Iowa State University

Iowa State University

2009-2011 Courses and Programs

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Evaluation of Academic Progress


Examinations are one of the most common ways instructors assess student performance. In order that examinations can be a useful part of the educational process, the following policies have been instituted:
1. One purpose of examinations is to help students’ learning. Therefore, examinations should be evaluated as soon as possible after they are given and the results should be made available to the students in a timely way to enhance learning.

2. All tests and examinations administered between the beginning of the term and final examination week shall be held during a regularly scheduled lecture or laboratory class period for that course. A department may obtain approval to administer a separately scheduled examination if all of the following criteria are met:

a. The course is multi-sectioned.

b. A common departmentally developed examination will be administered to all students in all sections at the same time.

c. The test scores will be used as a basis for a uniform grading procedure for all sections of the course. Requests to hold separately scheduled examinations must be made to the registrar and approved by the provost in time to be announced in the Schedule of Classes to allow students to plan in advance. Only under unusual circumstances will a course be approved for separately scheduled examinations if the deadline is past to include notification in the Schedule of Classes. Whenever a separately scheduled examination is administered, a regular class meeting during that week shall be omitted.

Students who are unable to take a separately scheduled examination at the scheduled time indicated in the Schedule of Classes, because of a course conflict or other legitimate reason must notify the instructor in advance and must be given the opportunity to be examined at another time mutually convenient for the student and the instructor. The instructor shall determine whether to administer the same examination or an alternate examination, or use an alternate assessment procedure.

3. At the end of the semester, a week is set aside for final examinations or other term evaluations, with a two-hour period normally scheduled for each course. The following policies govern the responsibilities of students and faculty members during this week:

a. Final exams may not be given at a time other than that for which the exam is scheduled by the registrar. An instructor may not give a final exam prior to final exam week nor change the time of offering of the final examination as it appears in the final exam schedule. Permission to change the time for which an exam is scheduled may be given only by the dean of the college. If the instructor elects not to give a final exam in a course of two or more credits, the class is required to meet at the scheduled final exam period for other educational activity such as a review of the course or feedback on previous exams.

b. Final exam periods are determined according to the regularly scheduled meeting time of the class. However, certain courses are assigned special group exam times so that several sections of the same course may be tested together. The criteria for establishing special group exams are similar to those listed for separately scheduled exams listed in number 2 above. If this results in conflicting group examination periods, students should inform the instructor in charge of the first of the two conflicting courses as listed on the final exam schedule within the special groups in question; that instructor is responsible for arranging a special examination or making some other adjustment.

c. Evening courses with lectures scheduled at 6:00 p.m. or later should give their examinations during finals week from 7:00-9:00 p.m. on the day the class normally meets. If this exam conflicts with an evening group exam, the instructor responsible for the latter must arrange a special examination for any students who have a conflict.

d. If unusual circumstances involve the need for students to change the time of their final examination, they must obtain the approval of the instructor of the course.

e. If a student has three examinations scheduled on the same calendar day and wishes to change one to another day, the instructor of the course having the smallest number of students is responsible for arranging an alternate examination time for the student unless make-up exam times are available in one of the other courses.

f. All faculty members and teaching assistants with instructional or grading responsibilities are considered to be on duty throughout the entire final examination week and are expected to be available to students during that week for discussion of any matters pertaining to the final examination and final grade or to other aspects of the course.

See also:

Evaluation Procedures

Retention of Records

Dead Week

Grading System