Evaluation of Student Learning

(Approved by the Senate on April 17, 2023, and effective May 1, 2023)

Course work (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.

A-8.1. Providing feedback prior to the withdrawal deadline

(Approved by the Senate on April 17, 2023, and effective May 1, 2023)

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 must 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 last day to withdraw from a course or an activity (no financial credit). When feedback cannot be provided before this date, due to the nature of the course, this should be clearly indicated in the course syllabus.

A-8.2. Normalization of grades

(Approved by the Senate on October 19, 2020 and effective on January 1, 2021)

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.

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 results in a mark lower than that previously communicated to a student.

A-8.3. Final examination

(Approved by the Senate on June 10, 2024 and effective immediately)
(Approved by the Senate on April 17, 2023 and effective May 1, 2023)

Except in cases authorized by the Faculty, there is a final examination or its equivalent in each course. The final examination or its equivalent must be submitted 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). In the case of written examinations, they will be of a minimum duration of one hour and of a maximum duration of three hours, except in the case of examinations prescribed by professional accreditations or other types of specific activities, where the duration may be longer.

Unless otherwise authorized by the Faculty, the final examination, or its equivalent, cannot count for more than 60 percent or less than 30 percent 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.

A-8.4. Official examination period

(Approved by the Senate on June 10, 2024 and effective immediately)
(Approved by the Senate on April 17, 2023 and effective May 1, 2023)

Note: This regulation does not apply to the Faculty of Education, to the undergraduate Doctor of Pharmacy program, or to the Undergraduate Medical Education Program.

With the exception of practical laboratory examinations, comprehensive exams and project presentations, no final examination of any kind may be given outside of the official final examination period.

With the exception of practical laboratory examinations, project presentations and assignments having required several weeks of preparation, no assessment with a value exceeding 10% of the final grade may be given during the last week of classes in a term.

A-8.5. Conduct of the examination

(Approved by the Senate on June 10, 2024 and effective immediately)
(Approved by the Senate on April 17, 2023 and effective May 1, 2023)

Students are expected to assess their health situation and ability to write an examination prior to taking the exam. Students who do not write an examination because of illness or other circumstances beyond their control must submit a Declaration of Absence from an Examination form. Please refer to Academic Regulation A-8.6 - Justification of Absence from an Examination for more information on deferring an examination.

Students are expected to complete an examination once begun. If the student experiences a significant deterioration of health while the examination is in progress and needs to stop writing the exam, they must notify the proctor and arrangements for the evaluation will be made by the faculty offering the course. 

A significant deterioration of health during an examination is a situation whereby the student requires immediate and/or emergency medical attention. In such circumstances, a student will be required to provide appropriate documentation to confirm that the medical situation caused significant, acute symptoms during the examination that prohibited the student from completing the examination. The student must then fill out the Declaration of Absence from an Examination form within five (5) business days of the examination with appropriate supporting documentation.

Minor illnesses and ongoing chronic illnesses under medical management will normally not be considered valid grounds for granting a deferred examination.

Silence is compulsory during the examination. 

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

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

The only time students may leave the examination room with the intention of returning is to use the washroom. To do so they must leave their examination materials, student identification card and any electronic communication device with the designated sign out staff person. They must also sign out and sign back in on the sheet provided.

Students cannot receive a religious accommodation during the examination. (For religious accommodations, please consult Academic Regulation A-5 - Religious Accommodations)

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

Students writing their exams in person may be assigned a seat. A list of names in alphabetical order and by course, indicating each person's assigned seat, will be posted in the examination room (classroom, gymnasium, arena or other space).

A proctor/professor who observes suspicious behaviour must ensure academic integrity and will require a student in question to move seats, without explanation and without necessarily submitting an allegation of academic misconduct.

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

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

Any unauthorized electronic device or communication tool must be shut off, stored and out of reach.

Anyone who fails to comply with these regulations may be subject to an academic misconduct allegation.

Students have the right to see, upon request and after they have been marked, their own examination booklets. This consultation must be done under supervision. Students shall not retain the original examinations or the examination booklets.

