Privacy Policy

last updated 4/3/2018

We’re thrilled that you’re interested in Lumen. Our mission is to enable unprecedented learning for all students. We use information, including information about you, to deliver on our mission and continually improve our services. We know you care about how we use information about you, and we care too. We value the trust you place in us when you use our services, and we’re committed to transparent, responsible, and ethical practices. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

This policy clarifies what we do and don’t do with your data.

Information we collect

Information you provide

When you create an account to use one of our services or fill out a form on our website, you voluntarily provide information that we store. This often includes things like your name, email address, phone number, and the institution you attend or teach for.

You may also use our platform to post educational content that includes tests, images, videos, interactive activities, and other media.

Information generated by our services

When you visit the Lumen website or our other services, certain information is generated and stored automatically. A few examples:


Some of our services use “cookies” which are text files sent by your device each time you visit our website or one of the Lumen Platform services. Some cookies are erased when you close your browser, and other cookies remain until you or your browser clears them. The information stored in cookies varies and may include certain preferences you have set, so you don’t have to set them again each time you visit. Cookie information may also be tied to accounts you have set up with us.

Activity data

We store information about your activity when you use our services, so we can learn from how users are engaging with our services and make them better. We also use this information to troubleshoot issues.

When you post or update content, leave feedback, or reuse, remix, or revise your content or the content of others, we store information about that activity like the date, time, changes made, and other related data.

The information generated automatically by our services is often stored in log files and databases. These might also include things like your IP address, the address of the Lumen web pages you visited, the browser and operating system you were using, and other similar information.

Below are a few examples of the types of information our courseware generates automatically:

  • Content views
  • Practice question use: date taken, individual question answers and results
  • Graded assignment and assessment use: date taken, individual question answers and grades
  • Time spent on each question
  • Enabling of automated messages
  • Number of automated messages sent by the system
  • Number of help messages sent by faculty to struggling students via the messaging tools

Information from connected services

Lumen courseware such as our Online Homework Manager (OHM), Waymaker, and Candela are often used embedded in an institution’s learning management system (LMS). This makes the experience more convenient since you don’t have to remember a separate username and password or a different web address. In this circumstance our software and the learning management system have a secure connection to share information. The LMS shares information with our services, and our services share information with the LMS.

Information we receive from an LMS

We securely receive information, including the following from our connection to an LMS when our services are embedded:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • The course you are teaching or enrolled in
  • Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) System Identifier

Information we share with an LMS

We securely send information, including the following through our connection to an LMS when our services are embedded:

  • Assessment and assignment grades

Personally identifiable information (PII)

We collect information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate Lumen users (faculty or students). Depending on the service or transaction, this “Personally Identifiable Information” (PII) Lumen collects may contain the following:

  1. First name, last name, and/or initials
  2. Institution email address and/or personal email address (where provided as preferred contact address)
  3. Education details, such as institution and course enrollment
  4. Messages sent between faculty and students via the Lumen platform or LMS embedded (via LTI) Lumen tools.

How we use and share the information we collect

We limit the use, collection, and disclosure of information including PII to that information needed to deliver the service. We do not collect, use, or disclose PII that is not reasonably related to providing Lumen services.

Information we collect falls into four broad categories of access:

  1. Public
  2. Lumen user community
  3. Selective consent
  4. Private

Public information

For the most part, the educational content (text, images, video, interactive activities, etc.) uploaded into our services is openly licensed accessible by anyone. There are some exceptions. For example, we are selective about sharing formative assessment content to protect the academic integrity of the assessments (“Protected Educational Content”).

Some feedback and comments, and profile information may also be displayed on publicly accessible pages.

Lumen user community information

The Lumen user community is made up of educators and students who have accounts in our services (“User Community”). Some feedback, comments, profile information, and Protected Educational Content are shared with other users in the User Community.

Selective consent information

As part of our courseware, Lumen encourages students and instructors to complete a “Research Consent and Communications Preferences” form for the course they are completing or teaching. Students and instructors can each choose to opt into or out of the study.

Our research consent form also asks users to provide the following communication preference information:

  1. Preferred name and email (if different to LMS provided details). While collected for consent purposes this identifying information is never shared.
  2. Goals for the course (optional)
  3. Any worries or concerns they have about the course (optional).

Should a user confirm that they are over 18, and consent to the research, the non identifying Waymaker activity data collected for their account will be used as part of a collaborative research study with Carnegie Mellon University, aimed at understanding and improving course usage and content. As part of this study Lumen may also ask your institution, at their discretion, to share pre-existing non identifying student and enrollment data for analysis. This study allows Lumen to improve our course content and platform for both student and faculty users on an ongoing basis.

Read about our research & data practices to learn more.

Private information

Information generated by our services such as the information in cookies, activity data, and data we obtain from connected services is kept private. Our team uses this information to improve the service.

We may also share aggregated, non identifying product usage information with your institution, or other partners in order to communicate the effectiveness, usage and improvement potential of our courseware.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Because our work is primarily with institutions of higher education, we pay special attention to information from education records that are subject to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (“FERPA Records”). To the extent that information we collect includes FERPA Records, we are considered a “School Official” (as that term is used in FERPA) with a “legitimate educational interest” in FERPA Records, and we comply with all obligations that FERPA imposes on a School Official.

How we secure the information

We care about the security of the information we collect, and we maintain appropriate procedural, physical, and technical safeguards to keep it secure. Despite our best efforts, we cannot guarantee that our methods will be effective in all circumstances. Please help us by keeping your user account and password secure. Please notify us right away of any unauthorized use of your account or information.

Choices you make about your information

Our goal is to use your information responsibly and transparently so that you can make well informed choices about the information you share with us. What you share is up to you. For example, you can:

  • Update the information in your profile
  • Choose what educational content to upload using our services
  • Choose whether to participate in our research programs
  • Close your accounts with us (we’d be sad to see you go)

In addition to these examples, you may have other choices through your device or browser. To learn more about these, see documentation from the provider.

Information about minors

Our services are not intended for use by minors under the age of 13. If you are a parent or guardian of a minor and learn they have provided us with personal information without your consent, please let us know.


We will revise this policy periodically. The current version will always be posted on our website. If we decide a revision is material, we will notify users and may post a prominent notice on our website. If you continue to use our services, you agree to the revised policy.