PRP 3516 - Course Requirements, Progress Information and Evaluations (Interim)

PRP 3516 - Course Requirements, Progress Information and Evaluations (Interim)

ISSUED BY: Dr. Diana Rogers-Adkinson, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs

NOTES: Approved by CCAA, 12/26/83. Approved by RAX, 1/18/84. Defeated by RA 2/1/84. Amended and approved by RA, 4/4/84. Amended and approved by BUCC, 3/5/86. Reaffirmed by BUCC, 9/23/09. Reported to the Forum, 10/7/09. Revised by BUCC 9/7/2016. Presented to Forum on 9/28/2016; Approved by BUCC 11/13/2019; Interim Policy by Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs on 12/19/2019

EFFECTIVE: 12/19/2019

1. Rationale for Policy

Evaluations and grades are an essential part of a student’s academic career. They inform students of their success and progress in courses and programs. This policy gives expectations for evaluations and grades at the University.

2. Keywords/Definitions

The term “evaluation” is used broadly in this policy to refer all experiences that determine part of the students’ grades. The term “final evaluation” is used exclusively to represent a cumulative, summative experience in which students are given the opportunity to demonstrate what they have gained from across the semester.

The term “final evaluation” is used exclusively to represent a cumulative, summative experience in which students are given the opportunity to demonstrate what they have gained from across the semester

3. Background Information

This revision of PRP 3516 changes the existing version of PRP 3516 and incorporates PRPs 3264 Student Course Requirements and Progress Information, and 3670 Mid-Semester Grade Reports.

Policy

Evaluations – Department Responsibilities

1. It is expected that all evaluations, including final evaluations, are consistent with the culture and practice of the discipline and other faculty in the program.
2. The university relies on individual departments to review all evaluation practices within their department, directing changes and adjustments as needed.

Course Requirements

Within the first week of classes each semester, teaching faculty must distribute in writing, send by electronic mail, or post on the course website, at least the following information:

1. Procedures for determining each letter grade. (See policy # 3522-Grades, Quality Points, and Quality Point Averages.)
2. Any relationship of class attendance to the course or course grade.
3. Any other course requirements, including those outside of the scheduled class meeting time.
4. Weighting of requirements for grade computation.
5. Procedures for making up tests or other work missed through excused absence. (See policy #3506-Class Attendance.)
6. Any special instructions for distance education courses taught online, such as exam proctoring procedures.

Progress Information

1. Consistent with FERPA, grades and other evaluations may only be communicated to individual students and appropriate University personnel. They may not be posted in any public venue.
2. At least one grade or evaluation must be made available to all students prior to the conclusion of the fifth week of the semester (the second week in the case of Summer and Winter sessions). A second must be made available prior to the conclusion of the tenth week of the semester (similarly in the case of Summer and Winter sessions). Instructors must make grades and evaluations available to students without requiring students to meet with them in person.
3. At any time during the semester, teaching faculty shall be prepared to inform students of their academic progress, should the student request this. At the end of a semester or summer term, the final grade of each course is confidentially provided to the student and recorded on the student's permanent record.
4. Mid-semester grade reports are issued to new students who are experiencing academic difficulty. Identified students are provided with academic support services and faculty advisors for the purpose of insuring they have the maximum opportunity to be successful.

To this end, the Registrar makes a Mid-Semester Grade List available for each course of an instructor. The list includes the name of each enrolled student who has completed 30 credits or less. Instructors indicate mid-semester grades of D+, D, or F on the list and submit it within 96 hours of the close of business of the middle day of the semester. The Registrar sends results to deans and departments.

Evaluations and Course Grades

1. Faculty will determine the appropriate methods of determining students’ knowledge and skills. These activities may take place during scheduled class time or outside of class as needed.
2. Students’ grades for the course must be comprised of at least four evaluations.
3. Unless returned to the student, faculty will store all records and evaluations so that students are able to review their performance by the last regularly scheduled class in the term.
4. Faculty are advised to refrain from scheduling evaluations or selecting due dates during the last week of classes. As students should be able to review all of their evaluations during the last week (item 4 above), such scheduling creates a hardship for the instructor.

Final Evaluations

1. The designated week of final evaluations (also known as final examinations week) is considered instructional time, and all classes will meet. It is expected that the 2-hour block of time will be used for a final evaluation, and where that is not appropriate, the 2 hours will be used in a substantial way that is meaningful to the students. These experiences will take place only at the designated time and place according to the Final Evaluation Schedule issued by the Registrar.
2. No student will be required to have more than two final evaluations in one calendar day. When scheduled for more than two final evaluations in one calendar day, a student may opt to take the last examination of that day during a Make-up period of the week of final evaluations. If a student opts to take the last examination during a Make-up period, the student must make arrangements with the instructor at least ten calendar days before the week of final examinations (effectively in the next to last week of classes).

If rescheduling a final evaluation for a particular course substantially changes the evaluation, the department offering the course may request exemption from the rescheduling with the permission of the college dean prior to the start of the semester. Once obtained for a course, this exemption applies to subsequent semesters – the department need not request the dean’s permission each semester the course is offered. Students in such a course must be informed that rescheduling will not be possible in the first week of class.

If for any reason, the procedures above leave a student with more than two final evaluations in one day, so that the student needs assistance in rescheduling a final evaluation, the Dean of Undergraduate Studies or Dean of the Graduate School (as is appropriate) will assist the student with rescheduling.

3. No single evaluation may count for a greater percentage of the course grade than the final evaluation. The final evaluation may not count for more than 40 percent of the overall course grade.
4. Unless returned to the student, all graded course work, related records, and final evaluations must be available for student review for the next full calendar year following the final evaluation.
5. The Final Evaluation Schedule will be prepared by the Office of the Registrar with consultation of the faculty if necessary, approved by the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Regularly scheduled final evaluation periods will be 120 minutes in length.
6. During Summer, Winter, and Special Sessions, the last class period of each course will be designated as the final evaluation period. The time period for the final evaluation is not to exceed the length of the class period unless arrangements have been worked out in advance and announced at the first meeting of the class.
7. During the week of final evaluations, faculty are not required to be available to students for conference, and no extra-curricular activities or faculty-administrative activities will be scheduled except with the consent of the individual(s) involved.
8. The Andruss Library will remain open and other designated study areas will be made available during the final evaluation period, with expanded hours when possible.

Retention of Grade-Related Information and Student Artifacts

1. All graded or evaluated student artifacts not returned to students must be kept for one calendar year after course completion.
2. A record of the evaluation or grade of all items contributing to a student’s final grade, as would be found in a traditional grade book, must be kept, in print or digital form, for 5 years after course completion. In the event a faculty member has separated from the university, these records should be given to the department chair.

Exceptions and Non-Compliance

1. Should the case arise that a faculty member believes the content or structure of a particular course does not lend itself to the evaluation or final evaluation parameters described in this policy, that faculty member should discuss the matter in a formal meeting with other faculty in the program. If the department agrees with this view, a formal written request for an exception to this policy should be made to the appropriate college dean. This process should take place such that approval may be granted by the end of the first week of classes, as students need to receive, in writing, all requirements for the course (per PRP 3264, Student Course Requirements and Progress Information). Once obtained for a course, this exemption applies to subsequent semesters – the department need not request the dean’s permission each semester the course is offered.
2. Any other exceptions to this policy must be renewed with the college dean each semester.
3. In the case of non-compliance with the provisions of this policy, a student has the recourse of proper grievance procedures as established by the University and outlined in PRP 3592, Academic Grievance Procedure.