Brightspace Terms of Use

Members have raised concerns about agreeing to the Terms of Use for Brightspace. Brightspace, by D2L (Desire to Learn), is part of the Ministry of Education’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It is being used by many boards across the province. Teachers are being encouraged and/or required to use the platform when developing online components to their programs. The concern has focused particularly on the clause stating that, by posting, users are giving D2L full rights to use the posted material in any way they choose. Some members have expressed fear that any curriculum/assessment materials that they post could be used commercially, since D2L is a for-profit organization.

Members should be aware that whenever an employee produces a product in the course of their employment, that product belongs to their employer. This is also true for intellectual property. In other words, all materials developed for use in a teacher’s classroom belong to the employer. The clause in the Brightspace Terms of Use will not result in teachers losing the rights to their materials, since they do not have those rights to begin with. The Brightspace Terms of Use would result in the school boards losing their rights to the materials developed by their employees. Therefore, it is school boards who are impacted by the clause, not their employees.

School boards have the right to manage their operations in any way they wish, unless limited by a collective agreement. This includes determining what resources their employees use. As such, any school board would be within their right to require their employees to use Brightspace exclusively as their virtual learning tool. If required to use Brightspace, members would need to agree to the Terms of Use.

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