Online polling services and privacy issues

If you’ve already read part one of this series, you’ll know how useful online polling services are to engaging students actively in the classroom (if you haven’t – take a look).

As well as selecting a tool to suit your teaching and learning activity, you also need to take a look at the Privacy Policy of the service you’re interested in. This will help you to understand what:

  • personal data the company in question is collecting about you;
  • what personal data your students may be required to give;
  • information on how your presentations are stored;
  • how and where your data is kept.

https://flic.kr/p/8ouBhQ

Most companies make their Privacy Policy pretty easy to find (on most sites there was a link at the bottom of the homepage under the heading Privacy).

Here are our top tips when using an online polling tool:

  1. We found the Terms and Conditions of most services are fairly short and easy to understand – some even provided an ‘at a glance’ summary of main points.
  2. In the majority of cases, students are not required to create accounts or register for a service to take part in a polling activity. This means that for students, the only information that is collected about them would be details of the browser / device etc they used to access the poll. And this won’t be linked to their name or email address.
  3. In all cases, staff need to register with a service to create and display polls. For the majority of the services, you can either create a username and password, or link to an existing account (such as Google or Facebook).
    1. If you are creating your own account, don’t use your AU password as the password to the polling service. Follow our tips to create a strong, separate password (https://faqs.aber.ac.uk/index.php?id=25)
    2. If you are using an existing account, be aware of the data that may be shared between the two services. Your Facebook or Google account will contain lots of information about you that you may not want to be shared. You may want to look at the settings for the connection to make sure that you are happy with the level of data shared.
  4. Have a look at the rights you have to your polls. Some services allow other users to browse and share presentations, so you may want to consider the visibility of your presentations.
  5. Consider which third parties your data is shared with. We strongly recommend that you choose a service where the data is either based in the EU or where the company has the EU-US Privacy Shield standard in place. And check your preferences – do you want to opt-out of mailing lists, advertising etc.

At present, AU does not have a site licence for an online polling service, so when signing up for one of these services you are signing up as an individual, rather than as a representative of, or on behalf of, AU.

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You can now subscribe to the E-learning Blog so that you receive an email notification whenever a new post is written. Keep up-to-date with software developments, new initiatives, training sessions and events that help support technology-enhanced learning and teaching activities.

Some of our latest blogposts include:

  • Blackboard Grade Centre – in addition to recording and managing assignment marks, there are some additional features and options that will help you to use the Grade Centre to its fullest potential. In this series, we will introduce you to these features.
  • Equipment that is available to hire from Information Services – did you know that IS have pieces of equipment that you can borrow? In this blogpost, we let you know what is available and how you can book out the equipment.
  • Inserting quizzes into your Panopto recordings – do you want to test knowledge whilst students are watching lecture recordings? If so, why not insert a quiz into your Panopto recording? Find out how to in this blogpost.

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We’re always on the lookout for guest bloggers too – if you’d like to write a blog post about how you’re using technology in your learning and teaching then let us know (elearning@aber.ac.uk).  Also drop us an email if you’d like to suggest a topic or would like us to write about a particular E-learning tool.

My Placement with the E-leaning Team

Hello I’m Jude Billingsley, a graduate currently working with the E-leaning team as part of the Aber-Forward Program, a scheme designed to help graduates adapt to a working environment and develop transferable skills. During my placement I will be contributing to the E-leaning blog, familiarising myself with Blackboard by building module content and comparing other institutions’ E-leaning websites to our own in order to find areas to improve. I will also be assisting in the organisation of the Annual Learning and Teaching Conference and helping out with the day to day tasks in the office.
As an aspiring author I intend to create my own website so the software skills I am learning on the scheme will be valuable. Learning how to maintain a blog will be very useful as well, blogging being a necessity in many creative fields. I am hoping the scheme can show me how creativity and technology can aid each other in order to create engaging and informative content and allow me to implement skills I have learnt at university into an office environment. I am enjoying getting to grips with software, programing and website maintenance as well as seeing the behind the scenes running of the university. My time on the team is brief but I hope to learn a lot!