Student Privacy (FERPA) and PolyLearn

Students are able to choose to protect their Directory Information, which excludes them from the Cal Poly Online-Directory, ASI Student Directory, some email lists (club/alumni), and some Cal Poly mail.

Instructors are not required to accommodate student requests for anonymity.

To view a list of students in a class with FERPA protected Directory Information, use the Printable Class List, available on the Portal - Registration & Enrollment / Printable Course Info Channel. Students who have protected their Directory Information will have a Yes under the FERPA column.

How Do PolyLearn Tools Display Student Names and Email?

  • Forums: Displays the full name on each topic and reply. Click on the name to access Full Profile.
  • Quickmail: Displays the full name.
  • Groups: Displays the full name, username and Cal Poly email address.
  • Journal / Blog: Displays full name and username.
  • Collaboration Space (WIKI): Displays the full name and username.
  • Full Profile: Displays full name, Cal Poly email address, first and last date/time access to the course, list of courses in PolyLearn.

Who Can Access a PolyLearn Course?

PolyLearn is a course system which allows instructors to provide course materials, assignments, collaboration tools and assessments for enrolled students. Only the instructor and those who are currently enrolled in the class will have access to the course and user information (name/email). Specific course and student information is not available to outside users.

What Are My Options for Supporting a Protected FERPA Student?

Instructors are not required to accommodate student requests for anonymity. The PolyLearn system will not allow instructors to hide the student's name and/or email address within the Forum, Wiki, Blog, Quickmail, or Groups.

Depending on the tool and activity, if desired by the instructor, he/she may provide options for the student; although offering an alternative to PolyLearn is not required. Below are a few suggestions instructors may choose to use if it allows them to provide equal assessment or activity for the FERPA student.

Collaboration Space (WIKI)

Allow one of the team members to enter WIKI information for the FERPA student. The student who entered the information can type a nickname for the FERPA student to display their contribution. However, in this case, the WIKI grader can not be used for the FERPA student. The instructor will need to manually review the information for the nickname and assess the contribution to add the grade in the gradebook.

For more information about FERPA Policies, please visit http://www.registrar.calpoly.edu/content/stu_info/ferpa