University Registrar

Menu

FERPA In Teaching

Registration is Required

FERPA and university policy require that only officially registered/enrolled students may attend or participate in a class. Class schedules are confidential non-directory information available only to the student and those with a legitimate educational interest. Some examples of those with a legitimate educational interest are the class instructor, students enrolled in the same class, and school officials that require the information to effectively operate in their official university capacity.

It is a violation of FERPA and University Policy to allow unenrolled students to attend or participate in a class that the student is not officially enrolled in.

So, how do you manage this responsibility?

  1. Check your class roster in Wolf Web.
  2. Inform any unenrolled students in attendance (in-person or online) that they must register by the last day to add classes or they will no longer be allowed to participate.
  3. After the deadline do not allow any unenrolled students to participate in the class.
  4. Do not make ‘arrangements’ for unenrolled students to participate in the class electronically or in-person.

Please read the Course Registration Policy, policy number ASA-04-090, in its entirety.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I know if a student is officially enrolled? The student will appear on your class roster in Wolf Web. In short if they are not on your Wolf Web class roster then they are not registered.

What is the deadline for students to enroll? Students must be enrolled by the last day to add classes. In fall, winter, and spring terms that day is Friday of the second week of the term. Due to the variable dates for summer term the deadline varies, check the academic calendar for summer deadlines.

What is my responsibility? It is the responsibility of faculty to manage their classrooms (in-person or online) in accordance with the requirements of FERPA and university policy. More importantly, managing your class roster is a critical service to your students. Help them avoid financial and academic issues by monitoring your class roster, communicating with unenrolled students, and enforcing the registration requirement.

What do I do with unenrolled students after the deadline? Once the deadline has passed you may not allow students to participate in the class. “Participation includes acts such as physically attending a class, communicating with an instructor regarding course materials, submitting coursework or taking quizzes or exams, or otherwise engaging in learning activities”. Inform the student that they may not participate. If they refuse, contact the University Registrar for assistance.

My student says they have a hold that they are ‘taking care of’ and do not want to fall behind in the class; what do I do? You must still abide by the policy and FERPA. Students can view their registration holds in Wolf Web including contact information for the office they need to work with to resolve their hold.

What about waitlisted students? Waitlisted students may access course materials and participate while class registration is on-going. If they do not enroll by the last day to add a class, they may no longer participate in the class.

Are my students in the same class? Your students are in the same class if they are enrolled in the same CRN (course reference number) or if they are enrolled in officially cross-listed sections.

Are there any exceptions to the registration requirement?  There are no exceptions to the registration requirement. “In the event that extraordinary circumstances outside of a student’s control are preventing registration in a course(s), the Provost (or designee) may evaluate the circumstances and make a determination as to whether or not the student will receive the exception(s) necessary for him/her to complete the required registration procedures.”. This is NOT an exception to the registration requirement. If approved the hold will be overridden and the student enrolled in the class. Your Wolf Web class roster is still your guide to student participation. To pursue an extraordinary circumstances appeal:

  1. The student must exhaust all options with the appropriate department for resolving their registration hold.
  2. The student may then complete an academic petition and submit it to the Office of the Registrar.
  3. Appeals to the Provost for a registration hold override must be submitted before the last day to add a class.
    1. After the deadline late registration requests are reviewed by the Academic Petition Review Committee. The student is barred from participating in the class(es) while their petition is under review and permanently if not approved.
  4. The Provost’s decision is final. The student will either be enrolled in the class(es) or prohibited from further participation.

It is important to note that a decision to override a hold for registration purposes does not remove the hold and it does not release the student from their responsibility for resolving the underlying issue that resulted in the hold. Enrolled students with holds cannot drop or withdraw from classes online. They must contact the Office of the Registrar before published deadlines to request registration assistance.

Grades

Grades, on assignments and in a class overall, are confidential. Faculty and staff are responsible for protecting the identity of students and keeping student grades confidential. The return of graded papers or other assignments must also be accomplished in a manner that protects the identity of the student. Do NOT leave graded assignments out for students to rummage through. If you are unable to return an assignment in person arrange for students to bring proof of identity to the department office to retrieve their assignment.

Grades or evaluations linked to personal identifiers (names, WOU ID numbers, or Social Security numbers) may not be publicly disclosed. Grades or evaluations may be posted only by using randomly generated codes or numbers.

Grade books in online learning management systems must be privately shared between the student and instructor.

Incomplete grades are only appropriate when the term is nearing conclusion and the student only has a few assignments or an exam to complete. The student will complete the class working solely with you the instructor. If you issue an incomplete grade for a class where the remaining requirements involve group work and/or discussion boards, you will need to provide alternative assignments that can be completed independently. Additionally.

  • Do not issue an incomplete and direct the student to ‘sit-in’ on a future class. This is a violation of FERPA and university policy.
  • Do not issue an incomplete and direct the student to register for the class in a future term.
Canvas

FERPA and university policy requirements apply equally to all classes regardless of delivery method. Whether you are teaching your class entirely through Canvas or just using some of the features to augment the class, you need to maintain confidentiality of student information.

