The confidentiality of students’ data as required by FERPA is protected in a number of ways. Students provide information through a secure, web-based system.
De-identification of Students’ Personal Information
The CATME system assigns a unique identifier for each student e-mail address. If faculty users release their class data to researchers, the information goes into a research database. This database shows the CATME system’s unique identifiers for the students and the rating information and other survey data provided by the students. The research database does not include the students’ names, e-mail addresses, or student identification numbers. Therefore, members of the CATME research team who use the database for research cannot link the data to particular students.
Faculty users retain access to all of the information on their classes. The CATME system administrator has access to identifiable student information (names, e-mail addresses, and student identification numbers) and all data in the system for the purpose of managing the system.
When faculty users release their class data to the research team, the data becomes available to the CATME research team. No personally identifiable information about the students is included in this database. Purdue University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) has granted permission for the research team to use this data under IRB Protocol # 0903007824.