Best Practices: Usernames and Passwords Print or save as PDF

Distributing usernames and passwords while navigating COVID restrictions doesn't have to cause you stress! Here are a few recommendations and steps we suggest adopting: 

  • Instead of teachers handing out individual strips of paper or having the students draw a strip from a hat, we recommend going contactless by utilizing whichever online platform you are currently using, such as Microsoft Teams or Google Classroom. An example would be to have a teacher email or chat a login code directly to each of the students in their class. This is especially useful if the classroom is entirely or even partly online. 
  • Due to the current situation, we suggest that students keep a copy of their username and password in case they need more time to complete the survey, or are surveying at home. Ideally the messaging to students should be that the survey will be completed in one sitting, however, we know that there are some circumstances beyond our control that may require a student to finish the survey in more than one sitting.  Also, the survey will log out users after 15 minutes of inactivity and we know that students can easily get distracted, especially when at home, so having their username and password on hand will allow them to finish the survey if a logout happens.  
  • Students who have a smartphone can easily keep a copy of their login credentials by taking a picture of their login information or copying it down in a note-taking app. Alternatively taping or rewriting them in a physical notebook or saving an emailed copy can be equally effective. 
  • For another contactless method of distribution, we recommend emailing the codes to students using a Mail Merge program. Some programs that we know have this feature available are Microsoft Office and Google. 
  • If possible have the teachers assign usernames and passwords directly to the students. By teachers maintaining the list, individual students can message them to request their username and password again. Teachers should be instructed to keep this list confidential and destroy the list once all students have indicated they have completed the survey. 
    • Please note that it is not possible to identify individual survey participants. Participants are never asked to provide personally identifiable information (i.e., name, email / mailing address, phone number, student ID, etc). Anonymity is further protected by setting a minimum number of responses required in order to report a result for any population (or subpopulation when drill-downs are applied). The reporting procedures follow Statistics Canada’s standard of not reporting aggregate results which include less than 5 cases. All survey responses are then aggregated when reported to the school or district. 

With these changes, it will be more important than ever to reiterate to participants that the survey is (still) anonymous. As long as students do not include their name or teacher's names, the school will not be able to tell what answers on the survey belong to them. Also, when the survey is finished results get mixed in with answers from other students so no one will know their individual responses. 

We have prepared a few customizable letters that you can share with your students and their families to help better explain the OurSCHOOL survey. 

Consider using some of our other templates and resources to circulate information directly to the survey participants and/or their caregivers: