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Academic Evaluation Policy

Academic Evaluation Policy Information

Date Approved: May 17, 2021
Effective Date: September 1, 2021
Date Reviewed: Winter 2021
Replaces: Grading Policy 2019; Academic Honour Rolls Policy 2013

Purpose

To support student success and progression through consistent grading practices (Evaluation and Feedback) across Cambrian College (‘The College’) programs.

Definitions

Academic Schedule: a calendar detailing all academic-related dates and events that occur in an academic year including, but not limited to, start/end of classes, add/withdraw/drop deadlines, mid-term advising, examination dates, appeal deadlines, and final grade submissions.

Aegrotat Standing: a passing grade used in exceptional circumstances towards the earning of course credit towards program completion requirements whereby a student may demonstrate satisfactory performance without being able to complete all course and/or program requirements due to extenuating College situations or personal hardship.

Course Learning Outcome: is a measurable high-level goal that reflects what the learner should be able to demonstrate as a result of participating in the Course.

Course Outline: the official College document that includes the course title and description, credit weight and hours, prerequisites, co-requisites, vocational outcomes, topics, learning outcomes, employability skills, delivery method, learning activities, assessment types and weights, textbooks, resources and policies. The Course Outline serves as a contract between the college and the student.

Course Work: assigned activities, tests, exams or skills demonstrated as part of a Course.

Course: a unit of study in a program required to achieve a credential.

Evaluation Plan: the detailed evaluation methods as articulated in the Course Outline.

Evaluation: formative and summative activities and assessments that measure the extent of student learning aligned with Course Learning Outcomes.

Force Majeure: the occurrence of an event which is outside the reasonable control of the College and which prevents the College from performing its obligations under a policy, process or contract.

Feedback: refers to two primary types

Formative Feedback: constructive information provided to students to support and monitor continued learning and used as a basis for ongoing improvement throughout a class or course.

Summative Feedback: constructive evaluative or corrective information used to evaluate student learning, knowledge, proficiency or success in relation to meeting learning outcomes at the conclusion of an instructional unit/period (e.g. course or program).

Grade Point Average (GPA): an indication of a student’s academic achievement at the College, calculated by dividing the total grade points by the total credits.

Grading Scheme: a defined set of criteria used to measure levels of achievement for Course Work.

Mandatory Pass Component: a component/requirement deemed essential to the realization of the Course Learning Outcome(s) that must be met in order to successfully complete the Course.

Program of Instruction: a group of related courses leading to a diploma, certificate or other credential approved and awarded by the College.1

Rubric: An assessment tool outlining various criteria, used for communicating established parameters for assessment and scoring.

Supplemental Exam/Evaluation: an additional exam or other form of evaluation (assessment) that may be approved for a student.

Application/ Scope

This policy applies to all faculty and to the Evaluation of student performance for all Programs of Instruction and Courses offered at the College.

