Is allowing all users to share contents with public a bad idea?

11-15-2016 07:01 PM
New Contributor II

I work in a small college that has an ArcGIS Online organizational account.  I tried to promote the practice that contents created for a course shared with a private group created for that course, and contents to be shared with the organization and public go through some quality assurance/metadata/institutional process before they go organizational/public.  This requires the students, instructors and support staff of the course to be members of our AGOL account and to sign in to access the contents.

A couple colleagues commented that the need to become a member of our AGOL and to sign in to access contents creates a barrier for students to use AGOL and lock down AGOL.  They'd like to allow all users able to share their contents with the public.  This way students don't need to sign in to access maps and apps created by instructors/support staff (likewise, instructors don't need to sign in to see contents created by their students).  And as long as we make it clear in the item description that the content is created for a course it should not bother the organization/public.  

I'd appreciate your thoughts, comments or experiences in your institutions on this matter.  

Thank you very much.

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2 Replies
MVP Esteemed Contributor

I'm in a state government, not an education environment, so I have different needs.  We run into a similar issue in that we do not have enough named-user accounts to allow everyone to log in.  However, for us, we also don't want just anyone making things public without having it vetted by the Department or at least Division.  Many of our users are just learning and it would be too easy for them to make something public without necessarily knowing the consequences.

So, for us, I have "allow all to share with public" turned off, with only a few of us that are administrators that can make things public.  I will (at some point) make sure there is one person with administrator access for each division, who can release it when necessary.  The issue I see however, is there is no ability yet to allow non-Administrators to release to public if that is turned off....either they are an Admin or your have it available to all named-users.  That is, you can not add this privilege to a custom role.

Although this idea says it is implemented, it is not enough ....see my comment about the issue

Finite Permissions inside ArcGIS Online 

In your case, if the only named-users are instructors who should know enough to not make things public that should not be, it might be ok to all them all to do this.  OR if students also have named accounts, but you do not want them to be able to make things public, make the instructors administrators, and the students no more than Publishers or users (or a custom role).

I see there is another similar ideas that might be of interest too 

These are just some of my person thoughts.  There are others that can give more of a education best practice.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

since you are with an educational organization ... join... and/or have a look at the content here
You will have some restrictions and then there is the whole credit thing, not to mention the access to data sets that the public doesn't have access to but the educational institution does.
It is not a bad thing to reign in while the student and faculty are members of the institution... they can do what they want with what they have on their own time with their own account... but not with university/college data or association.

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