Privacy and Security

Girl on a beach at Duluth, Minnesota

The Critical Literacies 2010 Course has a firm commitment to privacy. This document discloses our information gathering and dissemination practices for this website: Stephen's Web.

Website

As is the case with all web servers, vistors' IP addresses are collected and logged. We review this log from time to time to gather statistical information, but do not track individual IP address browsing information. We may otherwise use your IP address to help diagnose problems with our server, and to administer our Web site.

This site contains links to other sites. The Critical Literacies 2010 Course is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such Web sites.

We do not share any information about our visitors with any other site or entity, aside from demographic data such as the number of hits, impressions and unique users. We are careful to scrub any and all information to remove any personal identifying marks prior to dissemination.

E-mail lists

We have several mailing lists. We do not give or sell our subscriber to anyone, nor do we use it for any other purpose than The Critical Literacies 2010 Course news and updates. The information you may have provided is kept strictly confidental. If used to generate demographics the list is scrubbed any and all information to remove any personal identifying marks prior to dissemination.

Cookies

The Critical Literacies 2010 Course site uses cookies only for identification purposes. We store one cookie on your browser, indicating your user name. This user name is in turn related to user information on our server which you provide when you log in. Cookies are not used to track your movements and cookie information is not supplied to any external party.

Public Forums

This site makes chat rooms, forums, message boards, and/or news groups available to its users. Please remember that any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information.

Security

This site has security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control. Additional security is provided by our Internet Service Provider.

Choice/Opt-Out

This site provides users with the following options for removing their information from our database, to cease receiving communications, or to terminate service in any way:

1. If you are receiving any of our Newsletters you are given an opt out link at the bottom of the message.

2. You can also send email to stephen@downes.ca

Correct/Update

The Critical Literacies 2010 Course gives users the following options for changing and modifying information previously provided.

1. Email stephen@downes.ca
2. Re-enter your personal information here

Contacting the Web Site

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this Web site, you can contact stephen@downes.ca

Research in Personal Learning Environments

Technology has brought changes to the way people learn and some "critical literacies" are becoming increasingly important. This course is about these critical literacies. Critical, as the course is not just about finding out how to use the latest technologies for learning, but to look critically at the Web and its underlying structures. Literacies, as it is more about capabilities to be developed than about the acquisition of a set of skills. It is all about learning what is needed to develop confidence and competence, and to feel capable of negotiating an ever changing information and media landscape.

The Critical Literacies course is also part of the National Research Council of Canada's PLE research . The project will examine the learning that occurs as a result of interaction and participation in the distributed community. The goal of the research is to follow and document what communities of learners do when they are learning in a sizeable open online course.

The following information is intended to help you understand exactly what we are asking of you so that you can decide whether or not you want to participate in the research. Please read this information carefully and ask all the questions you might have before deciding whether or not to participate or not in the Critical Literacies course & research project. Your participation in the course and research project is entirely voluntary and you can opt out of the course and the research at any time.

What will you be asked to do?

The structure of the course is based on the pedagogical model employed in the Connectivism and Connective Knowledge course offered in 2008 and 2009. It is within such a model that a learner is expected to exercise the skills and capacities required to effectively learn using a PLE. The course will be held during a 6 week period, from May 31th till July 11th 2010.

Researchers will track activities and entries with the various tools and resources available in the course (e.g., wiki, Moodle discussion area, blogs) and conduct short interviews and focus groups with participants about their learning experience in the PLE. You will be asked to participate in questionnaires on your perceptions of PLE functionality and learning experience, and complete a course evaluation at the end of the course.

Privacy and confidentiality

By registering for the course, you have indicated that you will be willing to participate in the research as it contributes to the development of a Personal Learning Environment that will be used for the course next year.

Background survey: We would like to know more about your reasons for participating in the course and would like to ask you to fill out this background survey at http://survey.elg.ca/index.php?sid=45684&lang=en

If you are interested in the research and would like to be involved in interviews and other surveys, please email Helene.fournier@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

Exit survey: We would like to know more about your reasons for dropping out of the course. Your feedback is important in helping us MAKE CHANGES that will IMPROVE the course! Please take a few minutes to leave your comments and/or suggestions at http://survey.elg.ca/index.php?sid=35171&lang=en

Thank you on behalf of the NRC PLE research team!