||Posting Student Grades
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A federal law, the Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA,
also know as the Buckley Amendment) as amended, affords students certain rights
concerning their educational records. Students have the right to have some
control over the disclosure of information from the records. Educational institutions
have the responsibility to prevent improper disclosure of personally identifiable
information from the records. (Based on information taken from the University
of Connecticut website www.registrar.uconn.edu/postgrad.php)
The Family Policy Compliance Office within the Department of Education has
repeatedly ruled the practice of posting grades by student number to be a violation
of FERPA. The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions
Officers 1995 publication, Guidelines for Postsecondary Institutions for Implementation
of the Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act of 1974 as Amended, provides
the following guidance:
"The public posting of grades either by the student's name, institutional
student identification number, or social security number without the student's
written permission is a violation of FERPA. Even with names obscured, numeric
student identifier numbers are considered personally identifiable information.
Therefore, the practice of posting grades by social security number or student
identification number violates FERPA.
Instructors and others who post grades should use a system that ensures
FERPA requirements are met. This can be accomplished either by obtaining
the student's uncoerced written permission to do so or by using code words
or randomly assigned numbers that only the instructor and individual student
know. The order of posting should not be alphabetic.
Another method used to notify students of their final or other grades by
faculty prior to official institutional notification is to have any interested
students complete a postcard with their name and mailing address on the address
side and the course number/name on the message side. The completed postcard
is given to the instructor who writes the student's grade on the message
side and mails it to the student when grades have been determined."
It is also a FERPA violation for instructors to share student information
with other students. Instructors should not give any class member a graded
paper or project for return to another student who has been absent from class.
University Policy is therefore:
- Posting of student information (including grade) using the student name,
phone number, all or any part of the institutional identification number
or social security number are prohibited.
- Student grades should not be reported in alphabetical order under any condition.
- Random or student assigned code-word/numbers are acceptable provided the
relationship between this random I.D. and the student is known only to the
student and instructor.
- Graded course materials should be returned in a manner to ensure student
privacy. Folding/stapling up bottom portion of paper to obscure grade written
on bottom, writing grades on internal pages of report, hand-delivering papers,
use of sealed envelopes with student name on outside are all appropriate
methods. Leaving graded papers in boxes outside the office, returning work
on an open table with grade visible, or returning papers in order of highest
marks are not appropriate.
- Graded work should not be given to any individual (friend, relative, roommate)
except to the student to whom it belongs.