Many faculty member frequently ask about the “rules” regarding the public posting of grades/marks.

This is a sticky issue. Use of a student’s name, institutional student identification number, or social security number, without the student’s written permission, is a outright violation of the student’s privacy and FERPA. In addition, legal counsel will tell you that even the use of a partial name or number is a terrible idea. In the latter case the legal concern is that someone may be able to figure out to whom the abbreviated name/numbers and/or grades marks belong.

As result, we strongly suggest that faculty use some “private” mean of distributing grades and course information to your student. Use of code words or randomly assigned numbers that only the faculty member and the individual students know is acceptable. Using this methodology, faculty should not post the grades alphabetic because of the possibility of someone figuring out to whom the code words or randomly assigned numbers and grades belong. In addition, if you do create a webpage in which you control access, once in, it is an imperative that everyone in the class NOT able to see each others names, numbers, and grades or marks – only their own.

Lastly, there is a small percentage of the population that objects vociferously to *any* use of SSNs other than for Social Security and tax-reporting purposes, and they can make your life and that of your Chair/Dean miserable when you use them for other purposes.