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LTI grade passback when student name changes

LTI grade passback when student name changes

by Sean Fitzpatrick -
Number of replies: 2

Is there any way to deal with the situation where a student changes their name mid-semester?

This happens from time to time, often because a student gets married and changes their last name, and for trans students changing their first name.

When a name change is filed with our registrar, the student's user ID and email address are changed accordingly. This results in a new account being created in WeBWorK under the new name, and any work that was completed prior to the name change gets left out of the grade passback. Can the two accounts be merged somehow?

In reply to Sean Fitzpatrick

Re: LTI grade passback when student name changes

by Danny Glin -

I think the short answer is no.  As soon as the new account is created in WeBWorK, it will have a full collection of sets assigned to it, which means merging the two accounts would require some logic as to which version of each assignment to keep.  You can copy the grades from the old user to the new user (and the problem seeds if you're that ambitious), and I would expect the grade passback to pick these up.  This won't catch the student's past answers though.

If you are brave you could try to do this at the database level, but I don't recommend it as it would be very easy to corrupt other data.  I also don't know how well the LTI grade passback would handle this.

WW 2.16 allows you to choose a different LTI parameter to use as the username in WeBWorK, so you may be able to find an identifier that will never change to use as the username in WeBWorK.  For example if your LMS includes the student ID number in the LTI request, then that could be set as the WeBWorK username.  This does present some challenges if you also allow users to log in with another external authentication method (e.g. LDAP/AD).

In reply to Danny Glin

Re: LTI grade passback when student name changes

by Sean Fitzpatrick -

Thanks. I think the easiest option is just to do manual grade reconciliation at the end of term, as this doesn't happen that often.

For some annoying reason, it was decided (by our registrar, perhaps?) that student ID numbers are information far too sensitive to be included in the LMS. Apparently they're in there somewhere, but at a level that is hidden from instructors. If we want student numbers we have to go into a different portal (which, of course, does not have the capability of producing a spreadsheet).

Students get assigned a Moodle ID number, which I think persists throughout the course, but isn't necessarily the same from course to course.