Teaching Tools Criteria Checklist

Are thinking about adopting a new teaching tool for use in your class?

This checklist contains important questions to ask before you decide to adopt any teaching technology; the answers will help you determine the safety and accessibility of the technology, for both you, and your students.

If you answer “No” or “Unsure” to any of the questions, you are encouraged to contact your divisional or departmental educational technology support staff for assistance in resolving any potential issues related to the use of the proposed technology.


Q. Does the solution protect sensitive information, such as student data or intellectual property from being put at risk or used for other purposes? (Have you read the company’s Privacy Policy?)

Q. Does the solution allow you (or your school) to take advantage of international standards for interoperability and integration, or is it a completely closed proprietary solution that can’t connect to any other tools?

Q. Does the solution allow users to have a seamless login experience, and the ability to move from one application to another within your school’s ecosystem?

Q. Does the solution allow for different kinds of roles (for example, a different experience for an instructor versus a student, or between an instructor and professional staff administrator)?

Q. Does the solution work well with your school’s Student Information (Registration) System (can data flow properly from your school’s main systems)?

Q. Where a solution creates intellectual artifacts (and related metadata) does it allow you and your school to access that artifacts, for both research and operational purposes? Does the solution allow you or your school to store the artifacts in repositories of your choosing?

Q. Can your school access data and metadata generated by the use of the solution for both research and operational needs?

Q. In order to use the solution, are users required to click independently on a Terms of Service agreement that may contain problematic language, or is there a school-wide Terms of Service that protects the interests of our users?

Q. Does the solution’s contract or Terms of Service make claims on the intellectual property of the users, or define other restrictions on use that are not compatible with your school’s practices or policies? (Have you read the ToS?)

Q. Does the solution allow you or your school to control the user interface design and/or brand the experience?

Q. Is the solution “Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act” (AODA) compliant?

Q. If the solution is meant to be used in a classroom, is it compatible with your school’s classroom technology standards?

Q. Does the solution meet your school’s technical standards and specifications?

Q. If you need to stop using the solution, for example, because the company makes changes to the product or pricing, do you have a strategy in place to move on, including a way to get your data out of the system?

Q. Does the solution provider include professional development and a proper support strategy with their solution?

Q. Can the company provide independent research into the pedagogical value of the solution?

Q. Is the cost of the solution consistent with a cost-benefit analysis (in other words, is it really worth the cost, either to you, your department, or the students – especially if you are only going to use it sparingly in your course)?