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Best Practices

Building great online programming is hard. Simply identifying providers who offer the services we’re looking for is not enough. We only partner with the absolute best providers, organizations committed to providing universities with transparency and collaboration.
To work with Noodle Partners, a provider must demonstrate the following:

Business Practices

  • Contract: Providers must agree to use the Noodle Partners standard contract and service-level agreement to simplify the contract negotiation process.
  • Data Transparency: Providers must agree to share data and operating metrics with the university through simple APIs. We then combine operating metrics from multiple providers into dashboards providing real-time, actionable data for faculty and administration. You can also bring this data into a store from which you can run whatever analytics you choose (or use it to feed other systems).
  • Financial Audit: Providers must agree to be audited each year. In the event that an auditor expresses doubts about the company’s viability, the provider agrees to immediately notify you, which may then trigger placing intellectual property into escrow (as well as other provisions to protect you).
  • Security Audit: Providers must agrees to periodic security and data privacy audits. Should a vulnerability be identified, our partners must agree to address it immediately.
  • Recruiting Practices (where applicable): Marketing and recruiting providers agree to comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and other FCC regulations. Taking this one step further, our partners must agree to avoid legal, yet misleading, lead-generation practices that some other providers use.
  • Data ingestion: Providers must agrees to make it simple to ingest and export data to and from easy-to-use file types (e.g., XML or CSV). If there are fees associated with either the ingesting or exporting data, these fees are clearly listed up front.
  • Flexibility: Where practicable, providers must agree to decouple offerings and allow universities to turn off access to certain features, functions, and services to eliminate redundancy with other software or services.

Interface Practices

  • Responsive Design: Providers must agrees to design student- and faculty-facing software with a variety of desktop and mobile devices in mind and support modern browsers.
  • Accessibility: Where applicable, providers must agree to support users with disabilities, and comply with applicable laws (Section 508) and the practices of Universal Design for Learning. Should a provider not be able to comply, this will be clearly stated in the contract.
  • Branding: Providers must agree to configure their interfaces to align to their visual identities, giving overall platforms a consistent look and feel.
  • Configuration: Providers must agree to allow direct access from a central dashboard to a configuration suite, so school IT administrators can manage software products more quickly and efficiently.

Technology Practices

  • Single Sign-On: Providers must agree to integrate with university-wide single sign-on (SSO) infrastructure, such as Shibboleth.
    Open, Published APIs: Providers must agree to support relevant open, published APIs (including IMS and PESC) and to extend them with an eye toward future standards.
  • NoodleBus by IData: Through published and open APIs, we expedite data transfer and change between systems through the use of the Noodle Partners bus. Knowing how critical connections are between your programs and your legacy software (such as your SIS), we work to make this connection reliable and inexpensive.

Exceptions

In some cases, we may decide to partner with a provider who can’t comply with one or two of our best practices. In these exceptions, all parties will commit to clearly disclose those inconsistencies, and to work toward better alignment.