U of T Guidelines on Teaching with Social Media

The use of social media services and applications that are not supported by the University of Toronto such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and blog platforms (e.g., Blogger, Tumblr, Medium, Squarespace, etc.) must follow university guidelines and policies. View the current catalogue of educational technology tools and services supported at the University of Toronto.

Beyond the educational or technological considerations that will help you select a tool or shape an activity, there are also institutional guidelines that inform our decision making. These guidelines pertain to the use of tools beyond Quercus, which are considered alternatives to institutionally supported learning environments.

The guidelines for Tools Beyond the Quercus cover various aspects of decision-making such as when to select alternatives to institutional tools, accountability and reduction of risk.  The guidelines also recommend the following steps to reduce risk and ensure security of student data:

  1. Provide an alternative if a student does not wish to use an external environment hosted outside the institution
  2. Don’t put any information classified as highly sensitive into a third-party service
  3. Don’t give away intellectual property owned by others

(Adapted from Lavagnino (2010), Policy as an Enabler of Student Engagement, Educause Review.)

These guidelines apply to all educational technologies.

Key Questions
How might the guidelines impact how you structure your course activities and assessments? What steps can you take to reduce risk given the social media tool you intend to use?