LASSO Frequently Asked Questions

What assessments are available?
You may find the list of assessments available in LASSO here.
How do faculty give permission to share their class's data?
While creating a course in LASSO, faculty are informed that by continuing to use LASSO they are agreeing to have their class's data anonymized, aggregated, and used in educational research. This information is also included in the LA Alliance's terms of service that users agree to when creating their LA Alliance account.
What is the purpose of the LASSO platform?
The objective of the LASSO platform is to improve science education at college and universities around the world. To accomplish this task the platform focuses on two services. The first is supporting educators in assessing their courses impacts on students' knowledge and attitudes. Our hope is that giving instructors objective measures of their students' outcomes will motivate them to adopt research-based teaching practices that will increase the effectiveness of their courses. The second is providing researchers with a large-scale, multi-level database of course attributes and student outcomes.
What kind of data do instructors get from the LASSO platform?
You have access to all of your students answers, which you can download at anytime. After completing the posttest, you will have access to a report that summarizes your student's learning. Example reports can be found here.
Who can access my class's data?
You will have full access to your classes data. Your class's data may also be anonymized, aggregated, and shared with education researchers with appropriate IRB approval.
Why do I have to agree to share my class's data?
The objective of the LASSO platform is to improve science education at college and universities around the world. LASSO is designed to do this by supporting instructors improvement of their courses while simultaneously supporting education researchers to generate a better understand of what pedagogical practices lead to improved student outcomes. By anonymizing, aggregating, and sharing classroom data from users, the LASSO platform can facilitate the investigation of novel research questions that are simply unanswerable without a large-scale nested dataset. The instructor consent information can be found here.
How do researchers access my class's data?
Researchers who want to use LASSO data need to provide an approved IRB to be able to directly download anonymized data from the LASSO platform. If you are interested in purchasing data, please submit a request using the HELP center tool.
How is data anonymized?
All data is de-identified through the replacement of all names (student, instructor, and course), emails, and course numbers with unique identifiers. To ensure that no class's are identifiable, class data will only be made available when there are at least 5 similar courses at 5 separate institutions to aggregate it with.
What about FERPA?
Faculty are asked to only include student contact information for those who have not opted to have their email information kept confidential. The LASSO platform avoids using insecure email and servers by only transferring course information using direct uploads and downloads. If you have any questions or concerns about FERPA compliance we recommend that you speak to the legal council at your own institution.
Do my students need to give permission?
The first question that students are asked when completing an assessment on the LASSO platform is whether they are willing to share their anonymized answers with researchers. The complete wording of the student consent form can be found here.
What about sharing data for students under 18?
Data from students who indicate that they are under 18 years of age will not be included in the LASSO database for researchers to use. Please see the student consent form here.
What demographics questions are asked of the students?
The current set of student demographic questions can be found here. Please note that these questions have changed over time as we have worked towards becoming more inclusive.
Can LASSO be used in K-12 courses?
Yes. It will work exactly like in college courses with one exception. The students who are under 18 will not have their data added to the anonymized database for researchers. The teachers, however, may still download the full set of student responses with names.
What happens to the money that researcher's pay to access the LASSO database?
The funds are transferred to the LA Alliance governance committee where they are used to support a number of projects, including the continued development and hosting of the LASSO platform.
How secure is the LASSO database?
The LASSO database is hosted on servers at the University of Colorado Boulder and meets the security requirement of that institution.
Is the data in LASSO cleaned for researchers?
The LASSO team will work with researchers to ensure that the data they are getting meets their needs. To ensure that the data that researchers download from the LASSO platform is of high quality, we only include data from courses with at least a 40% participation rate on both the pre- and post-test.
Can I upload old data?
Not yet. We are developing the ability for the LASSO platform to allow instructors to upload data for old classes as long as the assessment is currently hosted on the platform.
What do the student emails look like?
The student emails can be found here.
How do I send individual students the link to an assessment?
To send an individual access code, navigate to the course roster for that assessment and click on the email icon (icon) aligned with the student's name. This will open an email from your default email client, which you can then use to customize an individual email and send to that particular student. NOTE: These emails come from your email address whereas the mass emails come from