3a) Understanding and engaging with legislation, policies and standards
Statements here should show how relevant legislation, policies, strategies, technical standards, professional/research codes of practice and so on have influenced your work. You are not expected to have expert knowledge of all of these areas, but are expected to be aware of how they relate to your current practice. Relevant legislation policies and standards are likely to include special educational needs/accessibility, discrimination, copyright and intellectual property, freedom of information, data protection and privacy issues. In the UK you would be expected to demonstrate how you work within the context of:
- Accessibility legislation
- Intellectual property requirements (IPR)
- Freedom of Information legislation (if you work for a public body)
- Data protection.
In your country there may be different requirements, and you should indicate this in your application. It is suggested that you pick two to discuss. You might also be expected to engage with institutional policies and, where appropriate, national policies and evidence of some of this should be provided. The kinds of evidence that would support this would include minutes of meetings with legal advisers, documentation showing how legal issues have influenced work (such as reports or data protection forms), justifications for modifications to a course to reflect new policies or a record of how technical standards have been taken into account during system development. You should demonstrate an understanding in at least two areas, at least one of which should be a legal area (subject to national legislation). The other may be a policy area or a standards area.
In order to understand how GDPR legislation affects my role as a Learning Technologist, I completed the ‘General Data Protection e-learning’ course which is provided to all staff at the University of Northampton and attended the ALT Webinar: A Learning Technology professional’s guide to GDPR in the classroom – led by Mark Glynn. DCU’s Head of the Teaching Enhancement Unit (8 May 2018) and the JISC webinar “GDPR: into practice‘ by Andrew Cormack (16 March 2018).
I have also read the JISC article ‘A year to get your act together: how universities and colleges should be preparing for new data regulations (24 May 2017).
As a result of my understanding from these sources, I drafted a blog post ‘GDPR – Considerations for tutors.’ to advise staff on how GDPR relates to the use of our university systems. In the production of this, I worked with the University Data Protection Co-ordinator to check the advice is correct. (Please see Email amends by UoN Data Protection Officer in Evidence below)
As a learning technologist, GDPR legislation informs how I advise, use and share sensitive personal data from our systems that link to our student records. (As documented in the evidence below ‘Email to Sally Laurie – How GDPR applies to the use of Padlet.’)
When introducing the learning technology tools – Padlet and CampusPress and third-party publishing platforms Pearson and McGraw-Hill I have discussed with suppliers how their tools comply with GDPR policy and have created guidance that supports best practice in relation to GDPR.
My understanding of how copyright policy and legislation relates to publishing within our VLE tools comes from the blog post ‘Copyright and online publishing‘ which was published by UoN Learning Technologist Iain Griffin on the Northampton LearnTech Blog in 2015 and attendance, in November 2018, of ‘Identifying copyrighted material and using OER’ training session led by Dr. Ming Nie, Lecturer in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.
These have informed how I advise staff to use Learning Technologies in the variety of training sessions I deliver and in materials I produce on good practice.
In addition, I have published a blog post which looks at how the copyright exception ‘Fair dealing’ relates to materials uploaded to a VLE. In the production of this I worked with our University Head of Academic Services – Georgina Dimmock (see evidence below). This resulted in a revision of our University guidance on the use of Copyright materials.
Internal Policy: NILE module standards.
Each year the Learning Technology team releases a set of VLE Quality Standards. These standards are agreed at the Student Executive Committee and indicate what needs to be included in each module and programme site before being released to students. They are used as the basis of the module and program site quality audit by our curriculum team.
I have improved the visibility of these standards to staff in the following ways:
- Linked to the VLE site quality standards from our FAQ’s ‘AskUs’.
- Linked to the VLE site quality standard to the reading list ‘Support for tutors‘ which is available from each module site.
- Added guidance and linked to the VLE site quality standards from within the Online NILE training course ‘basics’ which I released in 2018.
Reflection and Feedback
Feelings – what were you thinking and feeling?
Legislation such as GDPR, Accessibility and Copyright have a large impact on my role as a learning technologist and I feel it is important to keep up to date on these by attending online training and connecting with the Learning Technology community be engaging with ALT and JISC.
I find it is interesting to relate these to how academics are practically using our Learning Technology systems and discuss these both within my training sessions and on the LearnTech blog where I have published guidance.
Evaluation – What was good and what was bad about the experience.
Attending ALT seminars on accessibility regulations and the seminar ‘Responding to the digital accessibility regulations.‘ at Digifest.2019 proved very useful in understanding this issues, and I am now working as part of the university accessibility group for which I will be collating and creating guidance for staff.
I found the issue of Copyright exclusions complex as it is not clear where the copyright exception Fair Dealing applies.
Analysis – What sense can you make of the situation
GDPR legislation has had a big impact on how I use and share student personal data, the guidance provided by the university is both clear and well considered. To assist staff in their understanding of this I adapted institutional guidance into a user friendly blog post. This looks at how GDPR should be considered by tutors in areas such as data security, passwords and sending sensitive data by email. In the process of creating this post I was able to seek guidance and clarification from our Data Protection Officer Phil Oakman.
With regards to Copyright, I found that some academics believed that materials uploaded to a VLE were exempt from Copyright law. In order to challenge this I researched the subject and shared my findings with others via a post on our LearnTech blog
Conclusion – What else could you have done?
In my first two years as a Learning Technologist, more senior members of the team were responsible for implementing legislation and policy. After a recent review of learning technologists responsibilities I am now responsible for reporting on accessibility and as a result I am now more active in these areas.
Action Plan – If it arose again what would I do?
I could have been pro-active in informing partner academics on policies and legislation by adding links to our University guidance from within our online training courses.
As these are updated I will be adding in links to current guidance but will need to clearly label which geographic regions these laws apply.
GDPR – Considerations for tutors
Published LearnTech blog post to provide guidance for tutors on GDPR.
Email from Data Protection Officer – Amends on blog post on how ‘GDPR – considerations for tutors’.
Email to Sally Laurie – How GDPR applies to the use of the tool Padlet.
Copyright – How does the Copyright exception ‘Fair Dealing’ apply to using media in a VLE?
Published LearnTech blog post providing guidance for tutors on copyright exclusions.
Email to Georgina Dimmock – Request for clarification on ‘Fair Dealing.
Email reply from Georgina Dimmock – on copyright ‘Fair Dealing.