This privacy statement covers the site onlinelearningconsortium.org and associated Online Learning Consortium, Inc. (“OLC”) website properties.
1. What personally identifiable information OLC collects.
2. What personally identifiable information third parties collect through the web site.
3. What organization collects the information?
4. How OLC uses the information.
5. With whom OLC may share user information.
6. What choices are available to users regarding collection, use and distribution of the information?
7. What security procedures are in place to protect the loss, misuse or alteration of information under OLC’s control?
8. How users can correct any inaccuracies in the information.
If users have questions or concerns regarding this statement, they should first contact OLC.
Information Collection and Use
OLC collects information from our users at several different places on our web site. Only users who have established an account on the OLC system are able to post information onto the site.
There is no need to register to view many portions of our web site. However, only users who have established an account on the OLC system are able to post information to the site. In addition, there are some areas of the site where viewing is restricted to those with accounts. Accounts are either free (requires registration) or for paying members (also requires registration information)
In order to establish a OLC user account, a user must first complete the registration form. During registration a user is required to provide contact information (such as institutional affiliation, name, and email address). OLC uses this information to contact the user to confirm his/her account and password and to inform him/her about services on our site for which he/she has expressed interest. All other information collected is optional. We never collect information such as income or social security number.
OLC requests information from the user on our order form. A user must provide contact information (such as name, email, and shipping address) and financial information (such as credit card number, expiration date). This information is used for billing purposes and to fill customer’s orders. If we have trouble processing an order, the information is used to contact the user.
The purpose of the OLC is to make education a part of everyday life, accessible and affordable for anyone, anywhere, at any time, in a wide variety of disciplines. OLC encourages collaboration, sharing of knowledge and effective practice to improve online education in the areas of learning effectiveness, access, affordability for learners and providers, and student and faculty satisfaction.
Among the information that OLC shares is an effective practices database, conference and workshop proceedings, articles from our newsletter, articles from the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN), articles from volumes of applied research studies, and research, surveys and forums to inform academic, government and private sector audiences.
OLC does not link information that we collect through cookies, log files, and/or third parties to create profiles of our users. Collected information is not tied to the user’s information except in aggregate form. Collected information may be used to help guide users searching the site and/or assess the activities of learners in our workshops. In these cases, users will be asked to agree to the use of collected information for these purposes.
A cookie is a piece of data stored on a user’s computer tied to information about a user. Usage of a cookie is in no way linked to any personally identifiable information while on our site. We use only session ID cookies, so that once a user closes the browser, the cookie simply terminates. We do not use persistent cookies, a small text file stored on the user’s hard drive for an extended period of time.
Third Party Advertising
OLC does not host or use any third party advertising system or software on the www.onlinelearningconsortium.org site.
Like most standard web site servers, OLC uses log files. This includes internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time stamp, and number of clicks. These log files are used to analyze trends, administer the site, track user’s movement in the aggregate, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses, etc. are not linked to personally identifiable information.
Clear Gifs (Web Beacons/Web Bugs)
OLC does not employ a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web Beacons/Web Bugs).
HTML-based emails sent by OLC often contain images (gifs or jpegs) that are located on our web server. The loading of these images when the HTML-based email is opened is logged as part of our normal web-logging process. This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of certain communications and the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns. If users would like to opt-out of these emails, please see the Opt-out section.
Communications from the Site
Special Offers and Updates
OLC sends all new users welcoming emails to verify password and username. Established members will occasionally receive information on products, services, special deals, and a newsletter. Out of respect for our users’ privacy we present the option to not receive these types of communications. Please see the Choice and Opt-out sections.
If a user wishes to subscribe to our newsletter, we ask for contact information such as name and email address. Out of respect for our users’ privacy we provide a way to opt-out of these communications. Please see the Choice and Opt-out sections.
On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users emails. These communications are not promotional in nature. Users may opt-out of these communications. Please see our Choice and Opt-out section.
OLC communicates with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regards to issues relating to their account. We reply via email or phone, in accordance with the users wishes.
Though OLC makes every effort to preserve user privacy, we may need to disclose personal information to protect our legal rights, to protect against fraud, for risk management purposes, or when required by law wherein if we have a good-faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with a current judicial proceeding, a court order or legal process served on our web site.
Our offices and primary services are located in the United States. However, when our users register with OLC, they acknowledge that in using the web site to send electronic communications, users will be causing communications to be sent through OLC’s and our service providers’ computer networks, portions of which may be locate within or outside the United States. As a result of the nature of electronic communications, even communications that seem to be intrastate in nature can result in the transmission of international communications regardless of where the user is physically located at the time of transmission. Therefore, users of this web site acknowledge that use of the web site results in international data transmissions. By visiting the web site and providing information, our users consent to the collection, transfer, storage, and processing of such information to and in the United States. Such information will be subject to U.S. law, and U.S. privacy and data protection laws may not be equivalent to the laws in our users’ countries.
