Use of non-UAL digital platforms in learning and teaching

In this guide:


UAL provides digital learning platforms for use by staff and students for learning and teaching activities.

Other platforms, referred to here as ‘non-UAL digital platforms’, can sometimes be used for teaching and learning activities but there are restrictions explained below.

What are considered UAL digital learning platforms?

The UAL digital learning platforms are: 

  • Moodle 
    • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
    • Feedback Studio (Turnitin) 
  • Panopto 
  • Workflow 
  • myblog 
  • Padlet 
  • Miro*
  • Microsoft Teams

These platforms are:

  1. Available to all staff and students through a UAL network account 
  2. Fully supported by all digital learning staff across UAL 

*There is UAL licence for Miro, but with limited access. Contact your Digital Learning Team for details. Staff can also register for an Educator licence for use with students.

What are considered non-UAL digital platforms?

All other digital platforms are considered non-UAL digital platforms.

Some non-UAL digital platforms have been licenced or approved on a small-scale, for example at a college level or on a particular course. Consult your Digital Learning team (below) before using one.

When can you use non-UAL digital platforms? 

Using non-UAL digital platforms can facilitate students’ digital skills development and critical engagement with digital practices as well as providing staff with a wider toolkit of resources and platforms. 

Non-UAL digital platforms can be used in some teaching and learning activities but not in others: 

  1. They can be used for content and for formative learning activities in certain circumstances (see below). 
  1. They must not be used for essential course communication, live teaching sessions or for collecting or storing summative assessments. 

Before using non-UAL digital platforms 

It essential to consider factors beyond functional needs, such as data protection, information security, accessibility and support before using non-UAL platforms. 

Course teams should discuss any potential use of non-UAL platforms with their Digital Learning team before using them.

Appropriate uses for non-UAL digital platforms 

These examples are indicative rather than exhaustive.  

Directing students to content on non-UAL digital platforms is acceptable. 

  • Example: Recommending YouTube videos for students to watch or sharing resources on Twitter for students to access. 

Use of non-UAL platforms can be encouraged for formative learning activities. If the platform collects personal data (data that identifies someone such as their name or email address) students must be provided with the option of using a UALdigital learning platform.  

  • Examples:
    • Using an online polling tool such as Poll Everywhere is acceptable if no personal data is collected. 
    • Asking students to create a website using either a non-UAL digital platform or a UAL digital learning platform is acceptable, as students have a choice.  
    • Asking students to use a specific external platform such as would not be acceptable as the University cannot require students to share personal data with non-UAL digital platforms. 

Unacceptable uses for non-UAL digital platforms 

These examples are indicative rather than exhaustive.  

  1. Non-UAL digital platforms must not be used to store or collect summative assessments. Students can use non-UAL digital platforms to create artefacts but not to host the final submission. 
  1. All course communication must be done using UAL platforms & UAL email addresses. Non-UAL digital platforms must not be used for essential course communication from staff. 
  1. Non-UAL platforms should not be used to deliver live teaching sessions or tutorials online. Only Blackboard Collaborate Ultra & Microsoft Teams can be used to deliver live teaching. 
  • Examples:
    • A summative assessment could be created on a Mural board but the subsequent submission must be a file (e.g. PDF) exported from Mural and uploaded to Moodle. Students cannot submit a web address of a Mural board.
    • A summative assessment could be a video hosted on Panopto but not a video published to Vimeo.

Need more help?

If you have any questions about using non-UAL digital platforms in teaching and learning activities, contact your college or Institute’s digital learning team. 

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