Student evaluations, final exams, submitting grades, the CR/NC policy
April 30, 2020
Dear Faculty Colleagues,
I’m writing in response to several questions that have come up as we enter the final weeks of the semester. Apologies for the long email.
Student evaluation of courses
The evaluations will be conducted online, as they have been for several years. The evaluation period will run May 1-14. Unlike in previous years, evaluation results for this semester (Spring 2020) will not be considered in personnel decisions. Please remind your students to complete and submit the evaluations.
The final exam period is from Saturday, May 16 through Friday, May 22. The exam schedule that appears in the academic calendar is up to date:
Synchronous versus Asynchronous exams
Asynchronous midterm exams present advantages to students in this period of unusual time demands and constraints on our students. This is not true during final exam period, with as many as 2,500 exams during a single week: the possibility of chaotic conflict-not to mention the likelihood of academic dishonesty with the same exam being administered at different times-is simply too great. Therefore, final exams must be administered according to the schedule published by the registrar’s office: https://www.baruch.cuny.edu/registrar/students/documents/Spring2020FinalExamGrid.pdf?
As always, members of the faculty may schedule make-up exams, including for students who observe Ramadan, which runs from April 23 to May 23 this year. Make-up exams should never contain the same questions as exams administered during the scheduled time, and grades for students who take them are due with other grades (unless the make-up follows from a grade of INC, in which case students have until the end of Fall 2020 to resolve the grade).
Administering exams (excerpted and slightly edited from a message to department chairs)
Baruch’s Center for Teaching and Learning has been providing an outstanding array of resources for faculty to consider in the rapid transition to remote teaching that you have all encountered this semester. The full collection of CTL’s resources can be found on the site “Teaching in the Age of COVID-19 (https://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/ctl/teaching-in-the-time-of-covid-19/).
Of particular importance as we approach the end of the semester is a recently completed compilation of findings and recommendations concerning designing and administering examinations, balancing concerns of student privacy, access, and equity, while simultaneously insuring academic integrity. (https://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/ctl/balancing-academic-integrity-during-final-exams-with-student-privacy-access-and-equity-in-spring-2020/).
The report cited above is thorough, analytical, and explores the many different facets of this complicated balancing act; it also explores many different approaches that are currently available and that have been used. If you scroll to the end of the report, you will see a long list of names of faculty colleagues who have contributed to this report and the analysis on which is based.
The College Deans met with the Provost to review CTL’s report and conclusions, and strongly endorses both. We went beyond CTL’s recommendation “discouraging” faculty from using Respondus this Spring, and in fact require that faculty not use Respondus (or other similar monitoring platforms) this spring. We will be supportive, in the Summer or Fall 2020 terms, of proposed experiments in the use of Respondus that are rigorously conducted and that provide full, informed consent for all students participating.
Note: A version of the foregoing message from the provost was sent to the chairs on April 24. On April 27 a message from the Chancellor’s Office applied this prohibition against exam-monitoring platforms CUNY-wide for Spring 2020.
Instructions on submitting grades (and related issues, including definitions of grades such as WU) may be found at: https://www.baruch.cuny.edu/registrar/faculty-and-staff/grade-submission.html
CUNY’s grading deadline policy states that grades are to be submitted no later than three (3) business days after the last day of the final exam period. This term, that means Thursday, May 28, 2020 (11:59pm). Starting May 29, grades must be submitted via our usual post-deadline submission policy: you must print the CUNYfirst version of your roster; manually record the grades; sign it; have your dean or dean’s designee sign the roster; and scan and email it from your Baruch email address to GradeRosters@Baruch.cuny.edu.
Credit/Non-Credit (CR/NC) policy
Please note that with students having the option by June 25 to convert letter grades to the grades “Credit” (for letter grades A-D) or “Non-Credit” (for F’s) , turning in grades on time is more even important than usual. See CUNY’s webpages about about the CR/NC policy, including a list of FAQs at: https://www.cuny.edu/coronavirus/credit-no-credit-policy/faq/
Dennis Slavin, PhD
Associate Provost and Assistant Vice President
Baruch College, CUNY