
  5. Blackboard Learn may contain transaction data that could be relevant in a grade dispute; in such instances, University policy governing grade appeals should be followed.

Content management and access

  1. Delivery and access to copyright materials in Blackboard Learn must adhere to guidelines set forth in the University’s Copyright Ownership and Use Policy.
  2. The University is not responsible for content linked from Blackboard Learn to external web sites.
  3. Transaction data may be requested by the appropriate University official; not all transaction data is archived.

Blackboard Learn Institutional Calendar

In keeping with the scope of Blackboard Learn as a communications tool for the university community, the University Calendar shall be published in Blackboard Learn and managed by the University Registrar.

Blackboard Learn Portal

In keeping with the scope of Blackboard Learn as a communication tool for the university community, approved announcements of University events will be permitted on the Blackboard Learn login page and the secondary pages of Blackboard Learn. The managing unit, in consultation with the Academic Technology Coordinating Committee (ATCC), shall develop and maintain the criteria and procedures for posting such announcements.

Support and Training

  1. Each professional school and the College shall designate technical support to assist with Blackboard Learn support and training for faculty and staff.
  2. The managing unit shall provide Blackboard Learn functionality and usability support and training for faculty, staff, and students.
  3. The Faculty Teaching and Learning Commons (FTLC) will provide faculty development training and support for pedagogical issues related to Blackboard Learn.

System Maintenance, Outages, Upgrades

  1. The managing unit shall notify users of any planned outages of Blackboard Learn. This includes posting the annual Blackboard Learn maintenance calendar.
  2. Notification of any unplanned outages shall be at the discretion of the managing unit. The level of notice for planned outages will be determined by the estimated downtime of the system.
  3. Faculty should consider planned outages when scheduling assignments and tests, and unplanned outages when such outages interfere with the timely completion of student coursework.
  4. The managing unit shall be responsible for deploying new features to Blackboard Learn.

Enforcement

The Academic Technology Coordinating Committee (ATCC) and Information Technology Services (ITS) management will enforce and establish standards, procedures, and protocols in support of the policy with consultation from the Blackboard Technical Team. ATCC responsibilities include approving the annual Blackboard Learn maintenance calendar, including downtime for major upgrades, as proposed by the Blackboard Technical Team.

Any violation of this policy by faculty and staff is "misconduct" under EPA policies (faculty and EPA non-faculty) and "unacceptable personal conduct" under SPA policies, including any appeal rights stated therein. Any violation of this policy by students is subject to the Student Code of Conduct. Violations of law may also be referred for criminal or civil prosecution.

The managing unit has the authority to remove or disable access to Blackboard Learn without notification in the event of law violation or systems compromise involving restricted data as defined by the Data Classification Policy.

Review

The ATCC and Information Technology Services will periodically review the policy.

Exceptions

Exceptions to this policy may be requested in writing, summarizing the nature and the reason for the exception. Such requests will be directed to the Director of Learning Technology, Information Technology Services.

Links to Related University Policies

Contact

Comments or questions? Email the Policy Administrator.