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October 24, 2014
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Faculty Council addresses fall grade period

Online course override forms and grade submission dates were two topics discussed at the Ithaca College Faculty Council’s meeting April 1.

This month, the council received an update on the Academic Workflow Implementation Group project and discussed moving the date for submitting final grades.

Bryan Roberts, associate dean in the Roy H. Park School of Communications, attended the Faculty Council meeting to give a presentation about recent updates and progress with the Homer Workflow, an online platform for submitting college-wide documents. Currently, only the form for course overrides has been used with the system, Roberts said, and the Academic Workflow Implementation Group will roll out change-of-major and change-of-school forms to the campus community after course registration for Fall 2014. The next priority will be change of grade, incomplete grade submission and Student Disability Services testing accommodations forms, he said.

To put into perspective the success of the online workflow for the course override forms, Roberts said 3,961 students submitted 11,609 forms online in Fall 2013 for Spring 2014 registration. Roberts said in the 2012–13 academic year, the Office of the Registrar reported about 6,000 paper forms were used.

“The form was a success last semester because everyone got involved,” Roberts said. “Every school used it, everyone asked questions, made things better.”

Cyndy Scheibe, professor of psychology, also spoke at the meeting about her research on changing the final grade submission date. The discussion about when the new submission date should be, she said, was focused on the deadline for the fall semester because there are more non-academic events, such as concerts and plays, that occur at the end of the semester. This, she said, conflicts with the ability of professors to accurately and thoroughly grade all their students’ papers without making personal sacrifices.

In her research with the proposal, Scheibe said she took the idea to the Academic Policies Committee, which could not address her request because if falls outside its jurisdiction. Instead, the committee turned her to address the Faculty Council, Calendar Committee and the Office of the Provost to make the decision.

John Rosenthal, professor of mathematics, said he thinks the three days between the last final exam and when grades are due is problematic, but the solution should apply to both semesters. The idea was suggested that seniors’ grades have priority over other students’ because the Registrar must determine specific information in the spring regarding which students can graduate. Regardless of the due date, submitting grades should be done for all students at the same time, Marisa Kelly, provost and vice president for educational affairs, said.

“The implications for non-seniors in terms of summer clinical placements, for example, are huge things that are increasing what we have to pay attention to,” Kelly said. “What that would mean is that pulling seniors out really is a disservice for other students at other levels.”