Academic Computing: Software Guidelines
Updated: 04 September 2020 04:33 PM
As a part of the Guidelines for Hybrid and Online Course Delivery OCAD University committed to:
Use technologies, tools and platforms in ways that are attentive to the situational differences of students related to geography, language, social or economic status, and ability such that our hybrid and online learning environments do not reproduce or create systemic barriers to learning; review and address new needs and barriers as they arise.
If we require students to use a tool that’s not supported by the University, we’re also asking our students to:
Please avoid Third-Party Applications not Licensed or Supported by the University.
OCAD University IT Services supports undergraduate and graduate student and faculty creativity with technology on campus with a multitude of software packages. Both in Computer Studios and the Laptop Program, IT Services engages with Deans, Chairs and Faculty to find the best combination of creative fit, ease of use and lowest, reasonable cost for students and the institution alike. Evaluating, licensing, installing, maintaining, communicating and supporting training tools for software involves effort and cost, as well as students and faculty learning and using software. OCAD U needs to moderate the number of software packages available to provide a good academic computing experience.
IT Services currently supports the following Software packages for use at OCAD U, for specific curriculum.
· Faculty and Chairs propose Software for specific courses by the New/Revised Course Approval Deadline for inclusion the next academic year.
· IT Services in consultation with the Chair conducts a Software Review.
Unfortunately, there is not sufficient time to add software once this point in the semester has passed.
1. Student Laptop Software: Commercial Paid
1. Faculty Curriculum Committee, ICTG Project Assessment Group, Senate Undergraduate Studies Committee or Senate Graduate Studies Committee, Senate
2. Audit, Finance and Risk Committee, Board of Governors
2. Student Laptop Software: Free and Open Source & Commercial Free
1. Program Chair, Associate Dean
2. Director, Academic Computing & Innovation
3. Institutional Computer Studios: Commercial
1. ICTG Project Assessment Group
2. Capital Budget Process or a Faculty Operating Budget
4. Institutional Computer Studios: Free and Open Source & Commercial Free
1. Program Chair, Associate Dean
2. Director, Academic Computing & Innovation
Software is reviewed on an on-going basis in a variety of contexts including:
1. Pedagogy: How does the software used to meet the learning outcomes of specific courses and the program overall?
2. Pedagogy: What is the fit with current curriculum and pedagogy? At what point in the curriculum will it be introduced?
3. Duplication: Is the software unique and necessary or is it a duplication of tools and functions among software titles used in specific programs?
4. Art, Design and Industry Use: Is it the amongst the best of its kind available? Is it used in contemporary Art and Design practice? Is it some kind of industry standard?
5. Learning Curve: Is it hard to use? How do faculty and students learn how to use the software?
6. Teaching: Do faculty and students know how to use the software? Who teaches the software to the students? How do students learn how to use it?
7. Platform & OS: What OS and platforms does the software run on? Can OCAD U’s academic computing environment support the system requirements? Is the software reliable and stable on our platforms? Can we support it?
8. What is the licensing model?
9. Is it a term subscription or perpetual licensing?
10. What are the usage terms? Can it be used in an instructional context?
11. Is it a cloud service, on-premises hosted or a blend of the two?
12. Is it costly? How do we buy it? Who are the users and what are the quantities? How do we negotiate with the vendor?
13. What is the license cost for on-premises use? Is there budget approval for the spend?
14. What is the cost for student laptops?
a. Do the Licensing terms and conditions allow OCAD U to distribute and manage the software to students and faculty?
b. Can OCAD U IT Services and the Finance Department recover costs by charging a discounted fee for any given fiscal year as per negotiated licensing agreements?
c. Is there demonstrated value to the students in terms of discounted pricing and access to the software?
d. Is the software applicable to an entire program? A program fee is recommended: course fees require manual processes.
15. Timely identification, selection and approval of software so that licensing terms can be negotiated
16. What capacity do we have to support the software?
17. Is there a Software Licensing Agreement that OCAD University’s signing authority signs? Or is it a click-through for students/faculty?
18. What are the terms, risk, duration and liability of the Software Licensing Agreement?
19. Is the software allowed to be used in an instructional context?
20. Are the Software Licensing Agreements compliant with AODA and FIPPA?
a. Does the software itself attempt to be compliant with AODA requirements?
b. Is there a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template available and does the software meet requirements?
c. Is the software a web application, and does it state the W3C Web Content Accessibility compliance level? Is it Level A, AA or AAA? When was the application last tested and by whom? Does the application have any third-party certifications for its accessibility (National Federation for the Blind [US])
d. Does the software use browser plugins or special technology like Java, Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight that may inhibit use of the Mac OS X Voiceover or Windows screen reader software?
e. Personal Information:
i. Is any Student Personal Information shared with a software vendor or Third-Party?
ii. Is the data stored outside of Ontario?
iii. What is the private data used for?
iv. Why would a Privacy Impact Assessment not be required?
v. Are Vendor contracts compliant with FIPPA? Do they mention FIPPA, FERPA or PHIPPA?
21. What is the General Liability and Institutional Risk of using the Software?
Personally Owned Software
Free and Open Source Software
OCAD University supports the adoption and use of Free and Open Source Software in the curriculum, by faculty, by the University to run its enterprise systems. Some commercial software developers choose to make software available to students and faculty free under specific license agreements and purposes. In any software choice, OCAD University must balance the needs of curriculum and faculty with the needs of students, and the overall student experience.
· Free and Open Source software benefits users through improved accessibility for all users by lowering upfront cost.
· Commercial Free software provides the added benefit of being industry standard options, improving professional opportunities for students.
· Open Source Software fulfills needs unmet by commercial options and promotes maker culture by participation in the development of the software.
OCAD University supports the adoption and use of commercial software across the curriculum. Negotiating licensing deals with commercial software developers provides professional software at reasonable cost for students and the institution.
· Some commercial options pose accessibility issues: either they are priced outside of the reach of higher-education, or have prohibitively complicated distribution options
· All software has a Licensing Agreement. Some Licensing Agreements have security, privacy and legal implications for the University.
· Only the Director of Finance of OCAD University can legally bind the institution to an agreement. If you click “I Agree” within a software product, you are personally agreeing to terms provided within.
· Software procured by OCAD University or used at the institution requires compliance with specific provincial legislation including:
o AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act)
o FIPPA (Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act)
· Licensing agreement have set durations, terms and limitations. In some cases, it prevents or restricts the way in which we can use that software
Sometimes, there is no reasonable alternative to a software package required for teaching, due to University closure or extenuating circumstances.
Innovation: there is some new curricular requirement and a particular tool meets that need that was not captured a part of the curriculum process.
Unique Use Case: there is an existing, specific curricular requirement that cannot be fulfilled by existing tools or there is an availability issue.
Urgency: there is some urgency to solving the issue.
Any pilot or exception must:
Starting the Process
1. Direct their attention to this document and the University's obligations to Provincial, Federal law and the Curriculum approval process.
2. Contact Andrew McAllister at x304 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Questions and Feedback
If you have questions or feedback about this document, you may direct it to the Director, Academic Computing & Innovation by emailing email@example.com or Submit a Ticket at https://support-its.ocadu.ca.