Section IV: Grading
A. Grading Policy Statement in Syllabus
It is essential that your students know how they are to be academically evaluated in your course(s). Course grading policies should, therefore, be clearly described in each course syllabus. These grading policies exist so that students:
- know what you expect of them academically, and
- can perform to their highest potential.
An instructor’s failure to adhere to his or her stated grading policies could result in a legitimate student grievance over a final grade.
B. Academic Progress
Students should be periodically informed of their grades and progress during the semester so that they can work to continually improve their academic work. Students should be informed of their responsibility to actively check their progress, either through formal consultation during office hours, a brief after-class inquiry, through email contact, or via posting of grades in the currently approved Learning Management System. Students should be advised that at least three hours of out-of-class study is usually necessary for every 50 minutes of in-class time. Additionally, courses that include laboratory work may require two or more hours outside of class time for completion of assignments. Instructors should be more than “generally aware” of each current student’s progress; i.e. they should have means to check student progress in a timely manner at any given point throughout the semester.
C. Academic Help
Students experiencing academic difficulties in their class(es) should be primarily assisted by their instructor, counseled in the Student Services office and/or referred to the Learning Commons for tutoring or additional assistance in such areas as reading, writing, math and study skills. It is the general policy of The Learning Commons to apprise each class of the importance, welcoming attitude, and general concern to provide help for student’s benefits by a class visit, usually early in the semester.
D. Tests and Quizzes
Tests and quizzes are prepared by instructors for their courses, unless a uniform test or final is provided by UNM or UNM-Valencia Campus departments, as in the case of English composition courses or Mathematics courses.
Students with special needs and/or requiring make-up exams and quizzes are to be referred to Student Services. Procedural details are available from Student Services.
E. Academic Honesty
As stated in the UNM Catalog, “Each student is expected to abide by the highest standards of honorable conduct in academic matters. Dishonesty in quizzes, tests or assignments, whether in the classroom or out, may be cause for dismissal from the University." Instructors are encouraged to discuss individual cases of dishonesty with their immediate supervisor and/or the Dean of Instruction to determine the appropriate course of disciplinary action.
For additional information regarding UNM policies on academic dishonesty, refer to the UNM Faculty Handbook. A statement regarding the definition of plagiarism and the penalties for dishonesty should be included in your syllabus.
F. Final Grades
- Grade Reporting. Grades for all students are submitted online through the Web Grade site for all courses completed at the end of 8 weeks and at the end of the semester. This includes all miscellaneous start and end date courses that occur during those time frames. It is the responsibility of the faculty to be able to advise students of progress in their courses, especially from the midpoint of the semester to its conclusion. A special class list (Web Grade List) by which the grades are to be entered and submitted is available on line. Web Grades will be available the last day of the 8-week session and the last Friday before final exam week for entering and submitting grades. Web Grade will be available for all short courses on the last scheduled day of the class. The faculty will be notified by e-mail of a successful submission of their grades.
- Deadlines. Faculty grades are expected to be entered and submitted using Web Grades within 48 hours after the final exam.
G. Returning Exams and Papers
- Instructors should make arrangements to return all exams and papers to students by the end of the semester, but not in a public place, such as the library or outside office doors. Students can, for example, provide self-addressed, stamped envelopes for this purpose or instructors may leave papers in the Academic Affairs Office for student retrieval (a photo ID will be required). Another option would be for students to pick up their exams and papers the following semester during their instructors’ office hours.
- Exams and papers that are not picked up may be destroyed by the instructor at the end of the following semester.
- Instructors should check with the department or division chair before returning final exams. For example, Mathematics final exams are not returned to students though students may look at them. Also English portfolios, final exams, and essays are kept on file for one semester.
H. Administration of the Designated Course Evaluation Tool (CET)
CET is of utmost importance in maintaining the quality of education at our campus. Without this form of evaluation our students would have no formal way to evaluate instruction, and instructors would have no regular way to monitor their classroom performance.
- Faculty do not need to administer the CET, and are encouraged to announce to students about the course feedback survey. According to the Course Feedback website, “students receive an email invitation form the Course Feedback Support Team for each course that they are enrolled in that is utilizing the Course Feedback service. These email invitations will be send when course evaluations commence – usually during the last two or three weeks of class. Students also receive reminder emails every few days if they haven’t completed all of their course evaluations.” (http://coursefeedback.unm.edu/students.html) Faculty may ask students to provide a certificate of completion after they submit their online survey.
2. Results from the CET are generally available “no less than two weeks after the end of the final examination period for all courses on
the same schedule, or after the last day of the instruction period if no final examination period is defined.”