[TOS] the FERPA discussion at Georgia Tech

Matthew Jadud mjadud at allegheny.edu
Thu Nov 17 14:43:08 UTC 2011

2011/11/17 Bonnie MacKellar <mackellb at stjohns.edu>:
> I imagine many of you have seen Mark Guzdial’s post on what is happening
> with FERPA at Georgia Tech?

GT has engaged in CYA politiks with respect to FERPA. The students are
of the age of majority; while the law says I cannot disclose what
classes students are enrolled in, they *do* have control over their
own online identity. Students can be given the option not to take part
in the public forum; if they choose not to, it is up to us as
educators to find alternatives for them. However, we can ask a student
to do work in the public sphere as part of their enrollment in a
class, and they can say yes.

This is not the end of FOSS participation for students.

(We're getting our annual FERPA talk at tomorrow's faculty meeting. I
just re-read the slide.) Yes, attendance in a particular course is
protected, and the institution must protect that information. But the
student can do anything they want -- they can post stories on blogs,
their grades, etc., without violating FERPA. I cannot REQUIRE a
student to give up their privacy, but I can ask them to. Or, I can
give them options. GT's approach, if it is as Mark describes, sounds
heavy-handed and reactionary.

My 2p, not a lawyer, etc.,

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