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Research and Learning Services: Student Data Privacy Guidelines

Purpose

The Library Teaching and Learning (T&L) Team* strives to enable engaging learning experiences for students using a variety of digital resources**. When you—the student—use these resources, you're likely to produce some data, such as data about how you used the resources (e.g., what you clicked on) or the content you produced while using the resources (e.g., answering a question).

In line with our values and our beliefs about student data privacy, our T&L team has created and closely follows a set of guidelines, made up of 5 core principles, for any type of student data we might come in contact with.

We aim to be exceedingly transparent with you about your data. On this page, you can learn about our team's values and beliefs regarding student data privacy as well as explore the 5 core principles of our Student Data Privacy Guidelines.

If you have any questions about these guidelines or about your data privacy, please don’t hesitate to contact the Director of Library Teaching and Learning, Holly Reiter, at holly.reiter@okstate.edu.

*The data and Guidelines referenced on this page are unique to Library Teaching & Learning, and do not indicate guidelines for the Library or the University as a whole.

**For our purposes, digital learning objects include interactive tutorials, OStateTV or YouTube videos, the mobile Library Scavenger Hunt, visits to web pages that host these items, Pressbooks, and graduate student workshop registration.

Library Teaching & Learning Values and Beliefs

Values

Our Library Teaching and Learning team values:

  • Prioritizing student needs and welfare
  • Restoring and protecting equity and assisting students in doing the same
  • Incorporating student voice and experiences and using it to shape our practice
  • Providing "digital sanctuaries," or digital environments that prioritize and promote student safety

Student Data Privacy Beliefs

As a Teaching and Learning team, we have foundational, ethical, scholarship-shaped beliefs about student data that have shaped our student data practice and guidelines.

We believe in prioritizing student data privacy to...

  • Protect students
  • Respect student autonomy
  • Return power to students and establish equity
  • Protect students' intellectual freedom
  • Build trust between students and Library Teaching and Learning
  • Enable student data privacy literacy

Core Principles of Student Data Privacy

Responsibility

T&L believes it’s our ethical responsibility to protect your data privacy. Specifically, we uphold the responsibility to:  

  • Ensure any collected data is handled carefully, used effectively, and used only for the stated purpose.
  • Prevent unauthorized disclosure, use, or collection of your data.
  • Follow specific steps in data collection, use, storage, and destruction.
  • Carry a shared understanding of our role in your data privacy.

Transparency

T&L believes you shouldn’t have to wonder what’s happening with your data, so we strive to be as open and transparent with you as possible. For each digital learning object we use, we’ll share the following:

  • What we are and are not collecting
  • Why we’re collecting it
  • How it’s being collected
  • How it’s being used
  • Who has access to the data

To keep you safe, we strive to store and process all data according to best practices. We’ll only collect the minimum amount of data necessary to achieve our stated objectives.

Privacy and Consent

T&L believes that privacy is your right. We strive to honor your privacy by never releasing any personally identifiable information unless it is to your instructor of record who is using the digital learning object within their class.

Occasionally, we may share aggregates of de-identified or anonymized data internally (e.g., with Library administrators) or externally (e.g., at Library or industry conferences). We do this to continuously improve effectiveness, evaluate the effectiveness of our teaching and learning program, or to help evolve and shape the practices of our profession. Aggregating the data means that the data is in summary form and no individual student can be identified.

Finally, we will never sell or otherwise commodify your data, and will always prioritize the use of vendors and resources that do the same.

Confidentiality and Security

T&L takes great strides to ensure that any and all data we collect is kept confidential and secure.

We use several vendors to help us create and host digital learning objects and collect analytics. Sometimes, these vendors have access to your personally identifiable information for operational purposes, so we intentionally investigate and select vendors that also prioritize confidentiality and security.

Access

Sometimes we do collect and store personally identifiable information so we can do things like retain records for your instructor of record or keep track of event registrations. In these cases, T&L believes you have the right to know what that data is, request corrections if you think it’s incorrect, and request that it be deleted. Please note, we’ll always make every effort to honor deletion requests, but sometimes we’re required to retain records for various reasons. If that’s the case, we’ll be open about why we can’t delete it now, and if and when it can be deleted.