IPESA stands for Institutional Policy on the Evaluation of Student Achievement. It dictates our rights as students at John Abbott College. If you feel like your student rights have been violated, please either refer to this document or come see us at Penfield-101.
For your convenience, here are the articles we at SUJAC hear the most about.
PLEASE NOTE THAT: you should always consult SUJAC no matter the case to remain safe & not overstep any boundaries as a student. Let us fight for you, we’re here to protect you.
ARTICLE 3. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES CONCERNING THE EVALUATION OF STUDENT LEARNING
3.1 Teacher Responsibilities
A teacher’s role in relation to this policy is to evaluate student learning fairly in relation to the course objectives.
Teachers have the responsibility to:
- 1. arrive on time and teach for the designated classroom period throughout entire semester;
- 2. respect the ponderation of the course (i.e. 3-2-3 would be 3 hours of class time, 2 hours of lab time, 3 hours of homework per week) in the case of blended-learning courses, expectations should be clearly indicated on the course outline (see Article 6.5);
- 3. provide an approved course outline to students by the first class and review it with their students, highlighting important points of information (Refer to Article 5). Throughout the semester, the outline should remain posted online;
- 4. provide electronic copies of each course outline to the Academic Administration by the end of the first week of classes or to the Attestations d’études collégiales (AEC) program coordinator prior to the start of the course;
- 5. ensure that any major changes to the evaluation plan made during the semester (i.e. weighting, type and number of assessments) be forwarded (on paper or electronically) to the department, the program dean (or the AEC Program Coordinator) for approval. All changes must have documented unanimous consent from the regularly attending students affected by the change(s) before submission. The approved major change will then be communicated to students on paper or electronically;
- 6. provide students with a clear understanding of what constitutes cheating and plagiarism with specific reference to the course (Refer to Article 9);
- 7. develop fair and appropriate evaluation tools;
- 8. provide, for all major evaluation tasks (10% or more), a written description and grading criteria (e.g. type of questions, rubric, etc.) when work is assigned and use this as the basis for feedback on the grade given;
- 9. establish and respect evaluation plans established by all teachers involved in multi-section courses to ensure that different sections of the same course are equitable in relation to course workload, the evaluation plan, the final evaluation task(s) and the grading criteria;
- 10. provide feedback before the course drop deadline of the semester (by a diagnostic assessment, formative assessment or summative assessment) in order that students have time to seek out the necessary help and support, if needed; exceptions apply for certain AEC programs and are subject to approval by the coordinator and Director of Continuing Education;
- 11. provide feedback (e.g. verbal instruction, graded work, samples, etc.) on an assignment before another is due (if similar), except for final evaluation tasks;
- 12. return graded evaluations, for regular day division courses, within two weeks after the due date or exam/test date, except in extenuating circumstances. A maximum of three (3) weeks may apply in certain circumstances (ex. major essays) if approved by the department and stated on the course outline. For evaluations at the end of the semester/course, the results must be given to the student by the grade submission deadline (see current Academic Calendar). Evaluations being returned should not be left in a non-secure, public area to ensure confidentiality of student grades. For intensive courses (i.e.: intersession, abridged courses) and AEC courses, timely feedback must be adjusted accordingly;
- 13. post grades on Gradebook in a timely manner, as assessments are graded throughout the duration of the course;
- 14. enter the minimum required percentage of their students’ final grade by the deadline set in the ACADEMIC PROCEDURE: Academic Progress by Mid Semester. It is understood that due to pedagogical differences of courses in various programs and disciplines it may not be possible to input minimum required percentage of the final grade by week seven (7). In these cases, exceptions must be approved by the department and the program dean;
- 15. submit their students’ final grades in accordance with the dates published in the Academic Calendar and the procedures provided by the Registrar’s Office. In the case of AEC program courses, final grades must be submitted no later than five (5) working days after the last date of the course;
- 16. ensure that students who pass a course have adequately demonstrated achievement of the learning objectives of the course according to the standards set by the Ministry and clarified by the appropriate department;
- 17. allow a break of ten minutes in a class of over two hours in length and allow ten minutes at the end of the period in order that everyone may get to their next class on time and to allow the incoming teacher to prep the room for their course.
If students believe that they have a legitimate concern, they are urged to consult the COLLEGE PROCEDURE: Student Academic Complaints.
