Learning technology


Copyright questions can arise when you and your students use or reproduce printed or digital content for a course. The University maintains a Copyright at SFU website with detailed information and resources designed "to help employees and students manage their rights and obligations under Canada’s copyright law."

The University also has a copyright officer who “provides leadership, education and advisory services, and can help with obtaining permissions and handling complaints.” The copyright officer can help you if you can't find the copyright-related information you need on the website.

The current copyright officer is Don Taylor. You can reach him at copy@sfu.ca.


B.C.’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) sets out requirements that govern SFU’s policies and procedures for collecting, protecting, using, disclosing and retaining information in the personal records of students, employees and alumni.

The act, and SFU’s policies, require instructors to take reasonable security measures to protect private data such as student records on their devices (e.g., laptop computers, tablets, cell phones and memory sticks).

For an overview of SFU’s privacy policies and procedures, see the Privacy webpage.

The university also has an information and privacy commissioner based in Archives and Records Management who is “responsible for processing access requests and privacy complaints as well as providing advice to departments about how the Freedom of Infomation and Protection of Privacy Act applies to university operations.”

The current information and privacy officer is Alexandra Wieland. You can reach her at alexandra_wieland@sfu.ca.

Refer your students to the Protection of Privacy webpage in SFU’s online calendar for information about their privacy rights.

Privacy and online learning

FIPPA prohibits instructors from passing/storing personal student information such as grades and email addresses to/on servers outside Canada without their students' consent. This restriction has implications for the use of online and Cloud-based services like Google Docs and Turnitin.

It is possible to use such tools and services if you obtain the written consent of your students. However, the consent form must be customized to the particular circumstances of your course.

Robyn Schell of the Teaching and Learning Centre can help you to create a consent form that meets your needs and complies with FIPPA. She can also respond to your questions about course- and student-related privacy issues. You can contact her at rmschell@sfu.ca.

If you work with technologies that store data on servers outside Canada, you can also see the specific protocols for the technology concerned (e.g., Turnitin and iClickers).