Policies & Guidelines
University and Blackboard-specific policies are relevant to
Blackboard users because they speak to:
- Possible abuse of the system that could affect privacy and
- Rights of the authors of materials placed on Blackboard.
- Retention and safeguarding of information placed on the
No user or administrator of the Blackboard system should use it in any way that
a reasonable person would interpret as:
Doing damage to normal access to, materials placed on, or the performance of the
Infringing on the privacy of any user of the system.
Infringing on the ownership and intellectual property rights of anyone who has
placed materials on the system.
The administrators of Blackboard (OTE and Computing Services) will make every
Safeguard the privacy of individuals using the system
Limit access to materials placed on the system to the individuals specified by
faculty who request course sites
There will be no unauthorized reuse, copying, or modification (i.e., removal from
the system) of materials posted by either faculty or students on Blackboard unless
those materials are part of a policy violation (e.g., intellectual property
violation or violation of general Carnegie Mellon policies).
Note: If violation of policy has occurred, then notification will occur
before materials are removed.
Course Backup and Recovery
Although routine backups of Blackboard will be made, we cannot absolutely guarantee
that any of the information placed on Blackboard will not be lost. For this reason,
faculty and students are responsible for retaining their own copies of all pieces
of information placed on the Blackboard system if loss of that information would
We emphasize to faculty that the grade book feature of Blackboard is intended for
publication of grades for students and not as a secure, reliable repository of
Warning: Faculty are responsible for their own course back-ups. Also,
keep a backup of the gradebook after every grading change.
Course Access Privileges
Only faculty of record for a course can request that access be given to their
course materials to anyone other than a student officially enrolled in the class
(or provide access privileges through the administrative tools for their Blackboard
course). The faculty making these requests or providing access privileges should be
aware that they are thereby limiting our ability to prevent unauthorized access to
materials and loss of critical materials from the system.
Warning:Be advised to limit "instructor" or "TA"
access as much as possible to those individuals who are completely competent in
using the system.
Acceptable Use of Blackboard
Acceptable use of Blackboard is governed by the general policies for acceptable
use of computing facilities and other university-wide policies at Carnegie Mellon.
Student Information and Privacy
Blackboard System and Administration
The administrators of Blackboard (Office of
Technology for Education and
Computing Services) make every effort
to minimize the amount of personal information about students and faculty that
resides on the system. Only a user's name, Andrew
ID, and an internal CMU ID (not the user's social
security number) is all that is required.
The system is run under SSL encryption to protect all information
passing to and from the system.
Faculty and students using the system should be careful to do nothing that might
compromise the privacy of users. Faculty should familiarize themselves with the
degree of class and public access that various choices in the Control Panel will
permit. Specifically, please recognize that granting guest access will allow
non-enrolled students access to many of the course materials.
Students' Rights to Privacy Guidelines published by Enrollment Services:
This means that care needs to be taken so that no student information is posted in
a way that other members of the class can access it. (A simple mistake might be
something like putting up an Excel spreadsheet with student names, ID numbers, and
Warning: Safeguard private student information.
Copyright and Fair Use
Rights of Authors
Faculty and student authors of materials do not give up any rights to their
ownership of those materials by posting them in Blackboard.
Users of Blackboard must adhere to U.S. copyright laws in posting materials for
which they do not own the copyright.
General Copyright Policy of Carnegie Mellon
This policy includes fair use guidelines:
The "fair use" standards of the U.S. copyright laws allow the use of
copyrighted material for certain educational purposes. The Blackboard system helps
enforce fair use practices by limiting access to materials that you post to members
of a particular class.
Fair use guidelines require more than limiting access to a class. The way in which
you use material is important. It is important that you adhere to the fair use
guidelines in using any copyrighted material.
Warning: Do not open access to guest users if you have chosen to use
copyrighted materials for educational purposes in your class.
Materials Placed on Blackboard
All materials placed on the Blackboard servers by faculty and students are
governed by the general intellectual property policy of Carnegie Mellon.
The Blackboard system is intended solely for support for teaching and learning
at Carnegie Mellon.
No use will be made of any materials posted by faculty and students on these
servers other than those intended by the faculty member teaching the course.
The faculty member teaching the course is responsible for informing students
about the use he or she will make of materials that students post on the system.
University Intellectual Property Policy
This policy includes fair use guidelines: