Request Technology

If you are developing a new learning technology or would like to recommend a tool for adoption in the wider learning technology environment at UBC, a number of things will need to be considered. Key issues include the privacy and security of the data collected and stored, the standards for integration used, and the suitability and sustainability of the technology for ongoing UBC support.


Technology Request Process

Developing a new technology

If you are developing a new learning technology, here are best practices for aligning with UBC requirements:

  1. Consult with us in the LT Hub at the start of the project to understand how the proposed technology may fit within the overall tools we support and to align your approach with coding, privacy, and integration with institutional practices.
  2. During development, ask about including peer review of code. When resources allow, we are happy to provide high-level guidance to keep your project on the right track.
  3. Once you have a prototype available, inquire about evaluation support for piloting and assessing the technology with instructors, students, or staff. We can share best practices and possibly help facilitate the process.

Recommending an existing technology

If you are interested in advocating central support for a new or currently unsupported learning technology at UBC, contact us in the LT Hub to discuss your idea. Next steps vary depending on the technology, but may include the following:

  1. Investigating the use of other technologies already supported at UBC for the same purpose.
  2. Conducting a market scan to determine if any other technology contains the desired functionality and should also be considered.
  3. Confirming that the technical specifications and privacy requirements of the technology meet UBC standards.
  4. Potentially organizing a limited pilot of the technology to evaluate its pedagogical value.

Key Points about New Technology Support

Learning technology leadership considers several factors in considering requests. Primary guidelines for wider institutional adoption, integration, and support of new learning technology are as follows.

Early integration with other UBC tools is limited

Generally, while technology is in experimental / development / pilot stages, UBC does not support integration (i.e., data transfer) with institutional data sources or centrally-supported tools. Exceptions may exist where technology cannot effectively be tested without some level of integration.

Privacy practices must comply with UBC requirements

For any technology to be considered for institutional integration and adoption, it must be able to be used in a FIPPA-compliant way. This compliance means that student information is properly protected.

Additionally, for technology that uses UBC identity data, a Privacy Impact Assessment will need to be completed. When technology comes from an external vendor, an agreement with the vendor around confidentiality and security of data may also be required.

The integration approach should align with standards

UBC advocates standards-based approaches to integration, using standards such as Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) or LTI Advantage and authentication services such as Shibboleth, CAS, and ELDAP.

It is also desirable that technology adopt standards-based methods of storing and emitting learning events (i.e., capturing learning analytics), such as Caliper or xAPI.

Technical requirements must be met

Where the LT Hub is requested to administer new technology especially, peer review of the code base and system dependencies may be required. Technology may also be scrutinized for sustainability of service and the ability of the vendor or in-house support to resolve functional issues and security bugs in a timely fashion.

UBC evidence of pedagogical value will be prioritized

Piloting with instructors in real UBC courses can generate key evidence of value for the institution before consideration of central adoption and support. A UBC pilot evaluation framework has been established to support this process. Upon completion, evaluations are reviewed by the Operations Committee before going to the LT Hub Leadership or Learning Technology Leadership Team, as appropriate, for final decisions.

For the LT Hub to onboard a learning technology as a centrally-managed support service, the technology needs to also demonstrate a degree of impact (numbers of users / faculties that will benefit) and/or uniqueness of functionality (i.e., differentiation from currently centrally-supported tools). Best effort support will be provided for adopted technology that falls outside this criteria.