Visibility to the Right People

In my previous posting I said that the purpose of this project is to make the information about students that we have available though many systems in the university available to the right time in the right format for the right people.

This posting is concerned with “right people”, and will be the focus of our topic at the action learning set at the cluster meeting in Derby.

Clearly a great deal of the information we have about our students is “sensitive”. For example we have marks, learning differences, fees status, accommodation details and maybe even self reported medical or psychiatric details. Who should be able to see all this? This subject will be a major issue for our project – and no doubt the data protection act will be called into the act many times by those who are frightened of sharing their data.

Well who can see these things?

  • The personal tutor?
  • The senior tutor?
  • The reception staff in student services?
  • The student?
  • The student’s parents?
  • Teachers on the student’s course?
  • Faculty Admin staff?

We have started to consider the importance of allowing the student some control of how widely the information may be spread. In the USA they talk about “Helicopter Parenting” (Google it) – and this is increasingly happening here: as parents pay a larger and larger part of the cost of the education they expect to know more about what is going on (perhaps in the same way that a sponsor expects information on progress). At the moment if parent rings and asks me if their offspring has been seen recently or what marks they are getting I am required to say “no comment”. Perhaps the Dashboard would enable the student to specify that I could answer their parents on agreed topics?

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