Observer IDs for Students

Every student participating in CTTM needs an “Observer ID.” The Observer ID keeps students’ identities private while still allowing teachers to connect students with their work. This post describes how to create Observer IDs.

Why Observer IDs?

Teachers need a way to track students’ work as they upload observations to Anecdata. But we have decided not to use students’ actual names. The Observer ID gives teachers a way connect students with their work while still preserving anonymity beyond the classroom.

Deciding on a System for Observer IDs

Different students in your classes should have different Observer IDs. It is OK if two students with different teachers have the same Observer ID because we always ask for the teacher name when recording an observation or entering other kinds of records into Anecdata.

How you assign IDs is up to you. The important things are that they should be unique to each student and not too hard to remember and enter correctly when typing them into Anecdata.

As with Building IDs, it might make sense to set up a system that will allow you to quickly identify students by school year and class. Perhaps something like


where YY is the year, CCCC designates the class, and # is a sequential number that you assign. So, a student participating in CTTM this year who is in a chemistry class might have an Observer ID of 20-Chem-S08 and one who is in the second section of your Earth Science class might be 20-ES2-S17.

Because we also recommended a scheme like this for Building IDs, be sure that your Observer IDs are different in some way from Building IDs. (We used an “S” — for student — in Observer ID pattern and a “B” in the Building ID pattern. You might come up with a better idea that you can share with other teachers.)

Keeping Track of Who Has Which ID

That will be up to you. Anecdata will not contain the students’ names and will not have a way of matching up the Observer ID with a name. So, we will not have (and do not want to have) a way of connecting names and IDs.

We suggest keeping it in a spreadsheet and perhaps also as a paper copy.

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