Policy on communicating grades and returning assessed work

Approved by the Senate January 19, 2015

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Note: All methods of communicating student grades and returning students’ assessed work must be compliant with Policy 90 – Access to Information and Protection of Privacy and Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

Any exception to this policy must be authorized by the Director, Compliance, Access to Information and Privacy.

For the purposes of this policy, assessed work includes tests, midterm examinations, assignments, projects, and such. Final examinations are not returned to students, but students have the right to consult them once they have been graded.

Ontario's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) contains specific provisions on how to collect, use and disclose personal information. The University of Ottawa is subject to FIPPA and must comply with it when student grades are communicated and students' assessed work is returned.

The University must ensure that students cannot be identified when grades are communicated to them (any grade given during a session, such as on tests, midterms, assignments, projects, etc.) and when students' assessed work is returned, because revealing a student's identity constitutes an invasion of personal privacy. 

When communicating grades, apply the following practices:

  • Communicate individual grades to each student using the University of Ottawa's secure online applications. Emailing class grade lists to students or posting grades on a professor's website is prohibited.
  • Ensure that students have access to their own grades only.

When returning  assessed work, apply the following practices:

  • Return assessed work only to the student who produced it, unless that student has consented to its disclosure to another individual.
  • If assessed work is returned to students outside of class hours, it should be done under the supervision of professors, teaching assistants or administrative staff.
  • Never leave students' assessed work unattended in a public area.

Unclaimed assessed work

All unclaimed student assessed work is  retained by the University for at least one year from the date the final grade for the course is official, in accordance with Academic Regulation 9.8 Destruction of Examinations and Assignments.

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