Final exam policies and procedures for Fall 2020 are currently being formulated in response to changes to the course schedule necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. For your reference, below are the policies and procedures that had been followed for Spring 2020. Fall 2020 policies and procedures may or may not have differences and similarities to this past spring. Thank you for your patience as we work on the fall.
Attention Faculty and Students
- Faculty are encouraged to consider alternatives to high-stakes, synchronous final exams for Spring 2020.
- It is the policy of the University to excuse without penalty students who are absent because of religious observances and to allow the make-up of work missed because of such absence. Examinations and special required out-of-class activities shall ordinarily not be scheduled on those days when religiously observant students refrain from participating in secular activities. Absences for reasons of religious obligation shall not be counted for purposes of reporting.
- Questions concerning the above should be referred to the academic dean responsible for the course involved.
Exams During the Last Two Weeks of Classes
Under the usual final exam policy, tests of longer than 30 minutes are not allowed during the 13th and 14th weeks of the semester except when the course also has a final exam during the final exam period. However, with the move to remote instruction, faculty have been encouraged to give series of quizzes or unit tests in place of high-stakes exams. They have also been encouraged to assign projects and papers instead of exams.
For Spring 2020, therefore, quizzes and lower-stakes tests are allowed during the last two weeks of the semester. Faculty may also assign papers and projects that are due during the 14th week of the semester. Faculty should be sensitive to students’ workloads and provide instructions and materials needed for the exams, papers, and projects at least one week before their due dates.
However, final exams, papers, and projects cannot be disguised as hourly exams or weekly assignments. Cumulative final exams, papers, and projects must be given or due during the official final exam period.
The scheduled “Reading Days” of May 5 and 6 must be respected. Faculty should not schedule exams for those days.
Exams During the Final Exam Period
Just as in a regular semester, synchronous final exams must be scheduled according to the published final exam schedule. Faculty are encouraged to be flexible in accommodating students who may live in different time zones and/or have limited access to the internet during certain times. Some faculty are using extended exam windows (e.g., 24 hours to complete the exam) to accommodate such situations. Such exam windows should be scheduled so that they close at the end time of the assigned exam period. For instance, if the assigned exam period is 4 to 7pm EDT on Tuesday, May 11, the 24-hour exam window should be from 7pm EDT on Monday, May 10 to 7pm EDT on Tuesday, May 11.
Given the different approaches faculty are planning to use for giving final exams, including the extended exam windows, for Spring 2020 a student shall be said to have an exam conflict if that student has: more than 2 exams in a 24-hour period or 2 exams scheduled for the same exam period.
Exam Codes for Spring 2020
- A = By Arrangement (Course originally had an “A - By Arrangement” exam code prior to the suspension of face-to-face classes; OR final exam was originally scheduled for a specific time but will now be held asynchronously for Spring 2020)
- C = Class Hour (Exam will be held synchronously during course’s currently scheduled exam period as indicated on the final exam grid; OR exam will be open for a specified window of time of 24 hours or less and will close at the end of the assigned exam period.)
- B, D, F, G, H, I, J, L, M, Q = Group Exam (Exam will be held synchronously during currently scheduled group exam grid; OR exam will be open for a specified window of time of 24 hours or less and will close at the end of the group exam period.)
- O = No Exam (Course originally had an “O – No Exam” exam code prior to the suspension of face-to-face classes; OR course will no longer hold a final exam for Spring 2020)
- S = Single Day starting 6:00pm or later and Saturday Courses (Exam will be held synchronously during currently scheduled exam period as noted on the final exam grid; OR exam will be open for a specified window of time of 24 hours or less and will close at the end of the assigned exam period.)