Category: Academic Affairs
Responsibility: Academic Affairs Committee
Authorization: Academic Affairs Committee
Important Links: http://policies.usask.ca/policies/academic-affairs/academic-courses.php
Approval Date: May 6, 2016 (SPT, Faculty Council)
Previous: Oct. 2, 2010, May 8, 2007
In concurrence with the University of Saskatchewan Mission Statement, “We value the University as a place of human dignity and fairness”, the School of Physical Therapy emulates the following guidelines and complies with the University of Saskatchewan Council and Senate on Student Appeals in Academic Matters and Student Appeals in Non-Academic Matters and Student Academic Dishonesty Rules
Framework for Evaluation – All regulations covering student evaluation and examinations should be developed in a framework with three levels of authority and responsibility: University of Saskatchewan, College (College of Graduate Studies and Research), and Department (School of Physical Therapy). Thus, any specific regulations of the School of Physical Therapy related to evaluation and examinations shall be compatible with and augment the examination regulations of the University and the College of Graduate Studies and Research. Where needed, the School shall develop and implement examination regulations for specific situations including practical examinations. Evaluation procedures will be developed in a collegial manner and mechanisms are in place to ensure fairness in evaluation by regular review of both procedural and substantive fairness.
Transparency - The School shall provide the examination regulations to students, faculty and others by posting them on the School of Physical Therapy Website.
Scheduling of Examinations
- School of Physical Therapy course examinations are usually scheduled internally due to variations in course timetabling
- All students are advised to be available up to and including the last day scheduled for final examinations. The dates set for final examinations in the School will be posted on the School of Physical Therapy website.
- All final examinations must be scheduled during the final examination period, unless approved by the Director. Final examinations may be scheduled on evenings or Saturdays.
- Scheduling of assignments, presentations and midterm exams will be communicated to students at the beginning of the course by the course instructor (or course coordinator). If changes to scheduling of evaluations are necessary due to other exam or assignment conflicts, emergency situations, or resource or room requirement conflicts, students will be consulted and/or notified as soon as possible.
- When the final exam schedule has been distributed, instructors should review the room assignment and ensure that all equipment and supplies will be ready for the examination. Any questions or problems should be reported as early as possible to the General Office.
Methods of Evaluation
- The primary course instructor is responsible for all aspects of evaluation of students in her/his course. Evaluation may be delegated to teaching assistants or other faculty members under the supervision of the primary instructor.
- A final written examination will be given in each course unless approval for exemption has been formally granted through the required process specified by the University. Certain courses (including all clinical education courses) which require alternative forms of evaluation have received approval for exemption.
Units of Measurement
- Subject to the following provisions, the relative weighting assigned to term work, such as projects or laboratory work, and mid-term and final examinations is at the discretion of the course instructor. Note that instructors must clearly identify in the course outline which components of the course must be passed at a defined standard or grade in order to pass the course as well as achieving an overall pass grade. For example, if a defined standard is important in a practical examination due to safety or other issues related to clinical performance, this should be stipulated in each course outline.
a) Final examinations shall not be used to provide 100% of the final grade except in unusual circumstances and then only with the prior approval of the Academic Affairs Committee.
b) Any single term test or assignment excluding the final exam, shall not provide more than 50% of the total grade for a course except in unusual circumstances and then only with the prior approval of the Director.
- Weighting of assignments, presentations and midterm exams will be communicated to students at the beginning of the course. In unusual circumstances, any changes to weighting of evaluations will be made in consultation with the students, with as much notice as possible. General criteria used for evaluating presentations, assignments, written and practical examinations will be communicated to the students before the evaluation.
- All faculty will follow the University of Saskatchewan, College of Graduate Studies and Research literal grading descriptors for evaluating performance as outlined in the University Regulations; except for courses which have been previously granted approval as Pass/Fail courses and clinical evaluations, which follow alternative criteria. The percentage grading system will be used for reporting final grades.
(Note: Not all courses are graded but the pass mark for MPT courses that are graded is 60%.)
Reporting, Recording and Issuing Evaluation Results and Grades
- Normally, marked written examinations will not be distributed to the students in order to maintain the confidentiality of question banks. At the discretion of the instructor, students may be given the opportunity to review the written examination and appraisal with the instructor.
- Reporting of final grades must be performed in accordance with the University of Saskatchewan Regulations; all final grades are approved by the Director prior to submission to the Registrar. Unofficial final grades may be posted/released provided it is done in a way that ensures confidentiality.
- Instructors must submit final grades for the course to the Academic Program Assistant for input on PAWS no more than 5 business days following the completion of the final written (and or practical) examination for a course. (Note. Saturday, Sunday and Statutory holidays are NOT considered as “business days”.)
Deferred Exams and Supplemental Exams
1. Deferred Exams
a) Definition: A deferred written or practical examination is one that has been re-scheduled at another date due to illness, compassionate or other valid reasons such that the student is unable to write the examination at the scheduled time. The deferred exam shall be accorded the same weight as the regular examination in the computation of the student's final grade.
