The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulates the release of student information. It is very important that protected student information, such as grades, not be posted to public locations such as class websites or classroom/office doors, even if listed by ID number. If you are ever unsure of the legality of posting particular information, contact your school or department for more information, and remember that it is generally best to err on the side of caution!

If you wish to distribute interim grades electronically, you can do so securely and legally using the learning management system.

For complete information on FERPA, please visit U.S. Department of Education: FERPA For FERPA-related questions or concerns, please contact the University Registrar.

University Registrar

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Limitations of restricting student records when using external/3rd party tools

UCI Canvas has many external tools integrated with it. These tools require directory information (typically name and UCI email address) in order to function. Regardless of a records release restriction, if you make use of one of these tools, directory information required for these tools will be passed to the tool’s vendor. Any concerns about a specific tool that appears to be required for a course should be referred to your instructor or the University Registrar.


Distributing Grades

You can use the learning management system to distribute scores to students in a FERPA-compliant manner.

Recommendation Explanation
Don’t post grades on a classroom / office door Posting grades on a classroom/office door is not FERPA compliant, even if full or partial student ID numbers are used instead of names. Student grades should never be publicly accessible, or viewable by anyone other than the student.
Don’t post grades on a class website Posting grades on a website is a lot like posting grades on a classroom/office door. Even if the website is password protected or restricted to enrolled students and even if the grades are posted as a downloadable file instead of directly on a web page, students still see each other’s scores.
Do post interim grades online within a gradebook Posting grades with a gradebook is secure and FERPA-compliant because students must login before seeing grades and each student can only view his or her own grades. GradeBook has the added bonus of calculating final scores and offering a mechanism to send total grades to the University Registrar’s final grade reporting tool, WebGrades.
Do post final grades online with the University Registrar’s Webgrades Final grades are submitted via the University Registrar’s WebGrades. The University Registrar then makes final grades available to students through Student Access, which requires login and is FERPA-compliant. Instructions for using WebGrades

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Collecting & Returning Work

You can use the learning management system to collect and return student work in a FERPA-compliant manner.

Recommendation Explanation
Don’t collect assignments in an unattended mailbox Collecting assignments in an unattended mailbox is risky because students may see each other’s work and assignments could potentially be tampered with or taken.
Don’t leave stacks of assignments and have students find their own If students are asked to look through stacks of assignments to take their own, they may see each other’s work or even take the wrong assignment.
Do collect, score and send feedback on student work within UCI Canvas assignments. Instructors can create Assignments in which students can submit work (i.e. upload documents, submit text, submit audio/video). The instructor can then access the submission, provide feedback and enter a score for the assignment. Note that Canvas does allow instructors to collect work on behalf of a group within a course space.
Do collect and re-distribute assignments within EEE DropBox Instructors can create AssignmentSubmission folders in dropbox, which allows students to upload files that only the instructor and the individual student can see. Instructors can also create AssignmentReturn folders, which allows instructors to upload files that only the instructor and individual student can see.

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