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Posting of Grades

To: Faculty
From: Amy Hammett, University Registrar
Re: Student Privacy and the Posting of Grades

This message is a reminder to all faculty regarding the public (both physical and electronic) posting of grades. While many of you want to be able to provide a timely and convenient method for students to receive feedback on course grading throughout the semester, student record privacy laws must be taken into consideration. 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 also that student ID numbers may not be used to publicly post grades, either physically on paper or electronically such as in an email sent to multiple 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 Directory Information Policy,

Likewise, it is not appropriate to leave a pile of student-identifiable papers or tests in a public place for students to pick up. If you are not able to distribute these types of materials directly to students in class, they can be left with a secretary/department assistant who can assure student identity and hand them directly to the individual student.

However, it is permissible to post by code name or number agreed to by the student and the faculty member. If you use the web to inform students of grades on course assignments, tests, etc., please use such a code name. Also, whenever grades are to be posted by code name, please scramble the names on the list before assigning codes so that the list does not reflect an alphabetical listing of student names.

We appreciate your cooperation in protecting students' privacy in accordance with the law. See CWRU's interpretation of FERPA for more information. If you have questions about a proposed practice, feel free to contact us. Thank you.