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Using Zoom to advise students is a new endeavor for most of us. The bottom line is that FERPA principles do not change.

Be sure that you are speaking with the student. You are under no obligation to share information if you are not certain that you are speaking with the student or someone to whom they have specifically given permission as noted in their student record for you to share non-directory information.

  • Don’t record the sessions. You would not record a session in your office, and the same applies to Zoom.
  • If you are not doing so already, use the “waiting room” feature on Zoom to avoid individuals cutting into conversations with other students and so that you have a chance to verify with whom you are speaking. This can also avoid Zoombombers, where unwanted participants join your Zoom or other virtual meetings and begin to post unwanted materials, take over the meeting controls, etc.
  • See these recommendations for keeping out unwanted Zoom participants.

Ask students to login to Zoom using their username and password. Verify that the name, DOB and MU Student ID number match by asking them to provide you with the information. Should preferred name not match, verify that the primary name does.

If the student is without headphones or there are obviously other individuals around, you might ask, "Hey, I notice that you aren't using headphones. Are you in a quiet place where it is OK for me to discuss your record and grades?" This protocol ensures that the student knows you will be discussing topics that they may not want others to hear.

If you cannot see the student, you should treat the session as you would a phone call and ask for identifying information (ID#, etc.). If they challenge you about it, you can reassure them that this is for the protection of their private information.

Look up the student's photo before the Zoom meeting.