Considering using an external tool?


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The University’s guidance on the use of external sites can be found in this document.

University_Guidelines on the_use_of_external_web_services

  • Linking to an external tool isn’t difficult in NILE, though embedding anything requires it to be a secure site (the URL starts with https://)
  • Don’t use sites which use Flash extensively – these aren’t going to be visible to iPad users.
  • Avoid sites that only allow registration through a linked account such as Facebook – if registration is required a simple free email account should be all that is required.
  • Never include tools which require a fee or subscription – even ’30 day free’ type sites are best avoided. Premium option sites are fine as long as you don’t insist students use those features.
  • Tools which allow export of PDFs or printing are useful for preparing material for formal assessment.
  • Always consider simpler or internal tools as alternatives – your external site may cease to exist or be unsuitable for some students.
  • Encourage students to keep a backup of material posted on external sites (Word drafts, for example) as we cannot guarantee the safety of the material posted.
  • Replicate the steps you wish students to carry out using the tool – if you can’t make it do what you expect them to do you can’t support it.
  • Never allow student names and/or email addresses and IDs to appear on an external site. Encourage the use of nicknames wherever possible.
  • Consider Mac, PC and tablet users’ needs – where a platform cannot be used, make this very clear.

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