Third-Party Tools

U. of T. Guidelines regarding the use of Cloud/Third-Party technologies that have not gone through the U. of T. Academic Toolbox process

If a tool is not included in the U. of T. Academic Toolbox, has not gone through the U. of T. Academic Toolbox process, and University of Toronto does not have an agreement with the technology tool provider, then there are several considerations that should be taken into account.

Below are the University of Toronto Guidelines that provide recommendations for review at the link below.
University of Toronto Guidelines regarding use of Cloud/Third-Party technologies:
As noted in the U. of T. guidelines for Cloud-based/Third-Party technologies,

  1. Provide an alternative if a student does not wish to use an external environment hosted outside the institution.
  2. Don't put any information that is classified as highly sensitive into a third-party service without entering into a contract with the vendor.
  3. Don't give away intellectual property owned by others.

Additional information is provided by the University of Toronto Provostial Guidelines on Digital Learning Materials (2020 - 2021)

Recommendations and suggestions

  • Instructors should provide information about use of the third-party tool in the course syllabus.
  • Instructors can ask students to inform them at the start of the course if the students decide to use the third-party tool or the alternative provided by the instructor.
  • For students who decide to opt out of using the third-party tool, alternative methods of assessment must be set out in the first week of class through the syllabus, or on Quercus or other communication tools used in the particular course.
  • We recommend that instructors do not assign grades, or assign only a nominal grade amount for participation if using a third-party tool. 
  • Instructors should provide separate instructions to help students sign up for the third-party tool in a way that will ensure that student data is kept secure and private.
    • Some third-party tools may ask students to provide their student number or student ID when they sign up to use the service.  In place of the University of Toronto ID, instructors can ask students to use a pseudonym and to inform the instructor of it
    • NOTE:  If students are using their email addresses to sign up for an account, then they should use a different password than the one that they use for U. of T. systems.

For additional ideas and suggestions, please see the Spotlight case study from David Samson, UTM Department of Anthropology, who used a Third Party Tool that is not in the U. of T. Academic Toolbox and implemented several measures to mitigate potential risks to student data security and privacy.