ICT Acceptable Use Policy

Information Technology (IT) Resources
This policy applies to all student users of The Manchester College’s network, IT services and facilities. If you do not understand this policy, please ask your tutor or a manager for guidance.

Use of the Internet
All internet activity is monitored by the college for security and personal safety purposes, and it is possible to identify individual usage.

By accessing the internet from The Manchester College network, you agree to the terms and conditions of The Manchester College Network Acceptable Use Policy as follows:

The college provides internet access to assist you in your studies. This policy cannot define every specific coursework related use of the internet. Examples of acceptable use include research for assignments and assessments, using online learning materials, or participating in forums or online groups appropriate to your course.

  1. You are asked not to abuse this privilege. Any abuse may result in the withdrawal of Internet access and in the event of a serious breach will lead to disciplinary procedures,
  2. Some areas of the internet contain information, in textual or graphic form, which could cause offence to other people or may be illegal to download or view. You are prohibited from knowingly accessing, viewing or downloading such material.
  3. You must not bring the college into disrepute through use of online, ‘social networking’ activities.
  4. Examples include uploading images or videos which show antisocial behaviour or illegal activities; making derogatory statements about the college, college staff or other students; or revealing confidential information about the college, college staff or other students. This list is not exhaustive.
  5. You must not use images of college sites or staff, or college logos, in videos or photographs, without prior permission from a tutor or manager at the college.
  6. You are not permitted to download and/or install software.
  7. The college reserves the right to withdraw internet access for any student found or believed to be:
  • in possession of material which is sexist, racist, abusive, defamatory or obscene
  • in possession of material promoting discriminatory actions or illegal behaviour
  • in possession of any material which is in breach of copyright legislation
  • using the college network to obtain such material
  • using the college network to distribute such material
  • using the college network to bring the college into disrepute
  • downloading or installing software
  • frequently using services that are unrelated to their course, causing college staff to be concerned about the effect of this activity on achievement with college work
  • playing online games other than those created for learning purposes
  • using online chat services unless specifically authorised by your tutor
  • using the college network in any way that is disrespectful or potentially harmful to other students, college staff, or the hardware and software provided by the college

Personal safety when using the Internet

There is evidence that some websites, including those used for academic purposes, are accessed by users who wish to exploit young people. You are advised to exercise care when communicating through the internet with people you do not know personally. 

The following guidelines should be followed:

  • Never arrange a meeting alone with someone you have made contact with on the internet
  • Never disclose any personal information through the internet to unknown persons or organisations
  • Be aware that any unknown persons you are communicating with through the internet may not be who you think they are and photographs they display may not be their own

Saving and backing up your work

It is your responsibility to save your work and one of the most important things you must learn from the start is how to do this. It is essential that you save your work to the space on the network which has been set up for you.

You are also advised to back up final assessment work or other important work on your own memory stick or other data storage device. Some students have lost important work in the past because they have not done this. You will be provided with information on how to do this.

Use of Data Storage Devices

(This includes CDs, DVDs, Floppy Disks and USB Memory Devices)
The purpose of this section is to outline the acceptable use of data storage devices on college computers. USB memory devices are also known as ‘memory sticks’ and ‘pen drives’. It is important that you read this section carefully so you understand how to safely use devices that you save your college work on.

Conditions of Use

  • You are responsible for the information and data held on your USB memory devices.
  • You can only use data storage devices on the college network for your college work
  • You can only use your own data storage device if it does do not require a mains electricity supply
  • Powered data storage devices can only be used if they are college property and are supplied through the college’s IT Services.
  • You are personally responsible for the correct use of your data storage device. The college will not accept responsibility for any data loss or damage to devices caused by incorrect connection, ejection or shutting down of computers.
  • Data storage devices must not interfere with the set up of any college computer hardware or software. You are therefore not permitted to use data storage devices containing computer games, viruses, public domain software (free software), shareware, illegal copies of any kind, pornography or other offensive materials
  • To ensure that your storage devices are virus free you should only use these on equipment with up to date anti-virus software. If you are unsure about this, scan your device using the college’s virus protection software before use.
  • Sensitive data or data generated and owned by the college, members of staff or other students, must not be copied or removed from the network without consent.

Data Protection

The Manchester College must follow some rules too. We need to gather, process and store some personal data from you so that we can provide an excellent service.

The government says that the data we collect must be:

  • processed fairly and lawfully
  • obtained for a specified and lawful purpose and shall be processed only for that purpose 
  • adequate, relevant and not excessive for those purposes
  • accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
  • kept for no longer than is necessary for that purpose
  • processed in accordance with the data subject’s (your) rights
  • kept secure from unauthorised or unlawful processing and protected against  accidental loss
  • kept within the European Economic Area, or otherwise transferred with adequate protection

These rules are set out in the Data Protection Act 1998.

Intellectual Property Rights – Copyright

Copyright laws allow owners of copyrights to take legal action where materials are used without permission.

Copyright laws may apply to materials published on the internet (such as text, audio, videos, movies, music or graphics), even if there is no direct statement on a website about copyright.

Users of the college network and IT facilities must follow the copyright laws.
You must not:

  • use illegal copies of a licensed computer program
  • download, copy, store or transmit copyrighted materials without permission
  • access any systems that you are not authorised to access

Health and Safety
This section of the policy gives guidance for protecting your health and safety while using college computers.

It is your responsibility to:

  • take regular breaks from the computer screen
  • adjust chairs to support the lower back
  • maintain an upright position above waist level
  • tilt the keyboard using the ‘props’ at the back
  • type with your wrists straight and with your hands in line with your arms
  • place the mouse at a comfortable distance from the edge of the table to avoid
  • stretching your arms
  • adjust the screen so that your eyes are at the same level as the top of the screen
  • position the screen appropriately to avoid glare and adjust the brightness of the
  • screen to the lighting conditions in the room
  • leave enough room under the desk for free movement of legs
  • change sitting positions from time to time

Drinks or food are not allowed near computer terminals.

Bags or other items must not be placed where they are in the way of anyone walking past or using another computer.

You must use your own personal headsets on computers

Security and Privacy

To ensure security of the systems and the privacy of users, you must not

  • access the network with someone else’s details
  • give your own access details to someone else
  • access the network through other unauthorised means

You are are advised to save your work on your network space on a regular basis, while using the system.

Printing

The college is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its activities, including the use of paper for printing. All students are asked to support this aim. Please use printing facilities for course work only, and only print out documents when essential.

IT Resources – Agreement Form

Now that you have read this policy, you will be asked to sign an agreement stating that you understand the conditions for accessing The Manchester College’s network, IT services and facilities. If there is anything in this policy that you do not understand, please reread it and/or contact your tutor or a college manager for guidance.

Failure to comply with this policy may result in suspension of access to the network and/or disciplinary action.

If you witness actions or behaviour by other students that is in breach of this policy, or notice any equipment that has been damaged or does not work, please bring it to the attention of your tutor, a manager or a member of college staff.