In compliance with federal regulations, the University of North Texas provides this written procedure for protecting the privacy of students in distance education courses or programs. In addition to the information provided below regarding the terms of privacy for the learning management system platform, the Computer Use Policy (3.10) (http://policy.unt.edu/policy/3-10) provides relevant information on protecting the privacy of all university students including those enrolled in distance education courses and programs.
In addition to those measures taken by UNT, students are strongly encouraged to take measures to protect their privacy online. For example, when accessing UNT computing resources via a public computer, students should avoid saving passwords which might be easily viewable by subsequent users and should clear their browser cache when a computing session is complete. The UNT System IT Security Team provides brochures on this topic for students as both a PDF and a PowerPoint presentation: http://security.unt.edu/training/downloads. General resources on topics such as passwords, securing workstations, and other security practices are located at http://security.unt.edu/resources.
This Web site (http://learn.unt.edu/) uses browser detection to determine the browser type and browser version of site visitors. This information is used in aggregate form to help us further refine our web site design. The remote host name is collected from each site visitor, and is used to provide statistical data, specifically, the percentage of "hits" from the UNT domain vs. the percentage of "hits" from outside the UNT domain for this Web site. The pages accessed by each visitor are recorded and preserved in an aggregate form to provide us with information about the relative usage of the pages in our Web site. The web page that referred the site visitor to this UNT Web site is also recorded, and used to improve overall site navigation.
Email messages sent to the email contact for this Web site will be answered by Blackboard support personnel or forwarded to another individual at UNT to be answered. Email messages sent to the email contact for this Web site and copies of replies sent by this email contact may be kept and reviewed to help ensure the relevance of information presented in this Web site and the usefulness of the replies from the email contact.
More detailed data are collected about students and instructors who log in to Blackboard classes. See the chart at the end of this document for detailed information on what is available to the different levels of Blackboard users.
Blackboard courses are archived once a semester after the course has been completed and grades have been assigned by the instructor. Those archives are stored in two different formats on the ITSS storage area network. One archive which contains all student work and data will remain for a 12 month period. A separate archive containing only the course shell and materials will remain for a maximum or 5 years, or until it is no longer accessible using current technologies; whichever occurs first. Blackboard course archives are accessible by the Blackboard System Administrator, and will be accessed only in the event of a request from the Instructor of that course or governing body of the University, in the course of diagnosing a technical difficulty, or in the case of an alleged violation of state or federal laws or the University of North Texas student code of conduct (viewable online here: https://policy.unt.edu/policy/07-012).
The following table sets out the levels of access that each level of user technically has. This is not meant to be a statement of what users will do, but merely a statement of the limits of their access.
|Student||Access is limited to the user’s own email (sent and received).||Messages posted to a main discussion board can be read by anyone. Messages posted to a private forum can be read by all members of that forum.||Instant messages (when used) are accessible to students enrolled in the course.|
|Instructor and Teaching Assistant||Access is limited to the user’s own email (sent and received).||Instructors have access to all discussion groups in their course.||Instant messages (when used) are accessible to the instructor.|
|Miscellaneous Instructor/Designer information: Course access: Instructors can determine when students first and last logged on, how many discussion articles they have read and posted, which content pages they have visited and how many times they have viewed the homepage, organizer pages and content pages. Whiteboard: Instructors and teaching assistants can save information posted to whiteboard, however information is not automatically saved. Quiz Tool: Quiz submissions, results and time spent on quizzes are logged and available to the instructor and teaching assistants. Survey Tool: Surveys are anonymous. Survey responses are not linked to the person who submitted the survey. Assignments: Work submitted via the Assignments tool is stored on the server and available to the Instructor. Assignment submissions may also be made public to the class by the instructor or students if the assignment has been structured this way. Neither grades nor instructor feedback are ever available in public view. Gradebook: Grades that are posted to the gradebook are available to the Instructor and designated teaching assistants.|
|Blackboard Administrator||The Blackboard Administrator will only access information logged on the Blackboard server through the course of troubleshooting a problem or in the case of an alleged violation of state or federal laws or the University of North Texas student code of conduct (viewable online here: https://policy.unt.edu/policy/07-012. In either of these cases, the Blackboard Administrator has full access to discussion postings, quiz information, all other information stored on the Blackboard server and the user information that is described in paragraph one of this document|