Academic Regulations Governing “End-of-Semester” Examinations
University Student Regulations require that my office implement a procedure to inform faculty and instructors of record each semester of the academic regulations governing “end-of-semester” examinations and activities. These academic regulations can be found in the university catalog (University Senate Document 84-12, March 25, 1985) and are attached as a document at the end of this memo for your convenience.
This spring, COVID-19 has severely disrupted our delivery model and academic processes. Our classes are no longer meeting face-to-face, the majority of our students and faculty are no longer on campus, and many students are in different time zones or have only intermittent access to computers and internet. Under these circumstances, our traditional model of finals week is not possible. Moreover, these same factors affect our administration of timed, synchronous examinations from now until finals.
To accommodate the sudden shift to remote instruction and our guidance from the Innovative Learning Team on low stakes assessment as an alternative to high stakes examinations and projects, the following exceptions to our academic regulations will be in place for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester:
- Exams, quizzes, or other forms of assessment for any and all courses may be given during dead week. Low stakes assessment is encouraged for assessments taking place during dead week.
- During finals week, for courses giving a final examination, instructors are required to offer their exam on the day their exam was originally scheduled, and must have the exam open to their students for at least a 24-hour period (with the window to encompass an open time at 12:00 am EST and a close time at 11:59 pm EST). The student must take the final exam within the allotted 24-hour time window (unless they have more than two exams scheduled on one day – see below) and the final exam must be designed to be completed in 2 hours.
- In addition, from April 6th to May 1st, any timed examination or other timed assessment must also provide for a 24-hour period with the window to open at 12:00 am EST and close at 11:59 pm EST) to facilitate asynchronous student access and completion of the exam or assessment.
- In keeping with our standard practice: “No student shall be required to take more than two examinations on one day. Students scheduled for more than two final examinations on one calendar day are entitled to reschedule any examinations in excess of two. Similarly, students faced with a direct exam conflict are entitled to reschedule either examination. It is the responsibility of the student to make the necessary arrangements with the instructor for rescheduling his/her individual examination before the last week of regularly scheduled classes.” When a student does make such a request of you, please work with them to make alternative arrangements for the exam. “ Course instructors shall not penalize a student who chooses to reschedule an examination under these options” (University Senate Document 90-22, March 25, 1991).
- Important note for Spring 2020 finals:
- The limit of two examinations in one day applies only to final exams that do not extend beyond a 24-hour window. Thus, an exam left open for more than 1 day does not count against the two examinations in one day.
- Important note for Spring 2020 finals:
- As a reminder, our current policy does not require an examination during finals week. As written, “If no educational purpose will be served by any type of meeting during the 16th week because the educational objectives of the course have been achieved, a department may dismiss this class meeting during the 16th week.” Therefore, if you have covered the learning objectives of your course, delivering a final exam is not required.
Guidance on accessibility and accommodations for students with disabilities can be found at the Teaching Remotely and the Disability Resource Center sites. Should you have any questions on how to apply accommodations in a particular student/test situation, feel free to consult with the student’s Access Consultant or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
The Innovative Learning Team recommends considering alternate forms of assessment relative to standard high stakes exams – see the Teaching Remotely site or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Please follow whatever method is most appropriate for your department or school to inform faculty of these academic regulations. Thank you for your attention to these policies – and to the well-being and academic success of our students.
B. Final Examinations*
(University Senate Document 84-12, March 25, 1985)
- In regular semesters, the final examination period shall consist of six scheduled days comprising the 16th week of the semester. The two-hour class meetings during the six days of the final examination period will be scheduled at the discretion of the Educational Policy Committee on the advice of the Office of the Registrar as, at most, 30 two-hour periods (five periods per day, including evenings). Upon request, a single course wide examination will be scheduled for any course. In the summer session, the final examination schedule shall be appropriately scaled to meet the demand. It shall be scheduled at the discretion of the Educational Policy Committee on the advice of the Office of the Registrar in, at most, 12 two-hour periods on the last three days of the session (four periods per day, excluding evenings).
- Each class will be scheduled for a two-hour meeting during the final examination period. Excepted are those courses classified as individual study, clinic, student teaching, industrial experience (co-op), or research and those offered for zero credit. However, any such course will be included in the schedule upon the specific request of the appropriate schedule deputy. If no educational purpose will be served by any type of meeting during the 16th week because the educational objectives of the course have been achieved, a department may dismiss this class meeting during the 16th week.
- Two weeks after the beginning of any regular semester and one week after the beginning of the summer session, schedule deputies shall inform the Office of the Registrar of the courses requiring course wide examinations. It will be the responsibility of the department head or, where appropriate, the school head to inform the Office of the Registrar which courses within the department or school will not need a meeting. A schedule implementing Section B will then be developed by the Office of the Registrar in consultation with the Educational Policy Committee. Guiding principles include:
- Minimize the number of direct student examination conflicts.
- Minimize the number of students who have more than two examinations on the same day.
- Minimize the number of students who have consecutive (back-to-back) examinations.
- No student shall be required to take more than two examinations on one day.
- The Office of the Provost shall implement a procedure to inform faculty and students of the academic regulations governing end-of-semester exams and activities each semester to coincide with the release of the final examination class schedule.
- Students scheduled for more than two examinations in one calendar day are entitled to reschedule any examinations in excess of two. Similarly, students faced with a direct exam conflict are entitled to reschedule either examination. It is the responsibility of the student to make the necessary arrangements before the last week of regularly scheduled classes. Course instructors shall not penalize a student who chooses to reschedule an examination under these options (University Senate Document 90-22, March 25, 1991).
- Regional campuses may modify these provisions to meet local differences through established procedures of the local faculty governing bodies or, lacking these, the regional campus chancellor or designee.
- The final examination period is intended for the end-of-semester examination. No examination or quiz may be given during the week (three days in summer session) preceding the final examination period of the semester (examinations for laboratory, intensive, or minicourses excluded). It will be the responsibility of the department head or, where appropriate, the school head to ensure that none of the departmental or school faculty use the week (three days in summer session) preceding the final examination period to administer an examination.
- Comprehensive final examinations (examinations for laboratory, intensive or minicourses excluded) are prohibited except during the regular final examination periods of the last week of the semester.