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Are you using the McGraw-Hill Connect add-on for Blackboard?   We have a faculty member interested in trying it, and we're trying to identify and address any information security concerns and legal issues.  As we understand it, when an instructor chose a McGraw-Hill textbook for use in a class, students would create accounts with McGraw-Hill, and they would take quizzes and other assessments on McGraw-Hill web sites, with test results being somehow pushed back into our Blackboard system.  We have concerns whenever an external system proposes to push information into one of our systems (whose credentials are used?  can we trust them to push only "good" information? what are the data breach risks?).  We also have concerns about storing FERPA-protected education records in external systems.  In terms of credentials, how do we know the student who signs up with Connect is really the student in our class?  And how do we get them to not use their university ID and password for the Connect site; or, better, would McGraw-Hill accept Shibboleth credentials?  

We understand other publishers are rolling out similar services.  If you are using, or planning to use, Connect or a similar service, we would be very interested in knowing whether you have had security concerns, and how you have  satisfied them.  

Best regards, 
Dean Williams


Information Security Officer                             
Enterprise Technology Services      
University of Vermont