Aggregate Information (non-personally identifiable)
OLC shares aggregated demographic information with our members, sponsors, and the general public. This is not linked to any personally identifiable information. Examples of the type of information we may share include the aggregated results of a survey, a listing of our member institutions (but not individual member names), or a report on the state of online learning based on information provided by our members.
Third Party Advertisers
OLC does not share web site usage information about users with any third parties for the purpose of targeting Internet banner advertisements on this site and other sites.
Third Party Intermediaries
OLC may use an outside shipping company to ship orders, and a credit card processing company to bill users for goods and services. These companies do not retain, share, store or use personally identifiable information for any secondary purposes.
OLC does not partner with other third parties to provide specific services. We do not share names, or other contact information, with any third party except as described in this privacy statement.
In the event OLC goes through a business transition, such as a merger, being acquired by another company, or selling a portion of its assets, users’ personal information may be part of the assets transferred. Users will be notified via email and a prominent notice on our web site for 30 days prior to a change of ownership or control of their personal information. If as a result of the business transition, the users’ personally identifiable information will be used in a manner different from that stated at the time of collection they will be given choice consistent with our notification of changes section.
Our users are given the opportunity to ‘opt-out’ of having their information used for purposes not directly related to our site at the point where we ask for information. For example, our order form has an ‘opt-out’ mechanism so users who buy a product from us, but don’t want any marketing materials, can keep their email addresses off of our lists. Users who no longer wish to receive our newsletters and promotional communications may opt-out of receiving these communications, information on how to opt-out is always provided on our member services page.
Users of our site are always notified when their information is being collected by any outside parties. We do this so our users can make an informed choice as to whether or not they should proceed with services that require an outside party.
These web sites contain links to other sites. Please be aware that we, OLC, are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects personally identifiable information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by OLC’s web site.
From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys. Participation in these surveys is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose this information. The requested information typically includes contact information (such as name and email address), and demographic information (such as zip code). Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the use and satisfaction of this site. Users’ personally identifiable information is not shared with third parties.
If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we may ask him/her for the friend’s name and email address. OLC will automatically send the friend a one-time email inviting him/her to visit the site. OLC stores this information for the sole purpose of sending this one-time email and tracking the success of our referral program. The friend may contact OLC using the contact information provided on our member services page to request the removal of this information from our database.
This web site takes every precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the web site, their information is protected both online and off-line.
When our registration/order form asks users to enter sensitive information (such as credit card number), that information is encrypted and protected with encryption software – SSL. While on a secure page, such as our order form, the lock icon on the bottom of web browsers becomes locked, as opposed to un-locked, or open, when users are just ‘surfing’.
While we use SSL encryption to protect sensitive information online, we also protect user-information off-line. All of our users’ information, not just the sensitive information mentioned above, is restricted in our offices and the secure location of our server-hosting provider. Only employees who need the information to perform specific jobs (for example, our billing clerk or a customer service representative) are granted access to personally identifiable information. ALL employees are kept up-to-date on our security and privacy practices. Every quarter, as well as any time new policies are added, our employees are notified and/or reminded about the importance we place on privacy, and what they can do to ensure our users’ information is protected. Finally, the servers that store personally identifiable information are in a secure environment, in a locked facility
If users have any questions about the security at our web site, they can contact OLC using the contact information provided on our member services page.
Supplementation of Information
In order for this web site to properly fulfill its obligation to users it is necessary for us to supplement the information we receive with information from third party sources.
OLC does not request credit reports for any user.
ID and Address Verification
OLC does not use any third parties or third party software to verify a user’s identity or address.
OLC does not share information about the purchasing habits of users with any third parties.
Enhancement of Marketing Profile
OLC purchases third party marketing data and adds it to our existing user database to better target potential new users of our site. This information is not linked to the ‘profile’ of individual users.
Correcting/Updating/Deleting/Deactivating Personal Information
If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as zip code, phone, email or postal address), or if a user no longer desires our service, we provide a way to correct, update or delete/deactivate users’ personally identifiable information. Personal information can be changed on the User Profile page.
Notification of Changes
If, however, OLC is going to use users’ personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time of collection we will notify users via email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. However, if users have opted out of all communication with the site, or deleted/deactivated their account, then they will not be contacted, nor will their personal information be used in this new manner. In addition, if we make any material changes in our privacy practices that do not affect user information already stored in our database, we will post a prominent notice on our web site notifying users of the change. In some cases where we post a notice we will also email users, who have opted to receive communications from us, notifying them of the changes in our privacy practices.
Online Learning Consortium, Inc.
PO Box 1238
Newburyport, MA 01950-8238
Web site URL: http://www.onlinelearningconsortium.org