INSTRUCTIONAL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Adjunct faculty must prepare a syllabus consistent with departmental syllabi and provide a copy to the department head prior to class distribution. During the first week of class, students should be informed in writing of the instructor's attendance policy, the approaches or strategies to be used in the course, the textbooks and other materials required, the sequence of assignments, the type and frequency of tests and the criteria to be used in grading. Click here to see an outline of a sample course syllabus.
Class rolls are available through the Banner system after training (also see the online training module) or by logging into UTC Online (Blackboard), clicking on the "Control Panel" link, then the "List/Modify Users" link and clicking search. Roll books should not be finalized, however, until after the drop/add date. This usually occurs during the third week of the semester. Please check your final class rolls carefully.
While an attendance policy is an instructor's prerogative, if attendance has bearing on a grade it should be regularly taken and the policy should be provided in writing as part of the syllabus. A policy for make-up examinations should also be announced at the beginning of the course. Report freshman attendance (and when freshman have missed 2+ classes here.
The general policy of the University is that all classes will meet as scheduled. No individual faculty member has the authority to cancel a class. When an absence is anticipated, the instructor must request approval from the department head and propose a plan for having the class or classes met. In the event of an emergency, illness or unavoidable absence, the instructor should immediately contact the department office so that arrangements can be made to meet the class and give assignments to students.
It is expected that all faculty will make themselves available to students outside of class times, and it is important that they schedule and keep office hours.
If adjunct faculty do not want to give business or home phone numbers to students, they should instruct their students to give any messages to the department secretary, who should be made aware of where you can be reached during the semester of your employment and particularly during the semester break. Adjunct faculty should frequently check their mailboxes for messages.
Faculty are expected to evaluate student performance honestly and professionally, based solely on academic considerations and not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards. Students are responsible for meeting the academic standards and requirements of each course in which they are enrolled. To make clear to students the basis for academic evaluation, each faculty member normally should satisfy the following general guidelines:
- provide written course objectives, criteria and methods of student evaluation to the students near the beginning of each course;
- provide written make-up examination policy near the beginning of each course;
- return graded exercises to the student promptly;
- provide clear, formal written communications to students as to their progress by the middle of the semester or term at the latest. Grades should not be sent to students using insecure electronic communications such as email. They may be posted however, in the grade book portion of the UTC online course delivery system, Blackboard;
- make themselves reasonably available to students for conferences and make reasonable efforts to assist students who are having difficulty in their courses. The burden of taking advantage of such opportunities however, falls on the student. A student alleging unfair evaluation may appeal (see Appendix B dealing with grade appeals).
Each instructor has the obligation to evaluate the academic achievement of students in accordance with the following statements.
Purposes of Grading
- To define and communicate the student's level of educational achievement.
- To motivate students to greater effort.
Principles of Grading
- Grades should be directly related to the objectives of the course and should reflect the emphasis given the various objectives in the course syllabus.
- Students should be informed of progress during the course, since evaluation should be an integral part of the teaching-learning process.
- Grades should be based upon a combination of a number of graded activities.
- Tests should be clearly constructed to reflect the content of the course.
- Every effort should be made to make measurement valid, reliable and objective.
- Evaluation should be consistent with accepted norms for the institution. A C grade represents acceptable performance in the course.
- Student personality should not be a factor in grading, except when clearly relevant to stated course objectives.
- In all sections of a multi-section course, evaluations should be consistent with accepted and announced norms for the course.
A = superior performance in the course.
B = commendable performance in the essentials of the course.
C = acceptable performance in the essentials of the course.
D = marginal performance below the acceptable standards of university work.
S = given for courses completed on a satisfactory/no credit basis. The hours are not computed in the grade point average. Not more than eight hours in Exercise Science, Health and Leisure Studies 039, Varsity Sports, may be applied toward the 128 hours required for a degree.
NC = represents failure to complete the requirements in satisfactory/no credit courses. The attempted hours are not computed in the grade point average.
I = may be given to a student whose work has been of passing quality and who has valid reason for not completing some requirement of the course. Removal of an Incomplete must be submitted by the instructor to the Office of Records no later than three weeks before the last day of classes in the next regular semester, or the Incomplete will become an F. The Incomplete grade will not be computed in the grade point average during the interim. Any student called to active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States may, with the permission of the instructor, be given an indefinite incomplete. The incomplete may be made up at any time or a retroactive withdrawal may be granted. (Students must contact the Director of Records for appropriate procedure.)
IP = used as an interim grade for departmental honors courses numbered 495r and indicates work in progress. It must be removed by the end of the next regular semester or the In Progress becomes an F. The IP will not be computed in the grade point average during the interim.