Policy Statements

  1. General
    1. Evaluation of student work in all programs of instruction and Courses is conducted to provide ongoing and meaningful Feedback to students about their progress and development.
    2. All Evaluation of student work is undertaken in accordance with the College’s duty to accommodate under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
    3. The Academic Evaluation Operating Procedure outlines details related to the various components of this policy.
  2. Evaluation
    1. Provision of effective and timely Feedback is critical in the learning process and incorporates the following principles –
      1. Through the development of the Evaluation Plan in the Course Outline, the faculty, in conjunction with the College –
        • Establishes the means and methods by which the student’s learning is evaluated
        • Communicates to students, through the Course Outline, how they are evaluated
        • Conducts Evaluations in a manner consistent with the published Course Outline.
      2. Student Evaluations must be aligned with, and measure, Course Learning Outcomes.
      3. Students are typically to be evaluated through a variety of methods, such as tests, assignments, clinical observations, as determined by the faculty and described in the published Course Outline.
      4. Grades are not to be assigned for attending classes. Some Courses may have lab/participation requirements, and grades may be awarded for skill demonstration or participation, provided the Evaluation is undertaken in a demonstrably objective manner using an Evaluation Rubric/Grading Scheme.
      5. Faculty must evaluate student work fairly and consistently using written Rubrics/Grading Schemes that are shared with students with the assignment instructions. These schemes use criteria aligned to the Course Learning Outcomes and clearly specify the required standard for success.
      6. Evaluation/assignment deadlines are to be articulated and communicated to students.
      7. Typically, no single Evaluation is to count for more than 40 per cent of a student’s final grade, unless approved by the Dean /Chair.
      8. Mandatory Pass Components must be consistent with Course Learning Outcomes. A student may receive a failing grade where they have achieved a passing final average grade but have not successfully fulfilled the Mandatory Pass Component. These must not be unreasonably applied.
    2. In the event of an interrupted Evaluation (e.g., emergency, power outage, fire drill etc.), the faculty member will determine how the interrupted Evaluation will be addressed. The faculty is responsible for advising such alternative arrangements to students.
    3. Students are required to write tests and/or complete Evaluations as scheduled.
      1. Exceptions may be made in the event of an emergency or a sanctioned event (e.g., varsity sports, field trip, religious observances, etc.).
      2. In non-emergency situations, students are expected to contact the faculty member in the event that they cannot be present for an Evaluation to explain the reason for their absence.
      3. At the discretion of the faculty member, an alternate time for the Evaluation may be allowed.
      4. Students may be asked for documentation to support their request to write at an alternative time.
  3. Feedback
    1. Providing effective Formative and Summative Feedback on tests, assignments, and other evaluative tools is an integral part of student learning and is essential to the learning process.
    2. To be effective, all Feedback to students should be timely, focused, relevant to the assessment criteria for the task, developmental, and where appropriate, individual to the student incorporating the following principles –
      1. Feedback can be delivered by a variety of methods and may vary in its level of detail and intensity. Feedback to students may include, but not be limited to:
        • discussion,
        • continuous assessment to track progress,
        • written comments on work submitted,
        • suggested references or resources,
        • model answers,
        • lists of common mistakes,
        • peer and self-evaluation,
        • Feedback sheets containing common constructive comments, and/or
        • individual comments.
      2. Throughout the semester, Evaluation results are formally documented and accessible to the student on a timely basis.
      3. Where assignments or tests require students to build on the proficiencies developed through earlier tests or assignments, students must receive the Feedback on the earlier work prior to the subsequent due date for the current assignment.
      4. In order for students to make critical decisions regarding their academic goals, they should typically receive a minimum of 30% of graded Evaluation(s) prior to the mid-term advising week.
      5. Students have the right to see, review and request additional clarification on marked or graded Evaluation, including final Evaluations.
      6. Confidentiality must be maintained in the return and discussion of all evaluated Course Work.
      7. To support academic integrity, faculty may retain tests/exams subsequent to their review with the student.
      8. Any evaluated Course Work not returned to the student must be retained for one full academic year as per the College’s Record Retention Policy and Schedule.
  4. Final Tests/Exams (FEs)
    1. Where FEs are included in the Evaluation Plan for a course, the following applies –
      1. FEs are to be scheduled during the designated exam period as per the College’s Academic Schedule.
        • The final exam period is determined by the College and may include Saturdays or Sundays.
        • For Courses with FEs, there is to be no scheduled class time during the final exam period.
        • For courses delivered on a compressed or alternative schedule, FEs may be scheduled outside of the College’s designated exam period.
          • In these cases, the exam date/schedule will be shared with students no less than two weeks prior to the end of classes.
      2. To support student success –
        • No more than two FEs are to be scheduled on a single day.
        • No single FEs is to exceed three hours in length to complete.
        • Exceptions are considered where mandated by an accrediting body or as a result of a required accommodation.
      3. Typically, there should be no Evaluations due during the week before the final exam period to ensure students have sufficient time to
      4. prepare for FEs.
      5. FEs normally take place in the room and location identified on a student’s timetable, unless a formal exam schedule has been developed by the program.
        • In this case, the exam schedule will be shared to students no less than one month prior to the start of the published exam period.
      6. Students are expected to complete FEs during the scheduled time.
      7. If a student has a legitimate conflict, they need to provide notice of this conflict in writing to Testing Services, using the Exam Conflict Form, ideally, no less than one week before the exam date.
        • The Dean/Chair will work with faculty to resolve scheduling conflicts as necessary, with every effort made to support student success and academic integrity.
  5. Supplemental Exams/Evaluations (SE)
    1. Not all courses may be eligible for application of an SE. The course eligibility is noted on the official course outline.
