A statue of a moose, the school mascot, at the University of Maine at Augusta. Officials are investigating a glitch that allowed nearly 250 students to change assignment and quiz grades on the school’s online platform Thursday. A “limited number” of grades were actually changed, according to a spokesperson for the University of Maine System. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

AUGUSTA —  A “limited number” of grades on quizzes and assignments — but not end-of-semester grades — were changed following a glitch in a website used by the University of Maine at Augusta that granted nearly 250 students the ability to alter such scores and view other protected information, officials said.

The state university system is continuing to investigate the issue, which was reported by a student on Thursday and corrected Saturday.

The error provided 242 UMA students with administrative access to the Brightspace Learning Management System, a platform used by instructors and students to view coursework and grades.

Administrative access allowed those students to edit grades on assignments, quizzes and tests, but they could not see their final grade for a class. The fall semester ends Dec. 16.

“Students did not have access to official grades and no official grades were altered,” said University of Maine System spokesperson Margaret Nagle. “All alterations detected through the analysis of log files from the Brightspace LMS were for a limited number of items (such a quizzes or assignments) contained within (Brightspace) the LMS.”

Nagle said the university has since tracked and deleted the changes made to assignments, but that “final forensic analysis is still underway.”


The 242 students the glitch impacted were notified immediately on Nov. 24  after a student reported the issue to their instructor.

Most of the changes to grades were made Friday, and on Saturday UMA Interim President Joseph Szakas sent an email to students stating the issue was fully resolved.

“The incident was the result of a technical alteration to a process The University of Maine System uses to synchronize course rosters between our official MaineStreet student information system (the grading system) and the Brightspace learning management system and affected a small pool of users,” Nagle said.

MaineStreet is the system the university uses for student records such as registration and transcripts and Brightspace is a platform faculty members use to provide course materials and interact with students at a course level.

Nagle made it clear that no student information was compromised in the glitch. She declined to specify how many students had altered assignments.

There are around 5,688 students enrolled at UMA.

No other universities within the UMaine System were impacted. The other schools within the system are the flagship University of Maine located in Orono, University of Maine at Farmington, University of Maine at Fort Kent, University of Maine at Machias, University of Maine at Presque Isle, University of Southern Maine and Maine School of Law. UMA is the third-largest university in the system.

Editor’s note: The headline on this story has been corrected to remove suggestion of who may have changed grades following a website glitch.

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