AAEEBL Digital Ethics Principles: version 1

Principle Summaries and Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction: How to Use this Document


Principle 1: Support 

Institutions should provide appropriate support for students, educators, administrators, and staff who create ePortfolios.

ABSTRACT: Institutions must devote resources to supporting ePortfolios, including professional development in ePortfolios. ePortfolio stakeholders are encouraged to partner with offices that have expertise in disability, informational literacy, technology, writing, and teaching and learning to create inclusive ePortfolio requirements with built-in alternatives for individuals with limited access to technology and the internet. 

Principle 2: Promote Awareness

Institutional administrators, staff, and educators are responsible for promoting awareness of digital ethics in ePortfolio making. 

ABSTRACT: ePortfolio educators, administrators, and staff  should have a working knowledge of the ethical issues related to ePortfolios, including data collection, security, and management; ethical sharing and representation; digital bias; accessibility; ePortfolio security and privacy; copyright, fair use, and open access; and intended vs. potential audiences. 

Principle 3: Practice

ePortfolio creators need opportunities to develop and practice the digital literacies necessary to create accessible and effective ePortfolios.

ABSTRACT: ePortfolio creators need practice with digital literacies. ePortfolio instruction should teach creators what ePortfolios are, why they are creating one, how to employ visual design and Universal Design principles when creating one, and how to work with ePortfolio tools and technologies. When creating ePortfolios, a knowledge of their audience, context, and constraints should guide creators.

Principle 4: Respect Author Rights and Re-use Permissions

ePortfolio creators should understand and respect author rights, best practices for re-use, and representation.  

ABSTRACT: Because ePortfolios ask creators to re-use text and media, they need a working knowledge of plagiarism, copyright, fair use, and licensing. Students should be ethical owners of their ePortfolios and engage in conversations about how to responsibly move artifacts into ePortfolios, particularly when artifacts represent professional or collaborative experiences or involve the representation of others.

Principle 5: Access to Technology

Adequate access to technology must be available for all students, and ePortfolio software should be accessible with institutional devices.

ABSTRACT: Students with limited access to technology or the internet should still have opportunities to create ePortfolios using institutional resources. An inclusive ePortfolio curriculum accommodates students who need to build their ePortfolio on a smartphone or gives students access to technology or the internet via institutional resources. 

Principle 6: Privacy

ePortfolio creators should have ultimate control over public access to their portfolios and the ability to change the privacy settings at any time.

ABSTRACT: Students should be able to alter and explain their privacy and sharing settings as owners of their ePortfolios. Administrators, educators, and staff must be prepared to have these conversations with students.

Principle 7: Content Storage

ePortfolio creators should know where their content is stored, who has access, and how to remove it. 

ABSTRACT: Before working in an ePortfolio platform, students, educators, administrators, and staff should review the Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions with particular attention to how the platform will collect, store, and use data and if students can opt out of data collection or remove their data. Providers should communicate these details in clear and accessible language. 

Principle 8: Cross-Platform Compatibility

ePortfolio creators should be able to make and view ePortfolios across any device, browser, and operating system with equitable ease of use across devices.

ABSTRACT: ePortfolio platforms should operate across devices and operating systems from both the creator and viewer perspective. ePortfolio creators should have the technical knowledge to create ePortfolios that are readable across devices.

Principle 9: Accessibility

All ePortfolio platforms and pedagogy should be thoroughly vetted for accessibility according to the standards identified by one’s culture, government, or profession. 

ABSTRACT: ePortfolio platforms should be accessible to diverse creators as well as diverse audiences. Stakeholders should test platforms for accessibility, and educators and students should be educated about accessible content creation.

Principle 10: Consent for Data Usage

ePortfolio platform providers need consent to collect and store data from ePortfolio creators.

ABSTRACT: ePortfolio platform providers should explain their data collection, storage, and use policies in clear and accessible language. These policies should comply with applicable institutional regulations. When these policies change, platform providers should have mechanisms in place for students and staff to review the changes and decide whether they want to keep their portfolios under these changed circumstances. 

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This document was created by the AAEEBL Digital Ethics Task Force: Amy Cicchino (Auburn University), Megan Haskins (Auburn University), Megan Crowley-Watson (Edward Waters College), Elaine Gray (Appalachian State University), Morgan Gresham (University of South Florida), Kristina Hoeppner (Catalyst, New Zealand), Kevin Kelly (San Francisco State University), Megan Mize (Old Dominion University), Christine Slade (University of Queensland), Heather Stuart (Auburn University), and Sarah Zurhellen (Appalachian State University) Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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