Top tips to ensure Data Privacy in Course Resources

With GDPR now in place it is now more important than ever to keep data secure. There are a number of common mistakes made by lecturers with data security in Blackboard that risks exposing sensitive data.

  • External Examiners folders should be hidden from students and all the content of the folder should be placed in a subfolder that is adaptively released to just the external examiner.
  • Grade centre columns should be hidden from students until the test’s or assignment’s post date. Hiding the Provisional Grades and Feedback tab is not sufficient as the Blackboard mobile app bypasses this.
  • When setting up Turnitin assignments choose the option Reveal Grades to Students Only on Post Date. If you don’t select this option, you will have to manually hide and unhide the grade centre column, otherwise feedback and grades will be release immediately after marking.
  • Student feedback folders should not be added manually without adaptively releasing them to individual students. Clicking the Create Student Feedback Folders button after late enrolments will add folders for the new students with adaptive release and not overwrite existing student folders and content.
  • Student assessment videos and presentations submitted using Panopto should be stored in a sub-folder for assignment that is not shared with the students.
  • Make sure you know the difference between a Blog and a Journal. Blogs are always visible to all other students, whereas a Journal can be private between a student and tutor unless you check the Permit Module Users to View option which opens up the journal to the rest of the class.
  • Discussion Board Forums that should be hidden from students should be set to unavailable. Hiding the Discussion Board that contains the forum is not sufficient as the Blackboard mobile app bypasses this.

All of these issues could have potentially serious consequences if not set up correctly, but this can be mitigated by understanding the potential issues and adhering to the guidance.

Please remember that you can create a Sandbox to experiment with new ideas.

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