UM-Dearborn Use and Procurement of Digital Education Platforms, Tools, or Other Technologies

When faculty are considering and evaluating the use of new online platforms/tools, the following areas all need to be reviewed.  This document does not create any new policies or guidelines, but consolidates requirements into a single, easier to review place.  All information here aligns with the UM-Dearborn software procurement and licensing compliance policy and the U-M SPGs listed at the end of the document.

Faculty who wish to adopt new online platforms/tools should first consult with a Hub Instructional Designer, before starting this process to discuss the pedagogical needs the proposed tool might address.

If, after consultation with a Hub Instructional Designer, the faculty member would like to move forward with using the new platform/tool, they should review and complete item 1 (funding) below and submit an Academic platform/tool request form which will create a ticket in the ITS system.  Items 2-6 will be considered by appropriate university personnel through the ticketing system.

Items 1-3 can be evaluated concurrently in order to make the platform/tool available as soon as possible.

1 - If the platform/tool has an associated cost, funding source(s) must be identified upfront.  Some platforms/tools may allow individual courses, departments, or colleges to license the platform/tool for their specific students and faculty, while others may require a license for the entire university to use the platform/tool even in just one course.  UM-Dearborn students cannot use the platform/tool until all applicable funding requirements are completed.  If the cost is over $10,000, the service would need to be sent out for bid or a sole-source agreement must be completed by the personnel responsible for the funding source (Department Administrator, Dean’s office, etc) and approved by U-M Procurement Services.

Primary Personnel Involved: U-M Procurement Services
General Timeframe: Medium

  • If funding will be through course, lab, or program fees:
    The Faculty member should follow the guidance in the UCDC Policy on Assessing Course, Lab & Program Fees and ensure all levels of approval have been granted.

    Primary Personnel Involved: College’s budget administrator, curriculum committees, and UCDC/Grad Subcommittee.  Financial Services and the Office of the Registrar will also need to be notified in order to update the rate for the upcoming academic year.
    General Timeframe: Medium
  • If students will pay the bookstore or vendor directly:
    If the platform/tool primarily provides “digital education content”, the bookstore must either a) be the source of payment for students or b) waive their exclusivity clause for the purchase. If neither of these options is followed, then the software procurement cannot occur.

    When students pay the bookstore or vendor directly, the associated cost to the student must be approved by the department chair(s), dean(s), and Digital Education Subcommittee for university-wide licenses. If the vendor is being paid directly by students, the faculty member must work with the U-M Treasurer's office and Information Assurance office to launch a PCI review and approval process after the necessary internal approval steps have been made.  The faculty member’s department administrator should notify the Office of the Registrar so information about the additional cost can be added to the student information system.

    Primary Personnel Involved: Department Chairs, Deans, and/or Digital Education Subcommittee.  U-M Treasurer’s Office and U-M Information Assurance.  UM-Dearborn Office of the Registrar.
    General Timeframe: Medium if payment will be to the bookstore. Long if payment will be direct to the vendor.
  • If not funded through either of the above methods:
    Some other sustainable and ongoing funding source must be identified and approved by the College Dean's Office (college/department funds) or Office of the Provost (campus-wide funds).  The Financial Services Office should be informed of the decision by the approver of the funding.

    Primary Personnel Involved: College Dean’s Office, Office of the Provost
    General Timeframe: Short

2 - If the platform/tool will have access to or use any data beyond directory information that may be protected by FERPA, other laws, or U-M privacy standards, UM-Dearborn ITS will work with U-M Procurement and U-M Information Assurance to have the vendor and U-M sign a U-M Data Protection Agreement or FERPA Acknowledgement if one does not currently exist. U-M Information assurance will assess the data being used by the platform/tool and determine which document is required.  U-M Procurement must also review and agree to the vendor’s current terms of service.  UM-Dearborn students cannot be required to use the platform/tool unless the data security and privacy requirements have been completed or a completely anonymous (no real name, umich email address, etc) signup or use option is available.  The platform/tool could potentially be offered as an option if students have alternatives that meet UM-Dearborn privacy requirements, though students should be informed about any data security or privacy concerns.

Primary Personnel Involved: UM-Dearborn ITS, U-M Procurement, U-M Information Assurance
General Timeframe: Varies - Short if agreements are already on file or not required.  Long if a full Data Protection Agreement is required and the vendor wants to negotiate changes to the standard U-M language.

3 - The UM-Dearborn ITS and the UM-Dearborn Director of Digital Education will have the platform/tool reviewed by experts from the U-M accessibility team and ensure it meets U-M accessibility standards and works on the latest version of all major operating systems (Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS) and device types (desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile).  UM-Dearborn students cannot be required to use the platform/tool until all accessibility requirements have been completed

Primary Personnel Involved: UM-Dearborn Director of Digital Education, U-M Accessibility Team
General Timeframe: Medium

UM-Dearborn ITS will coordinate work with the necessary offices noted below to integrate the platform/tool as appropriate.  These requests should be initiated early in the process to aid in developing timelines for the work, but generally the integration processes will not begin until the applicable approvals have been received for the funding, data security and privacy, and accessibility issues listed in items 1-3 above.

4 - If a U-M login/authentication connection is needed, UM-Dearborn ITS will coordinate efforts between the vendor and the authentication team at U-M.

Primary Personnel Involved: UM-Dearborn Director of Digital Education or UM-Dearborn ITS
General Timeframe: Medium


5 - If the platform/tool integrates with Canvas, UM-Dearborn ITS will contact the UM-Dearborn Director of Digital Education. The Director of Digital Education will work directly with the platform/tool vendor to complete the review and complete their Canvas integration procedures.

Primary Personnel Involved: UM-Dearborn Director of Digital Education
General Timeframe: Short


6 - If the platform/tool requires any data from the student information system or other university systems,  UM-Dearborn ITS will assess and schedule integration work for these systems.

Primary Personnel Involved: UM-Dearborn ITS
General Timeframe: Long


Timeframes may vary widely based on the current workload of each office involved.  General estimates of the timeframes referenced above are:

  • Short - Less than 30 days
  • Medium - 30-60 days
  • Long - More than 60 days