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Publisher Applications - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do publisher or other course support applications require approval in order to use them?

A: Many of these applications transmit and/or store Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)-protected data. Prior approval ensures that the proper information security review is conducted in order to protect the student and University data and information.

Q: What kinds of problems can result from the use of these types of tools?

A: Following are some potential problems that can occur when using publisher applications that are not secure:

  1. Protected student information may be viewable by unauthorized individuals.
  2. Transfers of data between you and your students to and from the hosting service could be intercepted.
  3. Login IDs and passwords could be intercepted or compromised in other ways.
  4. Online tools and applications could be hacked, leading to the same kind of problems as listed above.
  5. Without appropriate contractual terms and conditions, you may be placing yourself and the University at legal risk.

Q: What are some examples of publisher applications?

A: Publisher-provided content hosted on web sites outside of the University, online homework and quizzes included in the student's book purchase, open wikis and blogs and tools that require the installation of Blackboard building blocks are all examples of the types of tools that need to be approved for use.

Q: How do I proceed with adding a publisher or third party application to the approved list?

A: If the tool and/or publisher are not currently on the list, please contact ET@MO in order to initiate that process.

Q: What University policies affect the use of online teaching and learning tools?

A: The following UM policies affect the use of online teaching and learning tools:

Reviewed February 27, 2016.