B.1.j. Evaluation of Student Work
1. Evaluation of Student Work
In all courses, instructors are expected to require a sufficient amount of written and/or oral and/or practical work so that both the instructor and the student are able to evaluate the student's progress in the course.
2. Student Rights and Freedoms in the Classroom
The professor in the classroom and in conference should encourage free discussion, inquiry, and expression. Student performance should be evaluated solely on academic merit, and not on the basis of opinions or conduct unrelated to academic standards.
a. Protection of Freedom of Expression: Students should be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study in which they are enrolled.
b. Protection against Improper Academic Evaluation: Students should have protection through orderly procedures against prejudices or capricious academic evaluation. Students remain responsible, however, for maintaining standards of academic performance in each course in which they are enrolled.
i. Staff Courses: Where common material is taught within a single course by different members of the faculty, the department offering the course must see that proper consultation is carried out by the staff prior to submission of grades in order to assure a reasonable equity among different sections.
ii. Injustice in Grading: Students wishing to protest a grade may do so by speaking first to the instructor of the course, and then to the department chair. If the instructor and department chair believe the grade should not be changed, and the student is still not satisfied, the student may appeal in writing to the vice president for Academic Affairs (VPAA). The VPAA or designate will consult with the instructor of the course and the department chair and will make a final decision on the matter. If the VPAA recommends a change in the student's grade, that recommendation will be submitted to the Administration Committee, which will include it on the recommendations for grade changes submitted to the faculty. Students may not appeal to the VPAA for grade change requests that are denied by the Administration Committee.
c. Protection against Improper Disclosure: Information about student views, beliefs, and political associations that professors acquire in the course of their work as instructors, advisors, and counselors should be considered confidential. Protection against improper disclosure is a serious professional obligation. Judgments of ability and character may be provided under appropriate circumstances, normally with the knowledge and consent of the student. Faculty members should use common sense in determining when refusal to divulge information about a student is likely to prove damaging.
3. Announcement of Work Required for Evaluation
Early in the semester, preferably on the syllabus, instructors should inform their classes of the nature, extent, and due dates of all major work to be required for evaluation during the semester. Instructors must inform students, prior to the drop deadline, of major work that must be completed before the end of classes and during the final examination period. No additional major papers or projects may be announced after the end of the fifth week of the semester. No new assignments of work for evaluation may be made during the last week of classes.
4. Final Examinations
a. Instructors normally determine the form of the final exam when submitting course information to the course scheduler. For courses that have scheduled final exams, a preliminary exam schedule is published shortly after the add period each semester. (In the case of half-credit courses running for the first half of the fall or spring semester, the instructor may schedule a final exam for the seventh week of the semester, in consultation with the students, to avoid conflicts). A final examination may take one of several different forms:
i. A regularly scheduled written examination. The time and place are established by the course scheduler.
ii. A self-scheduled examination. Self-scheduled examinations are taken during the examination period at a designated examination center according to a schedule proposed by the Office of the Registrar and approved by the Curriculum Committee. Students pick examinations up at the designated examination center within 15 minutes of each starting time and take the exam to a designated examination room. Students must return examination papers to the examination center by the conclusion of the examination hours or sooner, according to the time allotted for the examination. Exams are date-stamped at that time.
iii. A take-home examination. Take-home examinations may be taken at the student's convenience during the final examination period and will be returned to the instructor according to procedures established before the last day of classes.
iv. An oral examination. Before the last day of classes an instructor will inform the student of the time and place of such an examination.
v. An open-book examination. This may be either a self-scheduled or a take-home examination (see b and c above).
b. Final examinations may be given only during the final examination period. (See "Final Examination Period" section below)
c. Except for take-home examinations, final examinations may not be less than one or more than three hours in length.
d. Instructors should follow Article II of the Undergraduate Honor System in the conduct of final examinations.
e. Instructors should return final examination papers to students or keep them in their possession for one full semester.
5. Rescheduling of Examinations, Excused Absences, and Incompletes
a. The Class Deans are charged with the responsibility of extending deadlines for papers and projects and determining that pre-announced examinations be rescheduled if warranted by compelling personal circumstances, illnesses, or injuries. In such cases, the dean will inform the instructor in writing. In response to a student's request, an instructor may reschedule a student's examination with the exception of a final examination, but he or she is not obliged to do so unless the Class Dean so decides.
b. An unexcused absence from a pre-announced examination will result in a grade of F for that unit of work.
c. The Class Dean may alter a student's final examination schedule (1) if the student has three examinations scheduled in 24 hours; (2) if there is a scheduling conflict (two exams at the same time); or (3) if there are emergencies or compelling circumstances. Final examination schedules will not be altered to accommodate student travel plans. Faculty members may not alter a student's final examination schedule. Students who miss a scheduled final examination may be given a grade of incomplete only with the written permission of the Class Dean. (See "Grades and Records" section of this chapter)
6. Final Examination Period
For fall and spring semesters, the final examination period normally begins two to three days following the end of classes. Exams are scheduled for five days, as listed on the College calendar. The spring semester examination period may be shortened to avoid having Commencement occur later than May 30.
No activities, athletic events (games or practices), course registration, additional or makeup classes will be scheduled for this period of time. All class activities must be concluded on the last day of classes. A thesis defense may be scheduled during the final examination period. In the case of half-credit courses running for the first half of the fall or spring semester, the instructor may schedule a final exam for the seventh week of the semester, in consultation with the students, to avoid conflicts.