NILE, the Northampton Integrated Learning Environment, is a collection of digital tools provided by the University of Northampton to support teaching, learning and assessment. The NILE tools include Blackboard Learn, Collaborate, CampusPress, H5P, Kaltura, Padlet, PebblePad, Turnitin, and Xerte. All NILE tools are fully supported by the Learning Technology Team and are available for use by all staff and their students at the University.
As well as the NILE tools, the University also provides a number of other technologies to support teaching and learning, including Barco, BoB (Box of Broadcasts), and LinkedIn Learning.
There are a number of reasons for using NILE.
1. All NILE tools are fully supported by the Learning Technology Team. This means that these tools are stable, reliable and regularly backed up to prevent data loss. Importantly, this also means that you have access to all the help, training and support you need when using these tools from your learning technologist. In addition, by using NILE tools your students can get help from LearnTech Support by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
2. All NILE tools have been checked for accessibility and are available to the widest variety of users with visual and/or auditory impairments. As well as being good practice, and part of the University's ethos to be accessible and inclusive, it is a legal requirement to ensure that information provided by the University on websites and mobile applications is widely accessible.
3. All NILE tools are GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliant. Under the Data Protection Act (2018), the University has a legal duty to protect students' personal data. You can use NILE tools safe in the knowledge that your students' personal data is being processed in compliance with the Data Protection Act. You can find out more about this on our blog post, 'GDPR - considerations for tutors' (see link below).
4. As set out in the University's guidelines on the use of external web (cloud) services (see link below), unless they have been informed prior to application, students cannot be required to sign up to third party digital tools (i.e. tools not managed and supported by the University of Northampton). As all NILE tools are available to staff and students via their University of Northampton credentials, students cannot opt-out of using these tools as part of their studies. Staff using digital tools not provided and managed by the University of Northampton are likely to need to complete a Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) and a Privacy or Data Protection Impact Assessment (PIA or DPIA) in order to ensure that they are using these tools in accordance with the law. If you are considering using a digital tool with your students outside of those provided by the University, you can find out more about relevant laws and regulations that you will need to comply with here:
• Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations
• Data Protection Impact Assessments
• Public Sector Equality Duty
5. NILE use is mandated by the University of Northampton. All modules taught at the University must have a NILE site, and each year the University publishes a set of design standards outlining what is expected in each module's NILE site. You can view the current NILE design standards using the link below.