    2. SEs are privileges used in cases where a student’s final grade, as officially released, is 1 to 3% below the required passing grade for the course provided that all of the following conditions are met –
      1. A student has successfully passed all evaluation components awarded throughout the course but did not achieve a passing grade after completing the FEs.
      2. A student has a term GPA of 1.5.
      3. There is sufficient and appropriate evidence that the student actively engaged in the course – e.g. assignments were completed and submitted on time, practical/skills-based components of the course were completed.
    3. Students are eligible to apply for a maximum of two SEs in one academic year of study.
      1. There is a limit of one (1) SE per term.
    4. The content and format are determined by the faculty member.
    5. The student must formally submit a Supplemental Exam/Evaluation Request Form to the Enrolment Centre for an SE within 5 business days of the release of final grades for a term.
      1. Note, any required fee will be added to the student’s account once the SE is approved.
    6. The SE must be completed before day 10 of the subsequent term.
      1. Once an SE privilege has been approved, students who do not write the SE are assigned a mark of zero for the SE and the final grade awarded before the SE was approved is noted as the final grade for the course.
        • Cancellations are accepted by the College until 48 hours before the scheduled SE.
      2. Students awaiting the outcome of a SE are able to register in the next semester of their program and register in all regular courses.
      3. In the case, where a student enrolls in the next semester of their program and does not achieve a passing grade on the SE, they will be required to withdraw from the course or program if they are no longer qualified to attend.
    7. Students who have been awarded an SE are not eligible for an Academic Appeal of the course.
    8. Students passing an SE will receive a final grade at the minimum passing grade of the course.
      1. The student’s transcript reflects only the final grade based on the SE.
  6. Grading Scheme
    1. A grading scheme is attached to all courses and are reported in percentages or as special grades as outlined in the table below.
      Type P
      PassP0 Pts
      FailF0 Pts
      Type 2
      80-100A4 Pts
      0-79F0 Pts
      Type 3
      80-100A4 Pts
      70-79B3 Pts
      0-69F0 Pts
      Type 4
      80-100A4 Pts
      70-70B3 Pts
      60-69C2 Pts
      0-59F0 Pts
      Type 5
      80-100A4 Pts
      70-79B3 Pts
      60-69C2 Pts
      50-59D1 Pts
      0-49F0 Pts
      Type C (non-credit only)
      CompletedY0 Pt
      Not CompletedN0 Pt
    2. The default pass grade, unless substantiated through the requirements of a licensing, accrediting or certifying body, is 50%.
    3. The GPA calculation is processed only on the alpha-grades (numeric).
    4. The alpha-grade(s) earned by the student are recorded on the student record, published on their transcript, and their grade report.
    5. The alpha grade and GPA remain the College’s official Grade Scheme.
  7. Submission of Grades
    1. To support student success, grades for all Evaluations must be submitted via the College’s grading system as assessments are completed.
      1. Exceptions include courses delivered through collaborative partnerships such as OntarioLearn. For these, the grades may be submitted via alternative grading systems in accordance with partnership policy or requirements.
    2. Grades are to be made available to students throughout the semester.
    3. Faculty are to submit via the College’s grading system all final grades in accordance with the grade scheme type for the course and by the deadline defined within the Academic Schedule.
    4. Students are to have access to their grades until the appeal deadline as listed in the Academic Schedule.
    5. Grades are considered final when they are released by the Registrar’s Office and posted to the student’s record according to the Academic Schedule.
    6. Faculty have the opportunity to access student grades until the deadline for academic appeals.
  8. Exceptional Circumstances
    1. In situations where a student may require special consideration due to personal hardship or where the College may, due to a situation beyond its control (i.e. Force Majeure), need to alter normal operational procedures or practices, an Aegrotat Standing (AG) may be awarded in place of the existing percentage/final grade as course credit.
    2. AG is only considered once all other options to address the situation have been exhausted.
    3. Not all courses may be eligible for an AG due to factors including, but not limited to, apprenticeship, collaborative programming, external accreditation, skills-based course work and field placement/practicum.
      1. The Dean/Chair and/or Vice President Academic approves course eligibility in consultation with faculty whenever possible.
    4. In consultation with appropriate faculty, the Dean/Chair reviews and approves student requests for AG.
    5. In exceptional circumstances that affect the overall operations of the College, the College can invoke the assignment of AG across all, or specified, courses. Under these conditions, the College will communicate this decision to faculty, staff, and affected students.
    6. For Students –
      1. Students must apply for Aeogrotat Standing consideration within 10 business days from the official release of final grades.
      2. To be eligible for AG, a student must be registered in the course(s) and a minimum of 60% of the course learning outcomes/ critical course competencies have been satisfactorily completed/demonstrated.
      3. It is the responsibility of the student applying for an AG to provide documentation, where available, in support of their request.
      4. Once a course (s) has been assigned AG on the official College transcript, there are no further options for reassessment.
      5. Pending the outcome of the AG request process, a student will continue to be enrolled in any upper level course (s) for which the course (s) requested as an AG are a prerequisite.
        • In the case, where the College does not grant the award of AG, the student will be withdrawn from such course(s).
      6. Courses assigned an AG are not included in the calculation of the term or program Grade Point Average.
  9. Recognition of Academic Achievement
    1. Each term, students are recognized for their academic achievement.
    2. The College makes provision for two forms of recognition –
      1. President’s Honour Roll
        • Students who achieve a term Grade Point Average of 4.0, with no deficiencies and who complete a minimum of 15 credits in a given term.
        • Students enrolled in Academic Upgrading must complete a minimum of 13 credits.
        • Courses that are graded ‘Pass/Fail’ are excluded.
    3. Dean’s Honour Roll
      1. Students who achieve a term Grade Point Average of 3.50 or better, with no deficiencies, and who complete a minimum of 15 credits in a given semester.
      2. Students enrolled in Academic Upgrading must complete a minimum of 13 credits.
      3. Courses that are graded ‘Pass/Fail’ are excluded.
    4. At the end of the term, the College officially notifies the students in the event that they have achieved inclusion on either of the honour rolls.

