Student login, privacy and security

Problem-Attic is designed to protect student privacy. It doesn’t connect to an SIS or ask you to upload a class roster, it doesn’t use any tracking cookies, and it doesn’t store individual student records. What information it does collect is the minimum necessary to score your tests and send results to a gradebook program.

By default, students do not log in to view an online test or answer sheet that you create in Problem-Attic. When they submit answers, you decide whether they should give their first and last name, an ID, initials, or an alias. Because Problem-Attic knows almost nothing about your students, the data is effectively anonymized. It’s useful to you, the teacher, and no one else.

There are tradeoffs, of course, when students take a test without logging in. On the one hand, there’s less fuss. You get results quickly, and you don’t have to worry about forgotten passwords or syncing with a class roster. On the other hand, without a login, test security is harder to maintain, and results won’t necessarily be importable into your gradebook program.

Problem-Attic addresses the tradeoff with an optional student login. Currently it supports two services: Google and ClassLink. The rest of this document explains how login works and how it’s related to other options in Problem-Attic, like Google Classroom Assignments and timed tests. It also goes into more detail about privacy and security.

How to turn on/off student login

In Problem-Attic, you will see the option for Student Login if you go to either the Export or Score tab and click the Settings button.

export setting dialog

To turn off student login, choose None in the drop-down menu. To turn on, choose either Google or ClassLink. Separately, you can select the option, “Make these settings the defaults for future documents.” Then click Save.

The Google and ClassLink logins will be familiar if you are already using them to manage coursework. If turned on, students will see one of following:

Google ClassLink login


  • The student login option applies to the links for an online test or answer sheet which you see on the Export tab. It does not affect a Google Quiz or any test that is scored by another program, such as the Canvas or Schoology. Those programs handle student logins completely separately.

  • The student login option applies to the currently-open document in Problem-Attic. If you select the option to make it a default (see above), that will affect documents you create in the future, not any documents already in your account.

Why should students log in?

By default, students don’t have to log in to view a Problem-Attic online test or answer sheet. You can think of this as a non-secure or public option. If they don’t log in, they only have to put their name on the test and click the Submit button. This is the electronic equivalent of students dropping off their tests as they leave the classroom.

The most important reason to turn on student login is for a higher level of test security. Login gives you some assurance—but not a guarantee, of course—that the student who submits the test is the student who actually answered the questions.

Here are some other reasons you may want to turn on student login:

  • Problem-Attic can pre-fill some or all of the student information on an online test or answer sheet. For Google, this means first and last name. For ClassLink, it means first and last name and possibly student ID, depending on how the program is set up by your school or district.

  • In the Settings dialog, you will see the option, “Email me each submission”, and a secondary option, “Student provides reply-to address”. When login is turned on, Problem-Attic will pre-fill the student’s address from Google and when it’s available from ClassLink.

  • Problem-Attic has several testing options that require student login. You’ll see these in the Settings dialog (“Allow only one submission” and “Keep only last submission”) and in the Schedule dialog (“Time limit”).

  • When you create a Google Classroom Assignment in Problem-Attic, student login is not required, but it is strongly recommended. If students log in, then Problem-Attic can upload results for particular classes and you can more easily transfer them to your gradebook program.

Please keep in mind that most of Problem-Attic’s test delivery options don’t require a login. In fact, login is irrelevant when students download a PDF or view a slideshow. (Login may be relevant if you also want to provide students with an answer sheet.) Likewise, student login can be turned off and you can still use virtual classes or schedule an online test—i.e., set the start and end time.