Glean Faculty FAQs

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Glean responses to commonly asked questions

Glean for Education is a web-based note-taking application that, in concert with the Queen’s University in-house built volunteer note-taking service called noteQ, diversifies the ways in which students with disabilities/disabled students can engage with their academics.

Glean for Education provides note taking support using an audio recording accommodation along with Queen’s accommodation of transcription support to allow students with disabilities/disabled students to effectively review and study their notes after class.

Glean for Education allows students to import slides or screenshots directly to their notes. The tool also provides functionality to add notes during class, or simply tag important aspects of the audio recording for review after class.

Glean for Education is a product of the company Glean (previously known as Sonocent).

The accommodation to audio record lectures has been provided to students with disabilities/disabled students at Queen’s University for almost 30 years. Over the years, the provision of this accommodation has transitioned from the use of tape recorders to handheld digital Dictaphones, to personal smartphones/tablets/computers, and now the accommodation is provided through Glean for Education.

Students with disabilities/disabled students may benefit from note taking supports such as Glean for Education for a number of reasons. For many students with disabilities/disabled students, traditionally understood methods of note taking may leave them needing to decide whether to place their focus on actively listening to the instructor during class or place their focus on taking notes for after class study. The completion of both simultaneously may create a potential barrier to access.

This barrier to access may arise for the student for several reasons related to (but not limited to) physical impacts (permanent or temporary), neurodiversity, learning disability, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, concussion, vision loss, hearing loss, among others.

Glean for Education allows a student to engage in active learning in class while also taking notes to supports their unique access requirements.

Glean for Education is provided to Queen’s students registered with Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) and whose experience in the classroom has created specific barriers that can be reduced or removed using Glean for Education. With the audio recording and transcription provided by Glean for Education, students experiencing note taking barriers in the classroom can take ownership of their own note taking requirements.

Instructors can use Ventus to view whether a student has an accommodation to use Glean for Education in their class. If a student has an accommodation to use Glean for Education, it will appear in Ventus as Note taking/audio recording through Glean.

Prior to using Glean for Education in the classroom, students must sign an audio recording terms and conditions. These terms and conditions stipulate that:

  • Recordings are for personal study use only and must not be shared.
  • Personal information of classmates must not be disclosed in any fashion.
  • Recordings and transcriptions are permitted based on an exception in the Canadian Copyright Act (section 32), however information shared by the instructor within the class is the intellectual property of that instructor and cannot be published, quoted, or otherwise distributed without explicit written consent from that instructor.
  • Violating these restrictions will be considered a departure from academic integrity standards and may result in sanctions outlined in the Academic Integrity Policy.

Audio Recording Lectures – Terms and Conditions (PDF, 113KB).

Audio recordings and electronic notes are stored locally on the student’s device in a Glean-readable format. Data is also uploaded to Glean’s cloud storage, which is hosted across Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud platforms in UK data centers.

Glean follows the rules of the UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDRP) for all personal data handled (including personal data handled in Canada).

Learn more about Glean Data Security Policy and Glean Privacy Notice. You may also be interested in reading Where and how are my Events saved? from the Glean user guide

While the Glean for Education platform does provide the functionality to share audio recordings with another Glean for Education user within the same university, this feature is not enabled at Queen’s University and therefore Queen’s University students using Glean for Education cannot digitally share audio recordings created within the platform.

Audio data stored locally on the student’s computer is stored at rest in a Glean-readable format. It cannot be exported or digitally shared from the student’s computer. Each Glean-readable file stored on a student’s computer is linked to a specific Glean for Education account, only accessed through the student’s email address. If two students with two separate Glean for Education accounts were sharing a computer, they would not be able to access the Glean-readable files linked with the other student’s Glean for Education account.

Glean follows The Principle of Least Privilege – a data security concept restricting access to end user information to the minimum level needed. Glean restricts access to end user data to authorized persons with legitimate business need to access that information in the scope of their job role.

Read more about Glean’s Authority and Access Control (see section 9).

The Glean Service Agreement (sec. 6 – Your Data) states, “The ownership of Your Data prior to your use of the Services will not change once Your Data is held or inputted into the Services.”

In other words, your intellectual property will always belong to you and Glean does not claim ownership of any intellectual property.

Glean utilizes the service of third-party processors (Voicegain and Deepgram) for the purpose of providing transcription services. Both Voicegain and Deepgram utilize AI for the purpose of developing Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) allowing for the creation of transcriptions.

While Glean for Education currently uses two third-party processors for transcription purposes (Voicegain and Deepgram), they are in the process of shifting all transcription services to Deepgram only.

Deepgram does not retain any user information. After a transcript has been provided to the end user (a process that takes minutes), the audio and corresponding transcript will be permanently deleted from Deepgram’s system.

Voicegain retains 5% of the total (not just Queen’s) anonymized voice data for a period of 14 days. This data is used by the company for the purpose for the purpose of machine learning.

Glean for Education as well as the company, Glean, have both been vetted through numerous units of Queen’s University.

  • The Glean commercial and service agreements were vetted and approved through the Queen’s University legal counsel prior to purchasing Glean for Education.
  • Glean for Education was vetted by the Queen’s University Information Security Office through the Security Assessment Process (SAP) and was found to be within an acceptable risk threshold. A second SAP process was completed on Glean for Education in February 2022, and a third SAP was completed on Glean for Education in September 2023. Each SAP found Glean for Education to be within an acceptable risk threshold for Queen’s University.
  • Glean’s third-party processors (Voicegain and Deepgram) that provide transcription service have both been vetted through the Security Assessment Process (SAP). The current SAP process found both Voicegain and Deepgram to be within the acceptable risk threshold for Queen’s University.
  • A review of Glean’s privacy and security practices was completed by the Queen’s University Privacy Office in February 2022. This privacy and security review found that Glean has “good privacy and security, and extends these expectations to its service providers."

Student access to audio recording can be removed. The process to remove a student's access to audio recordings begins when a student's Glean for Education account has expired. Learn more at What happens when a subscription ends?