Procedure for Protecting Distance Learning Student Privacy
- All students and employees at Wallace State are issued unique eight-digit identification numbers beginning with an “A.” These numbers become the means of unique identification throughout the time of enrollment/employment. These user IDs are required to gain access to Blackboard, which is the college’s delivery platform for online courses. Blackboard provides for faculty and students a secure, cloud-based, controlled environment through which faculty post assignments, manage discussion boards, and administer assessments without compromising the privacy and confidentiality associated with each student’s own grades and assessments.
- A faculty member teaching an online course has his or her employee identification number assigned to the specific Blackboard shell for that particular course. Students registered for the course each have their own identification numbers linked specifically and uniquely to the course and the instructor. [A student Blackboard log-in screenshot is included as Appendix 10.6.b.C.]
- SECURE LOG-IN AND PASSWORD: Initially, the student and instructors are assigned a unique username. This username, typically, consists of the first initial of the first name, followed by the entire last name. Appended to the end of the username are digits to ensure a unique username is used. For students, the additional digits are two randomly assigned numbers. Instructor credentials are communicated through IT staff communications during setup. Prior to their initial course login, students enter a secure website where, after entering the eight-digit identification number, students self-assign a unique challenge question and answer” for additional validation. They then create an alphanumeric password that serves as his or her unique identifier for the Blackboard course shell assigned to the course. If a student needs to reset a password, any attempt to access this secure website will require the student to enter their eight-digit identification number as well as their birthdate, followed by the answer to the challenge question before the student can reset the password. As a further safeguard of student privacy, passwords must be changed every ninety days.
- Specific departments may require proctored examinations. In this event, students must adhere to all associated protocols to validate identity.
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