Section Merge – FERPA restrictions

If you need help to locate and update your Canvas course settings, your eLearning team will be able to assist you.

To be FERPA compliant please follow these steps.

A. Course Settings

Note: Student comments are disabled by default on Announcements in Canvas courses. Do not modify this setting in merged courses. Re-check the settings so that they comply with FERPA restrictions.

  1. Go to Course Settings.
  2. Click on More Options.
  3. Unselect the three options shown below.
Course Merge Settings

You can also disable student ability to create Discussion Topics in the Discussion Tool

Note: The option that allows students to create new Discussion topics must be disabled.

  1. Go to Discussions and click the gear icon
  2. Un-check the Create discussion topics option
  3. Save Settings
Course Merge Settings-Discussions

B. Course Content in your Primary Section

Faculty must Hide/Remove the People, Chat, Conferences and Collaborations course navigation tabs from their Canvas course site to restrict students’ ability to view and interact with another course section.

  1. Go to Course Settings
  2. Navigation Tab
  3. Disable items like People, Chat, Conferences, Collaborations
  4. Save the settings.
Course Merge Hide Canvas Tools like People, Chat, Conferences and Collaboration

C. Sending a message to all students using the Canvas Inbox:

There are two options for sending a message in Canvas and staying FERPA compliant with combined courses.

  1. When composing a message, check the box that says “send an individual message to each recipient.” This will prevent students from sending a “reply all” response or seeing to whom the message was sent.
  2. Select the address book in the “To” box and then select “course sections.” This will allow you to send a message to students in a specific section. This is beneficial if you want students to be able to “reply all” to fellow section members.

Last Updated July 20, 2023