Request for a deferred exam: Request for a deferred midterm exam is made directly to the instructor of the course. A student who misses a midterm exam due to illness may need to confirm the reason for their absence by submitting a signed Declaration of Absence form. A student, who is absent from a final written or practical examination for medical, compassionate or other valid reasons may apply to the School of PT for a deferred examination. To apply, a student must submit satisfactory documentary evidence to the course instructor and the director within 3 business days of the missed or interrupted examination.
b) Scheduling of deferred Exams
(1) Midterm - Arrangements for a deferred midterm exam will be made at the discretion of the instructor.
(2) Final Exam - Deferred final exams will be scheduled by the course instructor in consultation with the Director.
2. Supplemental Examinations (Note: Because these are usually scheduled outside of the U of S supplemental examination schedule, they are referred to as “Special Supplemental Exam” according to U of S definitions).
a) Definition: Supplemental examinations are a limited substitute for an examination (written, practical/oral or other). Supplemental examinations are not automatically granted and provide a second opportunity for a student to pass a course or a component of a course that was previously failed.
b) Supplemental examinations are normally only considered for final examinations. Any consideration for midterm supplemental examinations will be made at the discretion of the instructor.
c) In the case where a student has achieved a passing grade for the course but has failed to meet the requirements for passing a final examination (written, practical/oral or other) as defined in the course outline, a final supplemental examination may be granted by the Academic Affairs Committee. The student will make a request (in writing) for a supplemental of the specific examination to the course instructor. The instructor will forward this request to the Academic Affairs Committee for a decision. Academic Affairs Committee may determine any of the following actions: a supplemental for the examination failed, a period of remediation followed by a supplemental, or no approval for a supplemental examination.
d) In the case where a student has not achieved a passing grade in the course and has failed to meet the requirements for passing a final examination (written, practical/oral or other) as defined in the course outline, requests for a supplemental final examination will be made to the Director and the Academic Affairs Committee who will review the student’s performance and make appropriate recommendations to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research (CGSR) regarding permission to write a final supplemental exam.
e) In the rare event that the student passes the final examination but does not achieve a passing grade for the course, the same process as outlined in d) will be followed, the nature of the supplemental if granted will be determined by the instructor.
f) Normally, no more than one supplemental final exam will be approved per module, and no more than two in the eleven month interval from August 15 to July 15 of the following year
h) If permission for a supplemental final examination is granted, the course instructor in consultation with the Faculty Advisor will determine the nature of remediation required (if any). A supplemental examination in a course which has a considerable practical or applied component must normally be preceded by a period of remedial study. If it is deemed that a long period of remediation is not needed and/or logistical concerns are present (e.g., complex practical exams involving multiple examiners and stations), supplemental practical examinations may be held within 3 business days.
i) The maximum mark that can be achieved in a supplemental examination (written or practical) for an individual course or final examination fail is 60%.
Review of Evaluation Used in the MPT
The School of Physical Therapy Academic Affairs Committee in collaboration with the Executive of Curriculum Committee will review methods of course evaluation on a regular basis. The review will include grading patterns, types of examinations, and weighting of examinations.
Invigilation of Exams
Guidelines for invigilation of written final and written midterm examinations at the School of Physical Therapy are:
- Students can be denied entrance if they arrive later than 30 minutes after the start of the examination. A student denied entrance under this regulation can apply to the Academic Affairs Committee for a deferred examination which will be subject to consideration under the usual criteria. A student cannot leave the examination room until 30 minutes after the start of the examination.
- Before exams are distributed, students will ensure that all electronic devices, books, binders, or loose lecture/study notes are appropriately stored unless permitted for the exam by the instructor. Cell phones should not be brought to the exam; if the student does inadvertently bring a cell phone, the cell phone must be turned off and left at the rear of the room with other personal belongings.
- Students will have the option of including or not including their name on examinations or assignments. Student numbers must be clearly documented on all written material.
- Students will refrain from discussion with other students at any time during the examination.
- Requests to leave the examination room should be rare and must be approved by the invigilator, as such requests should only occur in instances of significant need. If requesting permission to leave, the student is required to leave all examination booklets/sheets with the examiner. Only one student may leave the room at a time and should return promptly.
- The process for clarification of examination questions during the exam period is at the discretion of the invigilator and will be outlined prior to the exam.
- Before leaving the examination room, students are required to sign a tally sheet indicating their attendance at the final examination and submission of examination materials. The tally sheets are to be retained and turned in with the exams once grading has been completed.
- Students are required to have suitable identification (Student I.D. card) available during the examination. For exams scheduled in larger exam rooms, students must bring their student I.D. card to gain access to the room.
- Any dispute regarding a grade should initially be discussed with the instructor and an attempt made to resolve the dispute. Other mechanisms that may be used to resolve the dispute include utilizing the appropriate lines of communication in the School of Physical Therapy.
- When there is dispute regarding a grade that cannot be resolved informally, students and faculty will follow the guidelines as set out in university and CGSR Documents:
- University of Saskatchewan Council and Senate document: Student Appeals in Academic Matters
- University of Saskatchewan Council and Senate document: Student Appeals in Non-Academic Matters
- University of Saskatchewan website: Academic Honesty
- College of Graduate Studies and Research Policy and Procedures Manual (Appendix Q - 1.3 Examples of Probable Academic Consequences of Cheating and Plagiarism in Coursework)
Director, School of Physical Therapy