FERPA On-Line Tutorial

Under FERPA, an eligible student at an institution of post secondary education (typically, an institution that provides education beyond grade 12) has the right to:

  • Inspect and review that student’s education records;
  • Seek amendment of the student’s education records that the eligible student believes to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights; and
  • Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records.

The term “personally identifiable information” includes the student’s name, address, social security number, or other information that would make the student’s identity easily traceable.

Consider this hypothetical situation.

In the algebra class she teaches at United States University, Ricki administers a quiz to her students every Friday. When the students complete the quiz, Ricki asks each student to give his or her quiz answers to a classmate. Then, as a group, the students grade one another’s work, with Ricki providing the correct answer to each question on the quiz. Ricki feels this practice of peer grading is a valuable teaching technique.

Sam, a student in Ricki’s class, objects to this practice. He feels that no other student should be able to know how he performed on a quiz, and contends that his FERPA rights have been violated.

Does Ricki’s peer grading practice violate FERPA?

Answer