The same registration, grading, images, videos, and classroom management expectations apply in Canvas that apply in traditional delivery methods. The university provides tools to help you manage FERPA requirements in an online environment.

The Center for Academic Innovation (CAI) regularly receives requests to merge classes in Canvas. That is possible under the following conditions. The classes must be officially cross-listed in Banner. To be cross-listed the class must be taught, by the same instructor, at the same day/time/location, for the same students. Classes that do not meet the criteria will not be merged. If your classes are cross-listed, submit a Course Merge Request request to Academic Innovation.

Frequently Asked Questions:

I teach the same class under two different subject codes can they be cross-listed and merged? Yes. The university, for administrative purposes, sometimes uses two different subject codes for the same class in order to facilitate the use of the class in separate programs. From a classroom perspective, however, they are the same class because they are taught by the same instructor to the same students at the same time. For example, a class listed under two SUBJ codes like CJ 322/ANTH 322 should be cross-listed.

I am teaching a 400/500 level class can they be cross-listed and merged? Yes. Dual-listed classes should be cross-listed if you are teaching the same class to the same students at the same time even if it is a mixture of graduate and undergraduate students with slightly different expectations and assignments.

I have multiple sections of an asynchronous online class and the content is the same. Can they be cross-listed and merged? No. In this situation, you will either teach the classes separately in individual shells or you may establish one CRN for all of your students to enroll in. Under FERPA students are not anonymous in the classes that they enroll in, because they need to interact with the instructor and other students in the class, but outside of that class their schedule is protected information.

My classes meet the criteria for cross-listing. How do I get them cross-listed in Banner? Cross-listing is typically requested during the course scheduling process. Most departments and instructors know when their classes should be cross-listed. To request to cross-list classes after scheduling has concluded, work with your scheduler to submit a course change sheet request as soon as possible.

The student registered when will they have access to the class in Canvas? Banner and Canvas sync at regular intervals, approximately every 30-60 minutes.

Can I make changes to the class after the term is over? No. You may view the class and import the content to a new shell, but the class is now an archived academic record that cannot be altered and must be retained per state requirements.

How do I use Canvas for a student with an incomplete grade? Submit the Incompletes: Extend Course Access form to Academic Innovation. They will create a new section within the course site that enrolls only the student with an incomplete and extend the access dates for that section alone. This will permit the student to continue accessing the course site with full functionality while concluding the course for the other students in the course. The student completes the remaining requirements working solely with you. If you issue an incomplete grade for a class where the remaining requirements involve group work and/or discussion boards, you will need to provide alternative assignments that can be completed independently.

Where can I get more information about course shells? Visit CAI’s informational page about shells.

What about waitlisted students? Waitlisted students may access course materials while class registration is ongoing. At their discretion, instructors may adjust their course visibility settings so that a read-only version is available to institutional users with whom the instructor shares a link. Users will be able to view content but cannot see other students, complete activities, or receive a grade. The course will not populate on the user’s dashboard; they must use the link to access it.

Full course access is only available to users who have registered for the course through Banner. If a student does not have full access, this means they have not successfully registered and need to work with the Registrar’s Office to address the registration challenge.

Academic Innovation has created a guide for setting your course’s visibility.

Images, Videos, & Social Media

You may take student photos and/or videos that include the student for in class use. Delete the images/videos when the class concludes.

If you wish to use student photos and/or videos outside of the class or in future classes, you must obtain written permission from the student.

Social Media and other web tools provide opportunities for innovative engagement as well as unique challenges for maintaining student privacy. The same privacy protections that apply when using a university tool such as Canvas apply when using any other tool. The students have the right to remain anonymous to everyone except the instructor and students in the same class. Their grades and academic record are not to be shared.

This does not preclude you from using these tools, but you must do so in a manner that allows students to maintain their anonymity. You may request that the students consent to waive anonymity while using a particular tool in your class, but you cannot require it or penalize a student that refuses to consent. Students cannot be required to engage with a platform where anonymity is impossible.

Tips

  • Identify ways that students can engage in that sphere while remaining anonymous (e.g., creating fake and therefore anonymous user profiles).
  • If possible, create a private space within the tool that only you and the students can access.
  • Put a statement in your syllabus and review it with the class to explain the platform, how it will be used, and the value of using it.
  • Have a backup plan. If anonymity is not possible and a student does not consent you will need to provide an alternative.

Classrooms Virtual & In-person

The classroom, be it virtual or traditional, is a space where faculty and students interact. Students have significant rights to privacy, but even FERPA explicitly allows that students do not have a right to anonymity in the classroom. The fact that they are enrolled, their name, and participation in the class is expected to be known to the students in and instructor of the class.

As faculty the protected information you have about a student is to be used for your role in teaching the class. It is not to be shared or discussed with other faculty or staff that do not have an educational need to know relationship with the student’s information.

Although students are not anonymous in class their private information, such as grades and their student identification number are still protected information that must be secured and not shared.