School Loop offers two permission levels for sharing documents stored in our system, Trusted Sharing and Limited Sharing. Trusted Sharing is the default. It assumes that people make responsible decisions when sharing links to documents stored on School Loop. Except in the cases defined below, Limited Sharing requires users to login and have specific access rights in order to download a shared document.
Trusted Sharing allows anyone with a link to a document stored in School Loop to download it unless:
- It has been deleted
- It is stored in a user’s personal locker in School Loop LMS (Plus). For School Loop Sites (Standard) users, this rule is not in effect.
Trusted Sharing mirrors de facto sharing permissions of most school districts. In most districts, staff access to various types of online information that can be downloaded, copied, put into reports, or captured in screenshots. Most staff also have email accounts. Districts trust that staff will make the right decisions when they download and share information, as there are no technical barriers stopping users from sharing information, and no control on its redistribution. Given this Trusted Sharing is the default setting for School Loop.
Limited Sharing has four rules that restrict document sharing, and two exceptions:
- Deleted documents cannot be downloaded
- Documents stored in a personal locker of a School Loop LMS user cannot be shared directly
- Users must login to School Loop to download a document
- Users must have access rights to the document’s locker to download it
By access rights we mean that in the normal course of using their School Loop account, the user can access the locker in which the document is stored.
There are two exception to the the rules regarding login and access rights. If they have a link to it, any user can download any document that is:
- Stored in a website or course locker
- Attached to news item, assignment or event from an external source (like a user’s desktop)
Here are examples of how Limited Sharing affects access to documents stored in various lockers or as attachments:
The key to this permissions model is that the locker in which the document is stored controls access rights, not the place or method of distribution. For instance, if a document stored in a Curriculum Group locker is attached to an assignment, it cannot be downloaded without login and access rights. That same document, if attached from a course locker, can be downloaded by anyone with the link.
Submitting Work to Teachers
Regardless of which level of document sharing is set, students can submit work to teachers from their personal lockers, and teachers can access those documents. That would appear to be an exception, but it’s not. When submitting a document to a teacher, the student actually copies it to a hidden locker that is shared with the teacher and the staff. By making it available to the staff, submitted work becomes part of the student’s work portfolio.
Accessing to School Loop Pages via System-Generated Links
On a related note, all pages in School Loop generate links, and those links can be copied and shared. In no case does having that link give people access to system generated pages, like LoopMail. In the LoopMail example, even if the user has login credentials and access rights to LoopMail, they cannot load the message itself via a shared link.
Protecting Copyrighted Materials
School Loop makes it easy for teachers to share instructional materials. Many people who support student learning may not have accounts or the right access rights -- tutors, counselors, paraprofessionals, afterschool professionals, siblings and other relatives among them. It would hurt students to deny people access to instructional materials.
To protect copyrighted materials or otherwise keep course content restricted, teachers should create a mini-site, make it private, and copy documents there for distribution. To keep them totally private, course documents should be stored in a private Curriculum Group or personal locker, and then copied to the Minisite Locker to make them downloadable.