Learning Management System (LMS) Policy

Effective Date May 1, 2021 Policy Owner Vice President for Information Technology and CIO
Last Reviewed Date May 1, 2021 Approved By President's Council
Review Cycle Bi-annual Policy Contact Information Security & Compliance Analyst

Purpose

This policy is intended to ensure the integrity of the data contained within the official university-supported Learning Management System (LMS), currently Canvas, and compliance with the requirements of related New York Tech policies as well as state, federal, and accreditation agencies. Additionally, this policy sets forth guidelines for the use of the LMS at the New York Institute of Technology, including the use of "Learning Tools Interoperability" (LTI) or "add-ons," and the process to request consideration for the installation of an LTI.

Scope

This policy governs the use, administration and oversight of the Learning Management System (LMS) at the New York Institute of Technology. This policy applies to all instructors, students, staff, and others who use the official university-supported LMS. The sponsoring unit for the university-supported LMS is Information Technology Services, with specific management oversight provided by Academic Technology Services.

Definitions

ATS:
Academic Technology Services, a department within the Information Technology Services (ITS) Division at the New York Institute of Technology.
Canvas:
The official university-supported, Learning Management System (LMS).
Course Creator:
New York Tech faculty, staff, and others (e.g., contractors) who are responsible for the content of a Course Site and/or have provisioned the source of materials for use in the LMS.
Course Shell (or Course Site):
An official Course Site within the LMS. A standard Course Shell is generated in Canvas from PeopleSoft automatically for official courses listed in the Registrar's course schedule. Course Shells are linked to the account of the individual named as the Instructor of Record within PeopleSoft. Each Course Shell contains basic course information including the official course roster as well as access to LMS features and course development tools.
Employee:
Faculty or staff actively employed by New York Tech.
External App/"Add-on":
A standard protocol that enables the integration of a third-party tool or other services within the LMS.
Guest Account:
An account created by the LMS Administrator in order to grant an external user affiliated with the university access to the LMS.
Inactivity Date:
The date on which a Course Site in the LMS is made inaccessible to students enrolled in the course.
Instructor of Record:
The faculty member listed in PeopleSoft assigned to teach the course.
Learning Management System (LMS):
A flexible, software application or web-based program for teaching and learning used to administer, deliver, and assess electronic educational technology courses and/or programs. This tool can supplement courses requiring personal attendance or as the principal delivery mechanism for online courses.
LMS Administrator (or LMS Admin):
A role in the LMS assigned to the person(s) who oversee and manage New York Tech's LMS instance—both the main account and all sub-accounts. The LMS Admin can create manual courses; add users; view and moderate enrollments and content for all courses; view course and account data; and manage course-level user roles and permissions. The LMS Admin role is managed by ITS. LMS Admin permissions can vary by account and subaccount.
Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI):
See External App/"Add-on" above.
NYIT Account:
The user name and password that provide access, via single-sign on (SSO), to New York Tech's applications.
Organization Account:
Manually created Course Sites to support non-academic uses of Canvas such as courses for training, orientation, community-building, campus organizations, lab spaces, etc.
Student:
A role in the LMS assigned to the person(s) officially enrolled in a course in the LMS; students can access courses and groups on a fixed or mobile device; can submit assignments, participate in discussions, view their personal grades, and access course materials.
Teacher:
A role in the LMS assigned to the person(s) officially designated as the Instructor of Record in a course in the LMS. Teachers can assign permissions to moderate a course; post grades, instructional materials, and media; host video conferencing sessions; post assignments; view course data; and direct daily course communications.
User:
Any employee, student, or guest of the university accessing the LMS.

Statement

LMS Use and Operation

  • Use of the official, university supported LMS is strongly encouraged, but not required.
  • Students will only see the LMS Course Site after it is enabled by the Instructor of Record assigned to the course.
  • All users of the LMS must adhere to New York Tech's Code of Responsible Technology Usage
  • All users of the LMS are responsible for the accuracy, integrity and legality of the content that they upload to the LMS.

User Management and Access

  • The NYIT Account provides access to the LMS users.
  • Roles available in the LMS are defined in the LMS course role permissions
  • The teacher role in LMS courses corresponds directly with the Instructor of Record as assigned by the Office of the Registrar.
  • If the gradebook function is being used, Students who are officially enrolled in a course may not have a role in that same LMS Course Site that enables their access to the Course Site gradebook.
  • Students who are auditing a course must officially register the audit through the Office of the Registrar to gain access to the Course Site. ATS will not manually add students to Course Sites.
  • Guest Accounts can be created for testing purposes or for users who are not otherwise authorized to have an official NYIT Account. To facilitate this, an email request to canvashelp@nyit.edu is required and must include the name and email address of the person that needs a Guest Account, the course number, the duration (if applicable), and the course role access level they need.
  • Students who are making up an incomplete grade, but are not presently enrolled in any courses (thus their account has been deactivated) must work with the Registrar to reactivate their status.

Non-Academic Use of the LMS

  • University faculty, academic and administrative units, and student organizations may request Organization Accounts.
  • Organization Accounts must be related to official university business or activities.
  • Organization Accounts for student activities/groups must be approved by the Dean of Students.
  • The total number of Organization Accounts may be restricted to allow for the adequate functioning of the system for official Course Sites.
  • The LMS Admin is authorized to remove content from an Organizational Account if that content is deemed to be in violation of university policies or other contractual agreements (e.g., copyright violation allegation from alleged content owner). The LMS Admin will make every attempt to contact the Course Creator prior to any content removal.

Content Management and Access

  • The NYIT-AAUP Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), and Intellectual Property in the New York Tech's Employee Handbook dictates the ownership of teaching and other course materials.
  • The default Course Site size limit is one (1) gigabyte. This does not include student assignments and discussion board attachments. Course quotas can be increased on a per-course basis as needed by submitting a written request to canvashelp@nyit.edu.
  • Large documents that are reused from year-to-year should be posted in the User account-level "files" area and linked within Course Sites. These files will not use up course quotas.
  • Course Sites will be maintained for four academic years*. After the retention period has expired, the Course Site will be deleted.
  • Instructors using the LMS must use the new Course Site created each term. Instructors are able to copy materials from one Course Site into another as long as the older Course Site is still available on the LMS server by using the "Import Content into this Course" or "Export/Import Course Content" features.
  • The LMS Admin may use the "become" emulator tool which allows them to enter any username and emulate that individual for troubleshooting purposes.

System Maintenance, Outages, and Upgrades

  • ATS will notify users of any planned outages of the LMS that occur outside of the posted weekly downtime.
  • ATS will notify the community regarding unplanned outages to provide updates concerning the resumption of services as quickly as possible.
  • ATS will oversee communication efforts to announce upgrades, and bug fixes when appropriate (e.g. when a bug is resolved or when there is a significant change to how a tool or feature is accessed/used).

LTI Requisition and Implementation Procedures

The Instructor of Record, course creator, or academic support staff may request the installation of an LTI. The following lead times are required so that a proper evaluation can take place:

  • For the fall semester use case, the LTI proposal is required to be submitted to ATS on or before April 1 prior to the fall semester required (e.g. on or before April 202X for Fall 202X).
  • For the spring semester use case, the LTI proposal is required to be submitted to ATS on or before October 1 prior to the spring semester required (e.g. on or before October 202X for Spring 202X+1).
  • For the summer session use case, the LTI proposal is required to be submitted to ATS on or before January 1 (e.g. on or before January 1 202X for summer session beginning May 202X.

View the Canvas LTI Request Proposal form.

Once the request is made, it will go through a process of review and if approved, implementation testing prior to being available to the Course Site. The LMS Admin reserves the right to reject any request for an LTI that does not comply with the system standards.

Review process will include the following topics for consideration. Any LTI request that has an unacceptable rating in any of the areas below will be rejected for the concern listed.

  • Security: is the login to the LTI secure; is sensitive data passed over an insecure connection between the systems; are there appropriate data backup policies; does the vendor and appropriate security measures in place?
  • Privacy: Does the add-on comply with FERPA, PIPA, GDPR, and New York Tech policies?
  • Legal: Does the user agreement shown to the instructor and student meet with New York Tech policies and requirements?
  • Data sharing, Ownership, and Management: Does the app data sharing, ownership, and management procedures and policies, and access retention/deletion and third-party access meet New York Tech requirements?
  • Economic: Is there a licensing fee/cost to use the tools? If so, what are the costs—annual or one-time—and who will be responsible for these costs? What types of purchase options are available (institutional, instructor, and students)?
  • Pedagogical Impacts: What is the teaching and learning value of the tool? Is there any research value from the tool? Is it duplicating an existing tool?
  • Technical Considerations: Is the add-on compliant with Canvas, the New York Tech network, and the New York Tech Code of Responsible Technology Usage? What are the demands on the technical staff and resources to support this tool?
  • Development and support: Ongoing development and support by the vendor? Version updates bug fixes? Is there client support available? Is this vendor a Canvas partner?
  • Accessibility: Is this product accessible? Does it demonstrate best practices for universal design?

To see the list of add-ons that have been approved for campus-wide use in Canvas LMS, choose the External Apps tab within Canvas.

View the process to include an existing LTI to your course in Canvas

* The use of Blackboard as an LMS expired at New York Tech on May 31, 2021. Blackboard student data will be archived for the transition period of one year from September 1, 2021 through August 31, 2022. After September 1, 2022, Blackboard student materials will no longer be maintained upon completion of this transition period.

Related Internal Policies

Student Privacy

Regulatory References

Forms Associated with the Policy (if applicable)