F = indicates unqualified failure and the necessity for repeating the course to obtain credit.
W = indicates official withdrawal from one or more classes after the first two weeks of classes, and up to the last six class weeks before the final examinations. Comparable deadlines apply to each of the summer terms.
It is mandatory that the faculty give students, in writing, a midterm grade in all undergraduate courses.
Final exam schedules are included as a part of the semester Academic Calendar. Examinations are expected to be held at the time and place (usually in the regular classrooms) scheduled. No faculty member has the authority to change the time or place of a final examination.
Final Grade Deadline and Turning in Grades
Grades must be posted by the deadlines given in the Academic Calendar. This deadline must be met. Grades are posted by instructors in Banner. Each student must have a letter grade assigned If a student is on the official grade roll, a grade must be assigned. If students have not been to class the entire semester and if they did not officially drop the class through Records, they must be given a grade.
If a student earns a grade of “F,” “NC,” or “I” in your class, you must enter a “last date of attendance” for that student. The “last date of attendance” doesn’t necessarily have to be the last date the student actually sat in class, it can be the last time they had activity in Blackboard (not just logged in), submitted a paper, put an assignment in your mail box, etc. If the student never attended, enter the first day of the semester in the “last date of attendance” column AND enter 0.000.00 in the “Attend Hours” column for that student.
Use of the "Incomplete" (I) letter grade
Do not assign a student the grade of I (incomplete) if the only reason is so that they can do extra credit work to make up for poor performance during the semester. This is not the purpose of the I letter grade. If you assign an I letter grade, you must be available to accept the completed normal class work up until the deadline for removal of an I letter grade. If the work is submitted on time, you must then grade it and submit a Request for Change of Grade which can be obtained through your departmental secretary. If no change of letter grade form is received for an I letter grade, this grade will automatically turn into an "F."
Posting of Grades
Faculty usually do not inform students of their final grade since grades are available for students in the Banner system. Posting of grades by the student's name, social security number, partial or full, or by their utcID violates the students' rights to privacy.
A faculty member should keep graded exams and papers for a minimum of ten (10) days following the completion of a term, until the possibility of a grade appeal is past.
Faculty are expected to keep a written record of how students are progressing through a course. The usual ways of dong this are either through the use of a paper notebook with each student's name and scores on assignments or by using a computer program to keep track of this information. If you want to use a computer program based gradebook, you have several choices. You may use the gradebook feature within the online course delivery system, Blackboard. It already has your student's names listed and can securely store this information. Backups are created by the IT staff to guard against data loss. If you choose to use a spreadsheet program, such as MS Excel, you will be responsible for keeping a backup of this computer file should you use this method. It is the usual practice to turn in a print out of your gradebook along with an electronic copy to your department after grades have been turned in to the registrar.
Change of Grades
On those rare occasions when a grade must be changed, the instructor must complete a Request for Change of Grade form available from the department office or the records office. A grade change from an incomplete (I) to a letter grade requires only the instructor's signature. All other grade changes require signatures from the instructor, the department head and the dean.
The Honor Code is based upon the assumption that the student recognizes the fundamental importance of honesty in all dealings within the University community and that education is a cooperative enterprise between student and teacher and between student and student. Any act of dishonesty violates and weakens this relationship and lessens the value of the education which the student is pursuing. When a student violates the honor code, faculty have the responsibility to sanction and document the situation. This process supports UTC's academic integrity as well as redirecting the student from a path of progressively larger acts of dishonesty. Violations of the Honor Code are documented using this form. Please fill it out and mail it to the chair of the current Honor Court. Click here and scroll down to find who is currently chairing that committee. By documenting the first incident, hopefully the next faculty will not have the second incident. The Honor Code and the Honor Court and its procedures are detailed in the Student Handbook.
Student Evaluation of Faculty Instruction
Each instructor/course combination is evaluated by students at least once during the academic year. An instrument developed by the Student Rating of Faculty Committee is used to elicit student ratings of various aspects of instruction.
Student are able to complete this anonymous survey form online from within their MyMocsNet account. They just have to log in and click on each class to rate their instructors. This data is compiled within the Banner system and made available to the Office of Planning, Evaluation & Institutional Research. Aggregated anonymous data is also made available to the instructor for their use in improving the quality of their teaching. It may also be used by departments as part of the adjunct selection process.
Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit
Selected 400 level course may be taken for graduate credit. In such cases, the course requirements for the graduate student will be suitable to the graduate level and include additional work.
A student who enrolls in 400 level courses for graduate credit must obtain the form through the Graduate School and have the instructor sign the form, and return it to the Graduate Office. No more than 9 hours of graduate credit earned in 400 level courses may be included in any master's degree program.