Policies & Guidelines

Policies Overview

University and Blackboard-specific policies are relevant to Blackboard users because they speak to:

General Use

Acceptable Use

Privacy Policies

Copyright and Fair Use

Intellectual Property

General Use

General Policy

No user or administrator of the Blackboard system should use it in any way that a reasonable person would interpret as:

The administrators of Blackboard (OTE and Computing Services) will make every effort to:

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 prove damaging.

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 grade records.

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 (Eberly Center 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.

Student Privacy Policy (FERPA)

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.

All information posted should conform to Carnegie Mellon's Student Privacy Policy: http://www.cmu.edu/policies/documents/StPrivacy.html

Students' Rights to Privacy Guidelines published by Enrollment Services: http://www.cmu.edu/hub/ferpa.html

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 grades.)

Warning: Safeguard private student information.

Intellectual Property

Materials Placed on Blackboard

University Intellectual Property Policy

This policy includes fair use guidelines: http://www.cmu.edu/policies/documents/IntellProp.html