Swansea University Learning Environment Course Retention Policy

Purpose and Overview

The University must comply with data legislation by regularly deleting personal data it no longer requires[1].  The learning environment (Canvas) exists to support teaching, learning, assessment and the student experience, not content management in general.

Courses should be preserved as an academic record once they are completed and students should have access to courses for the duration of their studies so they can refer back to content and assessment feedback.

Retaining learning materials and associated data in perpetuity is not advisable, especially for data processing accountability. Courses using the learning environment may include personal data held about users and user activity. The General Data Protection Regulation[2] sets out that personal data should not be held for longer than necessary. Compliance requires the University demonstrates it is compliant with data protection laws and this document outlining the retention and disposal for learning environment data allows us to demonstrate how we are meeting this requirement.

Course Retention

Courses generated using module maintenance and SITS information and those manually created which are not staff sandboxes will be kept for a maximum of 5 years after the current academic year. Therefore at time of publication, 20/21 academic year, any courses taught before the 15/16 academic year will be deleted. If the learning materials are required beyond this retention period it is the Faculties/Schools responsibility to download and securely store it in accordance with data protection laws prior to its deletion.

Staff Sandbox courses will be deleted when the owner has left the University.

Hub and non-academic courses will be reviewed and evaluated every 2 years from their creation during the summer period. Contact with the course coordinator will be undertaken with any identified as no longer used or required to discuss options and timescales for deletion. If a Hub or non-academic course has existed for longer than the maximum current academic year +5, the site owner will be contacted to request a new version is created and used from the beginning of the next academic year.

Deletion of courses will be undertaken on the 1st October each year.

This policy was approved on DATE by the University Education Committee and is effective from 10.11.20

University Education Committee is responsible for maintenance and review of the policy.

Next review due: 10.11.22 (2 years after approval)

[1] https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/individual-rights/right-to-erasure/

[2] https://gdpr.eu/tag/gdpr/