As you begin developing your course content, it’s critical to make sure that you’re abiding by the University’s legal requirements. Because laws may change, please check with the University for the most current legal restrictions.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) “prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities.” Here are some tips for making your Canvas course compliant with ADA requirements:

  • Place a statement on your syllabus informing students of how to contact the OARS (Office of Accessibility Resources and Services) office
  • Closed captions are text captions synchronized with video and audio. All videos in your online course must be closed-captioned. One easy way to address this is to use videos accessible through the University Libraries streaming services.
  • Alternate text refers to brief captions, or text descriptions, used by screen readers to describe what is portrayed in the image. Any images in your online course, whether uploaded directly to Canvas or placed in PowerPoint or Word docs must have alternate text descriptions.
  • Use built-in formatting tools for text, and do not rely on colors and tables to convey information.
  • Create PDF files from original text documents and use the accessibility tools available in Adobe Acrobat.
  • Be prepared to give approved students additional time on timed quizzes.

Detailed instructions on how to do all of these things can be found here: Tips for Making Your Canvas Course ADA Compliant

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) “is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.” To comply with FERPA requirements, instructors must ensure that grades and other private student data are not accessible by other students or the public. Some tips:

  • Keep grades in the LMS to ensure that grades remain private.
  • Only enroll TAs and other instructors in your online courses if they have a legitimate need to be in the course. TAs must take the appropriate TA training before being added to a course.

Quality Matters and C-RAC Checklists

Any new online course that is developed, as well as any existing online course that goes through a major update/redesign, should meet all the criteria in the Quality Matters Checklist (linked HERE) as well as the C-RAC Guidelines Checklist (linked HERE). More information on both of these requirements can be found HERE in the Curriculum Guide.

Terms of Service & End User Agreements (Click-Wrap)

Terms of Service agreements (commonly called click-wrap agreements) require a user to click ‘I agree’ or ‘I accept’ before the software or hardware can be installed. UNCG faculty and staff are not authorized to install any software that has not gone through the click-wrap approval process on campus. See this site for more information and a list of approved products: http://www.uncg.edu/ucn/clickwraps/


Copyright is a complicated issue, especially in online education. At a minimum, instructors should follow the fair use guidelines when determining whether to use sources in an online course. Fair use looks at the following factors:

  • Character and purpose of proposed use
  • Nature of the work to be used
  • Effect on the market or potential market for the work
  • Amount and sustainability of the portion to be used

For more information, see: http://copyright.uncg.edu/