Calendar A-Z Index School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania


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Grades are definitely considered to be sensitive data. They are protected by federal FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) statutes and anyone who deals with grades must take care that they are not revealed improperly.

Instructors are responsible for the security of the grades of the students in their classes. For many professors, this means making sure that grade sheets are stored electronically on a shared drive.

Lecturers and graduate student instructors may not have this option, but there are other options available that are much more secure than storing them on a personally owned computer or laptop.

The best option is BlackBoard, even if you don't use it for anything else. That's because it has a grade book function that can be used to securely record not only final grades, but also any number of intermediate grades such as for papers and quizzes and midterms. It has the added advantage that students can use it to look up their own grades, so no more students asking, "What did I get on...?"