Academic regulation I-9 - Evaluation of student learning

(Approved by the Senate on February 28, 2017)

Course work for the year or the term (tests, term papers and other course work) carries a weight determined by the professor and approved by the department.

At the beginning of a course, professors shall inform students about course requirements, delivery and evaluation methods, and the nature and timing of assignments, projects and examinations.

Professors may refuse to accept any assignment or examination that is not written legibly.

9.0 Providing feedback prior to the withdrawal deadline

(Approved by the Senate on April 8th, 2013)

Providing students with feedback on their academic work is a key part of learning because it allows them to assess their progress in a course. Therefore, professors should assign, evaluate and return academic work that is worth at least 25% of the final course mark no later than one week prior to the deadline for withdrawal without academic penalty.When feedback cannot be provided before this date, due to the nature of the course, this should be clearly indicated in the course syllabus.

9.1. Normalization of grades

(Approved by the Senate on April 6, 2009)

The use of a predetermined distribution (statistical or otherwise) in order to determine the assignment of marks is contrary to the principles of evaluation endorsed by Senate. 

Faculties must take appropriate measures to ensure that members of the teaching staff assign marks which accurately reflect the definitions of student performance established in the official grading system.

When a faculty deems that the assignment of marks in one or several courses is not in accordance with the official grading system or with the faculty guidelines for its implementation, the faculty can take any corrective action required, provided however that no such measure result in a mark lower to that previously communicated to a student.

9.2. Final examination

Except in certain rare cases authorized by the department, there is a final examination or its equivalent in each course. The final examination or its equivalent should be completed during the examination period. The professor, with the approval of the department, determines the format of the final examination (written examination, oral examination, final essay, take-home examination, or other form of exam). Written final examinations are either two or three hours long.

The final examination, or its equivalent, cannot count for more than 60 per cent or less than 30 per cent of the final grade.

Professors must inform their students of the nature of the final examination when informing them of the marking system.

All students have the right to see their examination booklets after they have been marked.

9.3. Official examination period

(Approved by the Senate on February 28, 2017)

No final examination of any kind may be given outside of the official examination period.

Unless authorized by the academic unit, December examinations in full-year courses must be scheduled during the official examination period.

No test with a value exceeding 10% of the final grade may be given during the last week of classes in a term.

Note: This regulation does not apply to the Faculty of Education,to the Undergraduate Medical Education Program and to graduate studies programs.

9.4. Conduct of the examination

(Approved by the Senate on April 8th, 2013)

Silence is compulsory in the examination room.

Students must present their student identification cards upon request by the examination monitor.

Students who arrive more than thirty (30) minutes after the examination has begun will not be allowed to write the examination.

Students may not leave the examination room until one hour after the examination has begun.

Students cannot receive a religious accommodation during the examination. (For religious accommodations, please consult Academic Regulation 15 - Religious Accommodations)

Students may not bring into or take away from the examination room any examination booklets.

Unless otherwise indicated in writing, the use of books, notes, mathematical tables, dictionaries or any other reference tools is not allowed.

Students are prohibited from using electronic devices or any other communication tool that has not been approved beforehand.

Any such device or tool must be shut off, stored and out of reach.

It is the student's responsibility to verify which electronic devices or tools (e.g. calculators) are permissible for each examination.

Anyone who fails to comply with these regulations may be charged with academic fraud.

Students have the right to see, upon request and after they have been marked, their own examination booklets.

To avoid academic fraud, students must consult their own examination booklets under supervision and may not leave with their original examination booklets.

9.5 Justification of absence from an examination or of late submission of assignments

(Approved by the Senate on January 10, 2011)

Justification of absence from an examination (mid-term, final, supplemental or deferred) or from a test, or of late submission of assignments

Absence from any examination or test, or late submission of assignments due to illness, psychological problems or exceptional personal circumstances must be justified; otherwise, students will be penalized.

1. Medical grounds

a) Students must directly notify their professor or the academic secretariat of the faculty where they are registered, before the exam or before the assignment deadline.

b) Before accepting the student’s justification, the professor or the faculty’s academic secretariat has the right to request a medical certificate from the attending physician (including the student’s name, the date of both the absence and the return to studies, the medical consultation date, and the physician’s signature).

c) If the authenticity of the medical certificate is in question, the professor or the faculty’s academic secretariat may request that it be validated by the University of Ottawa’s Health Services.

d) If the medical problem is not foreseeable, students must notify their professor or the academic secretariat of the faculty where they are registered and submit a medical certificate bearing the date of the absence within five working days of the exam date or the assignment deadline, except if extenuating circumstances prevent them from doing so; these circumstances must be documented.

e) Students who write an examination during the period of disability specified on the medical certificate cannot later plead illness to appeal their examination results.

2. Psychological problems

a) Students must directly notify their professor or the academic secretariat of the faculty where they are registered, before the exam or before the assignment deadline.

b) Before accepting the student’s justification, the professor or the faculty’s academic secretariat has the right to request either a certificate from the attending physician or from a psychologist (including the student’s name, the date of both the absence and the return to studies, the consultation date, and the physician’s or psychologist’s signature) or a supporting letter issued by the University of Ottawa’s Counselling and Coaching Service.

c) If the authenticity of the certificate is in question, the professor or the faculty’s academic secretariat may request that it be validated by the University of Ottawa’s Health Services.

d) If the psychological problem is not foreseeable, students must notify the professor or the academic secretariat of the faculty where they are registered and submit a certificate bearing the date of the absence within five working days of the exam date or the assignment deadline, except if extenuating circumstances prevent them from doing so; these circumstances must be documented.  

e) Students who write an examination during the period of disability specified on the certificate cannot later plead psychological problems to appeal their examination results.

