1. Select an online tool for review
  2. Describe your intended purpose or application for the tool (for example, learning or work related). Be specific.
  3. Complete the review by considering the questions listed below.

The review tasks are grouped into three main areas:

Business context

  1. Who owns the tool?
  2. Who is the tool maker or CEO?
  3. What are their politics? Does that matter?
  4. What is the tool’s history?
  5. How do they market themselves?
  6. How does the company generate revenue?
  7. What is their market positioning / point of difference?
  8. Who are the competitors?
  9. What do others say about the product? Are these sources reliable?

Terms of service

  1. What are the terms of service? Are they easy to find?
  2. What personal data is required to use the tool (username, real names, email, date of birth etc)?
  3. Who owns the data?
  4. How is the data protected?
  5. Where is the data housed?
  6. What flexibility do users have to be anonymous?
  7. Does the tool support open licensing of user generated content?
  8. How is copyright infringement managed?
  9. How is user generated content distributed by the company? What license does the user give the company for distributing to third parties?
  10. Can users delete their accounts or leave the service?
  11. Can users export their data? What export formats are supported?
  12. How is personal information managed?
  13. Can information be shared with third parties, and if so under what conditions?
  14. Can the company terminate a users account? Under what conditions?
  15. How are the changes to the terms of service managed?

Fit for purpose

  1. Is the tool suitable for the stated purpose?
  2. How does the design of the tool influence what users can do with the tool?
  3. Does the tool provide support resources and or help tutorials?
  4. Search the web to find out if others provide help and advice on using the tool (for example Youtube, blog posts etc.)
  5. What are the implications or opportunities of the tool to support learning in a digital age?