In the event of a documented technical failure that prevents the student from completing the examination, the student must contact the professor.

A-8.6.  Justification of absence from an examination 

(Approved by the Senate on June 10, 2024, and effective immediately.)
(Approved by the Senate on April 17, 2023 and effective May 1, 2023)

In this regulation, to meet a deadline on a working day, a submission must be received by 11:59 p.m. Ottawa time.

Medical certificates are collected and maintained in accordance with the University of Ottawa’s Policy 90 – Access to Information and Protection of Privacy.

Students in the Undergraduate Medical Education program are not required to complete the Declaration of Absence from an Examination, but rather to follow the Faculty of Medicine's regulations regarding absences from compulsory courses, assessments, and internships.

Students in the Honours Bachelor of Science in Nursing offered in collaboration with Algonquin College (whether enrolled at the University of Ottawa or Algonquin College) are not required to complete the Declaration of Absence from an Examination, but rather to follow the School of Nursing’s regulations regarding absences from compulsory courses, assessments, and clinical practicums.

Justification of absence from an examination (mid-term or final)

Absence from any examination on medical grounds or due to exceptional personal circumstances, must be reported by submitting the online Declaration of Absence from an Examination form within the three (3) following working days of the examination, except if extenuating circumstances prevent the student from doing so; these circumstances must be documented.

For all other evaluations, as per the conditions listed above, students must follow the procedures outlined in the course syllabus. Documentation justifying the absence may be requested, and all justified absences must be accommodated.

The Declaration of Absence from an Examination form does not apply to thesis defences or doctoral comprehensive exams.

If a deferred evaluation is granted for the final graded component of a course, the evaluation must take place as soon as possible, but no later than six (6) months of the end of the term for undergraduate studies and no later than three (3) months for graduate studies.

1. Medical grounds

A medical certificate is not required for a first absence from an examination (mid-term or final) in a course, unless the absence occurs during an examination that has begun. In the case of a second absence, a medical certificate is required with the submission of the online form, and the academic unit and the faculty may investigate the validity and applicability of the medical certificate. A medical certificate must include the student’s name, the date of both the absence and the return to studies and the medical consultation date. The certificate does not require mention of the medical condition. A second absence to an examination in the course, supported by evidence and a justification of exceptional circumstances, may lead to an accommodation other than a deferred assessment (e.g., a retroactive withdrawal).

Students should not participate in oral or written examinations during the period of disability indicated on the form. Students who participate in an oral or written examination during the period of disability indicated on the form cannot appeal their results on the basis of health reasons.

2. Exceptional personal circumstances

It is not required to attach a justification to the form for a first absence from an examination (midterm or final) in a course. In the case of a second absence, justification is required with the submission of the online form, and 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. A second absence to an examination in the course, supported by evidence and a justification of exceptional circumstances, may lead to an accommodation other than a deferred assessment (e.g., a retroactive withdrawal).

Other conditions

If the student requests a retroactive accommodation following an evaluation and because of an episode of illness - physical or mental - that is unforeseeable or recurrent, and related to a known or revealed chronic illness, this case will be examined considering the student’s needs and the particular circumstances duly documented by a medical certificate.

A-8.7. Eligibility for supplemental examination

This regulation does not apply to graduate studies.

(Approved by the Senate on June 10, 2023, and effective immediately)
(Approved by the Senate on April 17, 2023 and effective May 1, 2023)

Supplemental examinations are offered in some faculties and some courses. In-person supplemental examinations must take place in Canada. It is possible for students to take a supplemental exam online in Canada and elsewhere in the world. Whether in person or online, the supplemental exam must be taken at the same time by all students involved, regardless of time zone.

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

Faculty of Medicine

Students enrolled 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.

Students who are enrolled in the undergraduate Doctor of Pharmacy program and who fail a course are entitled to a retake exam or remediation activity, 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”. 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 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 a 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.

Other requirements

Faculty of Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering allows students to write a supplemental exam in courses if:
•    The student is in their final year;
•    The student has failed only one course during their final year;
•    The failed course is a course offered by the Faculty of Engineering.