Public Posting of Grades

Student-record privacy laws must be taken into consideration when graded work is returned to students or when evaluative grades and feedback are provided to students. According to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), posting of grades by student names, student IDs, or Social Security numbers (or portions thereof) is prohibited. Note that this prohibition applies also to use of student ID numbers to distribute grades electronically such as in an email sent to a group of students. This is because Student ID numbers are individual identifiers that, together with student information, may be disclosed only with the student’s prior written consent per the university’s FERPA Policy.

Likewise, it is not appropriate to leave any student-identifiable graded papers or tests in a public place for students to pick up. If graded materials cannot be directly given to students in class, they can be left with a secretary/department assistant who can verify student identity and hand them directly to the individual student.

However, it is permissible to post lists of grades by some code name or number agreed to by the student and the faculty member. If the web is used to inform students of grades on course assignments, tests, etc., such a code name should be used. Also, codes should be assigned in random order so the list of codes does not reflect an alphabetical listing of student names.

Posting of student grades within systems (such as Canvas or SIS) that require individuals students to authenticate in order to view their own grades is permissible.