Responsibilities and Accountability

Vice President, Academic is responsible for

  • Ensuring, in collaboration with the Associate Vice President, Human Resources and Student Services, that the Academic Evaluation Policy and associated procedures are communicated and fully implemented

Deans /Chairs are responsible for

  • Being familiar with the requirements of this policy.
  • Approving exceptions in consultation with faculty.
  • Ensuring the policy requirements are clearly communicated in a timely manner to their staff
  • Ensuring that the terms of the policy are being upheld by faculty.

Registrar is responsible for

  • Setting, in consultation with the Deans and Vice President Academic, articulation and communication of the annual Academic Schedule.
  • Working with the Deans/Chairs and faculty to facilitate scheduling of Evaluations as necessary.
  • Managing the process for the submission, review, validation and communication of final grades.
  • Managing the appropriate designation/recording and award of final grades as reflected on a student’s transcript
  • Liaising with the Deans/Chairs to resolve issues and conflicts regarding the award of final grades.

Faculty are responsible for

  • Being familiar and complying with the requirements of this policy and related procedures.
  • Providing an Evaluation Plan and transparent Grading Scheme for all assessments.
  • Providing fair and consistent Feedback in a timely manner.
  • Submitting grades in a timely manner.
  • Making themselves available to students to provide clarification on assessments.
  • Developing Evaluations that allow students to accurately demonstrate learning outcomes and support academic integrity.
  • Participating in any academic appeals processes as required.

Students are responsible for

  • Making use of the Formative and Summative Feedback they receive and to incorporate this information into their learning.
  • Completing all Course Work including assignments, tests and exams by the published submission deadline.
  • Informing themselves of the assessment and Evaluation parameters and seek clarification if the parameters are not completely understood.
  • Making themselves available for Evaluations and proactively seeking consideration for circumstances that might affect their availability.
  • Using, in a timely fashion, identified processes and policies in the event they are dissatisfied with a result on any evaluated Course Work.
  • Using available resources to increase their likelihood of academic success.

References

1 Ministry of Colleges and Universities – Framework for Programs of Instruction