3.  Exceptional personal circumstances

Absence from an examination or test and the late submission of assignments due to exceptional personal circumstances must be justified in writing within five working days of the date of the examination or test or the assignment deadline.  The academic unit and the faculty concerned reserve the right to accept or reject the reasons presented.  Reasons such as travel, work and misreading of examination schedules are not accepted, except in exceptional and properly documented circumstances.

9.6 Eligibility for Supplemental Examinations

(Approved by the Senate on February 28, 2017) 

Supplemental examinations are offered in some faculties and courses. Supplemental examinations must take place in Canada.

Faculty of Medicine

Students registered in a 1000-level ANP course who obtain the grade “E” are eligible to write a supplemental examination. The grade obtained on the supplemental exam replaces the final examination grade in the course. Only the grade obtained after the supplemental exam appears on the student’s transcript and is used in the calculation of averages. However, a note on the transcript will indicate that this grade was obtained as a result of a supplemental exam.

In the undergraduate medical program, students who fail a final exam are permitted to write a supplemental exam, in accordance with faculty regulations approved by the Senate.

Faculty of Education

Supplemental examinations may consist of a written examination or additional assignments. Students who fail a course have the right to one supplemental examination for which they must obtain 60% or the non-numerical grade “S”, otherwise they will be required to withdraw from the program. The grade obtained on the supplemental exam replaces the final course grade. Only the grade obtained after the supplemental exam appears on the student’s transcript and is used in the calculation of averages. However, a note on the transcript will indicate that this grade was obtained as a result of a supplemental exam.

The time limit to complete the requirements for the course may not exceed 12 months after the end of the term.

Faculty of Law, Common Law Section

A student who achieves a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in courses taken in the last academic year is eligible to write a supplemental examination in any course failed that year. A student who achieves grade point average below 3.5 fails the year and is not eligible to write any supplemental exams.

Supplemental exams may consist of a written examination or additional assignments. Students should contact the Common Law Section’s secretariat for information on supplemental examination formats and schedules.

The grade obtained on the supplemental exam replaces the final course grade. Only the grade obtained after the supplemental exam appears on the student’s transcript and is used in the calculation of averages. However, a note on the transcript will indicate that this grade was obtained as a result of a supplemental exam.

Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Sciences

Students registered in a 1000-level course at the Faculty of Engineering or at the Faculty of Science who obtain a grade of “E” in these courses are eligible to write a supplemental examination.

The grade obtained on the supplemental examination will replace the final examination grade. Only the grade obtained after the supplemental examination appears on the student’s transcript and is used in the calculation of averages. However, a note on the transcript will indicate that this grade was obtained as a result of a supplemental exam.

Other requirements

Faculty of Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering allows students to write a supplemental exam in courses other than those at the 1000 level if:

·   The student is in their final year;

·   The student has failed only one course during their final year in which they obtained a grade of “E” or higher;

·   The student has the required cumulative grade point average to graduate;

·   The failed course is the only requirement remaining for graduation;

·   The failed course is a course offered by the Faculty of Engineering.

9.7. Procedure on cancellation or postponement of exams

Special circumstances may require particular measures during final exams and supplemental exams. Closed bridges, snowstorms, bomb scares, fire requiring evacuation, etc. are all examples of special circumstances. To avoid confusion, misunderstandings and disappointment, we have to clarify how to deal with them.

Certain faculties may have more stringent requirements than those described below. In such cases, the faculty itself must ensure that professors and students are well aware of its particular requirements.

If the University must cancel all exams on a given day

a)   This decision will be made as soon as possible so that students are informed by 8:00 a.m at the latest the day of the exam;

b)   Notification will be posted on the index page of the University Web site as well as recorded on the Emergency InfoLine (613-562-5555); exams will be automatically rescheduled during the first or second weekend after the start of classes of the following term;

c)   Specific exam times will be posted on the index page of the University’s Website.

 If a chief invigilator cannot come to the examination

Copies of all exams are always available at the faculty secretariat, with instructions on how to administer the exam in question, so that it can take place nonetheless.

If a group of students misses the exam because of events recognized by the Vice-President Academic and Provost, or his or her representative

a)   Students who are present at the examination must be permitted to write the examination. The invigilator should be tolerant if some students arrive late.

b)   For those students who have missed the examination, the Faculty must determine, in consultation with the professor, the arrangements for a special examination. The students must then be informed as soon as possible.

 For bomb scares or fires

The decision to evacuate examination rooms and the signal to re-enter those rooms must come from Protection Services.

Decisions on the fate of the exam are made on location where possible. Authorities may decide to continue the exam as soon as everyone is allowed to re-enter the building, or to stop the exam; if the exam is suspended, the faculty decides on its rescheduling.

9.8. Destruction of examinations and assignments

(Approved by the Senate on May 5, 2014 and effective immediately)

All unclaimed student assignments and examinations are retained by the University for at least one year from the date the final grade is official, unless the student concerned consents to their earlier disposal.

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