webcourses Usage Policy
webcourses is the VLE (virtual learning environment) used by staff and students at DIT. Currently it operates in the Blackboard environment. The Dublin Institute of Technology provides these services subject to the rules and guidelines documented in this webcourses Usage Policy. By accessing webcourses, you accept and agree to be bound by all the policies associated with it.
These guidelines should be used in conjunction with the following institutional policies which can be found on the DIT web site:
- webcourses Privacy Statement
- Data protection policies and guidelines
- Student regulations governing the use of computer resources
- Staff regulations governing the use of computer resources
- IT security policy
- Identity management policies
- IP Policy
- Freedom of information guidelines and procedures
In the event of any conflict between this document and any institutional policy the terms in the institutional policy will govern. Any questions regarding webcourses usage should be directed to the Head of eLearning Support and Development.
Acceptable Use of webcourses
Use of webcourses must be for the purpose of teaching, training, research coursework, associated administration or other authorised use. Each user is responsible for ensuring that their use of webcourses complies with DIT policies including this document. When using webcourses and connecting services, users must:
- Respect the rights of others
- Remember to log out at the end of each session
- Always log in with their own user account details and never allow someone to access with their account details
- Comply with current legislation including:
- Data Protection Act 1988 and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003.
- Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000
- Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997
Users agree to accept responsibility for all actions and content posted within the DIT webcourses system, noting that the following is unacceptable:
- Posting of copyrighted/trademarked materials
- Use of inappropriate language, images or other content i.e. material that is obscene, defamatory or threatening
- Posting of material that may encourage criminal conduct
- Transferring computer viruses or other code that interferes with other users’ use of the Virtual Learning Environment or personal computers
Furthermore, users must be aware that opinions expressed in webcourses collaborative tools are those of the individual and not of DIT. DIT reserves the right to review, move or delete material at its own discretion which it considers to be in breach of this usage policy.
By using webcourses, users agree to be bound by these terms which take effect immediately upon on their first use. DIT may revise these terms at any time and will publish the latest version on the DIT website: users will be notified of such changes. A user’s continued use of webcourses will be taken as acceptance of the updated terms of usage.
Violations of these terms may result in the termination of the user’s account. Furthermore, other disciplinary actions may follow.
Content, Copyright and Intellectual Property
It is the responsibility of all webcourses users to ensure that all materials that they post to a module comply with copyright legislation, specifically the COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS ACT, 2000. Please check with the DIT Library for up-to-date information regarding licenses currently held by the institute.
All work submitted electronically by learners should be their own: plagiarism is in violation of DIT policies.
When DIT staff upload content to webcourses, they are acknowledging that they are making it available for download: DIT cannot guarantee that such resources will not be seen by, or distributed to, third parties.
Users may place links on webcourses to external websites. DIT will not be responsible for the content of links posted by users in its system or using its online tools.
DIT reserves the right to review, move or delete material which violates these terms, at its own discretion. However it is the user’s responsibility to ensure that anything you upload to webcourses meets legal requirements and the institution’s relevant policies.
Data protection and Privacy
webcourses may ask you to provide personal identifying information including names, contact details etc. Any such information volunteered by you through the process of using this website will be treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality and processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1988 and Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003.
Information on webcourses activity is collected routinely by DIT and by its service provider, Blackboard, and DIT reserves the right to monitor user activity. Records are kept of when users access modules and resources along with a record of all communication activities including forum posts, assignment submissions etc. These records may be used to monitor student activities and engagement within a module, or as evidence in matters arising such as harassment, bullying or the uploading of inappropriate materials.
Information on webcourses activity may be aggregated with data from other DIT systems in order to review aspects of our courses, monitor student progress and manage our resources more efficiently. DIT may also collect anonymised data on webcourses usage for statistical purposes or administrative functions.
In exceptional cases permitted by data protection laws, we may process and disclose data without consent or notice to you, for example if it is required to investigate possible criminal offenses, to prevent injury or damage or to comply with a legal obligation.
Users must be aware that any personal identifying information voluntarily posted to public areas of this website which may then be available for use by others.
Student enrolment policy
All data regarding student enrolment, modules, exam results etc. are held in DIT’s Student Information System. Once students have registered and paid their registration fees, their webcourses account is created in due course. Students can then self-enrol on the modules on which they are registered.
If a student has any queries about their access to webcourses modules, they should contact the relevant module tutor in the first instance.
Access to webcourses is withdrawn when a user is no longer studying at DIT.
Instructor specific policies
In line with professional best practice, access to webcourses modules is given to (a) the staff member who makes the initial request for module creation and instructor access and (b) registered students for that module. If another staff member requests access to the same module, he/she should contact an existing instructor who is able to grant access.
Users should always log into webcourses using their own user account and never allow another user to access webcourses using their account.
Access to webcourses is withdrawn when a user is no longer employed by DIT. (Note that students who are not registered by 1st Dec will not be deemed to be a DIT student.)
External guest user accounts
In certain limited circumstances, it is possible to facilitate access to a webcourses module to someone who is not registered at the institute. (For example, this may be required for external examiner reviews etc.) Such accounts must be requested by the relevant module instructor whose responsibility it is to ensure that the external user is aware of, and abides by, the regulations governing the use of webcourses. In such cases, access to webcourses will be withdrawn when the user is no longer associated with the institute.
Module archive and restore
At the end of each academic year or relevant teaching period, DIT archives all webcourses modules. However, it is highly recommended that instructors archive a copy of their module. Lecturers are advised that they should also download a backup of the Grade Centre after every grading change. Such backups may be important in cases of future appeals or the accidental deletion or loss of data.
Please note: module archives do not include Box-powered inline feedback or Safeassign originality reports.
It is the policy that, where possible, webcourses will only have scheduled work requiring a downtime (service not available) during holiday periods. Users will, where possible, be given advance warning of any such downtime.
DIT is not responsible for unexpected downtime of the Virtual Learning Environment. Loss of data due to interruptions in Internet service is not the responsibility of DIT but that of the users’ internet service provider. Neither will DIT be liable for the loss of data caused by a computer or electronic virus. It is the responsibility of the user to implement procedures for backing up data and virus checking.