Tools Beyond Quercus

U. of T. Guidelines regarding the use of tools beyond Quercus 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 tools beyond Quercus:
As noted in the U. of T. guidelines regarding use of tools beyond Quercus,

  1. Provide an alternative if a student does not wish to use an external environment hosted outside the institution.
  2. Ensure transparency by providing students with information regarding use of data.
  3. Student personal information should not be shared through a third-party service without a vendor contract that has been reviewed for information security and privacy risk. (Please keep in mind that an individual instructor cannot represent the University in a contract, or bind the University to a contract).
  4. Be attentive to retention of intellectual property (IP).

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 tools beyond Quercus in the course syllabus.
  • Instructors can ask students to inform them at the start of the course if the students decide to use the tool or the alternative provided by the instructor.
  • For students who decide to opt out of using the 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 tools beyond Quercus. 
  • Instructors should provide separate instructions to help students sign up for tools beyond Quercus in a way that will ensure that student data is kept secure and private.
    • Some tools beyond Quercus 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 tool beyond Quercus that is not in the U. of T. Academic Toolbox and implemented several measures to mitigate potential risks to student data security and privacy.