Blackboard Privacy Statement

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Blackboard Privacy Statement

In compliance with federal regulations, the Texas Southern University (TSU) provides this written procedure for protecting the privacy of students in distance education courses or programs. In addition to the information provided below regarding the terms of privacy for the learning management system platform, the Texas Southern University MAPPs computer user policy provides relevant information on protecting the privacy of all university students including those enrolled in distance education courses and programs.

Users of TSU computers and computing systems should be aware that use of these State resources may be subject to:

  • 1. Review or disclosure in accordance with the Texas Public Information Act and other laws;
  • 2. Administrative review of computer use for security purposes, for investigation policy, or legal compliance, or during system maintenance; and,
  • 3. Audit as required to protect the reasonable interests of the university and other uses of the computer system.

Users of TSU’s learning management system are assigned a unique login name and an initial password to access this resource, which they are asked to change upon first logon. Faculty, staff, and students are required to protect and maintain the confidentiality of their passwords. Unauthorized access to electronic services may result in risk or liability for the user and/or the system.

Confidentiality of Student Information

Texas Southern University complies with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as amended. FERPA sets forth the requirements pertaining to the privacy of student records, and the rights of students with respect to their education records. Faculty cannot post any personally identifiable information about a student to public websites (i.e. websites where the information may be visible to people outside of a course), or require a student to post personally identifiable information to any such websites, without first obtaining written consent from the student.

In addition to the measures taken by TSU, students are strongly encouraged to take measures to protect their privacy online. These measures include, but are not limited to, avoiding saving passwords which might be easily viewable by subsequent users and clearing the browser cache when a computing session is complete, when using public computers.

Support for Online Learning

Support requests for Blackboard are available by contacting the Center for Online Education and Instructional Technology (COLEIT) @ (713) 313-7242 or via email coleit@tsu.edu. These support requests and the replies may be kept and reviewed to help ensure the relevance of information presented on this Web site and the usefulness of the replies from the support personnel.

More detailed data are collected about students and instructors who log in to Blackboard courses. System administrators and instructors are able to create reports of student access showing when access occurs, frequency in a given period, activity performed, and the duration of activity. Student access to Blackboard courses is disabled by the system administrators after the semester is over. Instructors also have the capability of disabling their courses. Courses are kept on the server for one or more years and are available to the instructor of the course, support staff, and system administrators. These archives contain all instructor and student-generated data, except for messages and unrecorded chat sessions. The archives will be kept on TSU’'s storage area network and will be accessed only in the event of a request from the instructor of that course or governing body of the University, in the course of diagnosing a technical difficulty, or in the case of an alleged violation of state or federal laws.