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Teaching Theory: Problem Student Scenarios. Use the following scenarios to determine how you would deal with these in a classroom situation Take a chance to review FERPA policies.

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Use the following scenarios to determine how you would deal with these in a classroom situation

  • Take a chance to review FERPA policies

Dr. Jones has a class in which half the students are at least mildly engaged, and the other half, while not overtly disruptive or rude, are inattentive in lots of little ways. That inattention is disruptive to the class as a whole.  The half of the class that is engaged has started to get angry with or talk back to the students who are more inattentive, particularly during group work.  Should Dr. Jones continue to allow the students to talk back to the other students? What should Dr. Jones do?


An assignment was due by the beginning of class yesterday.  You have a policy that you won't accept late assignments of this particular type.  A few hours after class you received an e-mail with the assignment attached from an absent student who claimed that she was sick and didn't send in the assignment on time because she was sleeping off the flu.  It's the beginning of the semester and you’re trying to be nice and not appear unsympathetic.  What should you do?


Dr. Pepper assigns an end of the semester group project that includes making an informational flyer/brochure and a 20 minute presentation.  She is having a lot of problems with the groups she assigned. She has received complaints about slackers not pulling their weight. What can Dr. Pepper do?


A student is taking your class the second time. She was supposed to hand in a term paper a few weeks ago, but all you got was 5 pages from another course she took last year. You told her to give you the real one. She said, "Oh, I can't believe that you have a wrong paper. You should get it by tomorrow." The student then disappeared. What do you do?

  • What do you do when a student claims to have turned in a paper that you have no record of receiving?

You receive the following e-mail:

Dear Dr. So-and-so,

Hi! My child is in your Abnormal Psychology class. I know that I have already talked to you about how she should communicate with me about her work and how it’s not really appropriate for me to try and talk about her behind her back (which I’m doing now!), but I just want to make sure that she’s coming to class. Please let me know if she stops coming or doesn’t turn in any work because we’ve told her that we’ll take her car away if she’s not going to class.

Annoying Parent

What do you do? What do you tell the parent?

ferpa family educational rights and privacy act
FERPA Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
  • 4 Rights Granted to Students:

1. To inspect their educational records.

2. To amend their educational records if they believe them to be in error.

3. To consent to disclosure of their records.

4. To file a complaint with the FERPA office in Washington.


Records include:

Biographical info

Enrollment records



  • Can take the form of:

Printed Documents

Computer Screen

Handwritten Notes


FERPA rights don’t automatically extend to parents (regardless of age).

  • Without student permission, parents don’t have rights to review records.