3.2 Student Responsibilities
It is the fundamental responsibility of each student to be a full and active participant in his or her education. Students have the responsibility to:
- 1. foster a classroom environment that supports learning by exhibiting civil, considerate and respectful behavior towards their classmates and teacher (Refer to COLLEGE POLICY 13: on Student conduct and Discipline Procedures);
- 2. follow the rules and regulations specific to their programs of study, included in their course outlines and found in this Policy;
- 3. respect their teachers’ right to determine course content, methodology and evaluation within the guidelines set by the Ministry and constraints established by the academic departments and this Policy;
- 4. take action to solve academic difficulties by communicating with their teachers, department chair/ program coordinator or by seeking help through the many college services;
- 5. be honest and refrain from cheating, plagiarism and other dishonest or deceptive behaviour (Refer to Article 9);
- 6. attend class, in order to satisfy all academic objectives defined in the course outline;
- 7. arrive to class on time and remain for the duration of scheduled classes and activities (Refer to Article 4);
- 8. provide the required documents to the Registrar’s Office as justification for a prolonged absence (Refer to Article 4.1);
- 9. bring themselves up to date regarding course content and expectations if they miss class or register late;
- 10. wait for the teacher for 15 minutes after the scheduled beginning of a class, unless they have been notified otherwise;
- 11. submit properly identified, neat, legible and coherent assignments;
- 12. ensure that assignments are submitted according to the teachers’ instructions (due dates, etc.). Students are expected to retain a copy of work submitted as a protection against loss. All work being submitted outside of class time should be left in a secure location identified by the teacher;
- 13. inform teachers, in advance, of anticipated absences, including religious holidays. Students who wish to miss classes in order to observe religious holidays must inform their teacher of their intent, in writing, within the first two weeks of the semester. Students registered in intensive courses, including AEC programs, must inform the teacher in writing by the second day of class;
- 14. write tests and final examinations as scheduled by the teacher or the College;
- 15. in case of examination time conflicts, present themselves to the Registrar’s Office to complete an Examination Conflict Form:
- 16. be informed of and respect all college examination practices and procedures (Refer to Student Responsibilities during Final Exams and the ACADEMIC PROCEDURE: Final Exams);
- 17. be available for examinations up to the last day of the final examination period as specified in the current Academic Calendar;
- 18. keep a copy of all assessed material returned to them and/or all digital work submitted to the teacher for at least four (4) weeks past the grade submission deadline (See current Academic Calendar) in the event that they request a Final Grade Review (Refer to Article 8).
3.3 Student Rights
All students have the right to:
- 1. receive a course outline that follows the criteria in the ACADEMIC PROCEDURE: Course Outline Checklist;
- 2. have their learning evaluated in a competent, professional and confidential manner;
- 3. be given clear expectations of what is being evaluated and the type of evaluation scheme being used;
- 4. receive feedback before the course drop deadline of the semester (see current Academic Calendar) by one of the following means: diagnostic assessment, formative assessment or summative assessment in order that they have time to seek out the necessary help and support, if needed. In the case of Continuing Education exceptions may apply for certain AEC programs and are subject to approval by the AEC program coordinator and the Director of Continuing Education;
- 5. for DEC students, receive at least one report on their progress during the semester, in accordance with the ACADEMIC PROCEDURE: Academic Progress by Mid Semester;
- 6. receive graded evaluations, for regular day division courses, within two weeks after the due date or exam/test date, except in extenuating circumstances. A maximum of three (3) weeks may apply in certain circumstances (ex. major essays) if approved by the department and stated on the course outline. For evaluations at the end of the semester/course, the results must be given to the student by the grade submission deadline (see current Academic Calendar). For intensive courses (i.e.: intersession, abridged courses) and AEC courses, timely feedback must be adjusted accordingly;
- 7. receive feedback (e.g. verbal instruction, graded work, samples, etc.) on an assignment before another similar one is due , except for final evaluation tasks;
- 8. discuss the results of an evaluation with the teacher;
- 9. see the actual evaluation scheme with specific written feedback for all major evaluation tasks (10% or more);
- 10. have access to all of their work that has been submitted for evaluation; work being returned should be left in a secure, non-public area;
- 11. have all evaluation results kept confidential;
- 12. equity of course workload and evaluation in all sections of the same course;
- 13. appeal a final grade to the Final Grade Review Committee (Refer to Article 8);
- 14. a transcript listing all the courses in which they have registered and the final grades obtained in each of these courses.
If students believe that they have a legitimate concern, they are urged to consult the COLLEGE PROCEDURE: Student Academic Complaints.
ARTICLE 4. ATTENDANCE
Attendance is mandatory.
The College expects students to attend all class sessions. It is an essential requisite for their academic success and attainment of competencies. Excessive absences may have consequences affecting the final course grade, including possible failure.
If a department’s attendance policy specifies a certain number, or percentage, of absences have grade consequences, records of attendance must be kept to document this.
Departments and AEC program coordinators must develop a policy, which is applied consistently, for the specific attendance requirements for the disciplines and courses that it represents. This will enable the teachers to monitor and deal with attendance issues in a fair, equitable and consistent manner. These policies may not contravene the IPESA and must be approved by their program dean or the Director of the Centre for Continuing Education and be included in the course outline.
- 1. A student’s attendance in class shall be excused if they provide written proof of a valid reason for missing a class, test or an evaluation due date.
- 2. Teachers are not required to re-teach course material missed by absent students. Students with excused absences cannot lose grades for missing a minor evaluation.
- 3. Teachers must provide alternate major evaluations if students miss a major evaluation due to an excused absence.
- 4. If a minor evaluation cannot be made up, the evaluation can be redistributed as long as all elements of the competency are assessed.
- 5. Absences fewer than five (5) consecutive school days are addressed by the teacher and the student on a case-by-case basis.
- 6. Students who wish to observe religious holidays must inform their teachers, in writing, at the beginning of the semester so that alternative arrangements can be made between the teacher and student. See Article 3.2.13.
- 7. In cases of anticipated or planned absences for health or other reasons, students must request advance written approval for an excused absence from each teacher of their respective courses.
Students missing more than five (5) consecutive school days for justified reasons must provide a note to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar’s Office will then advise the teachers of the date of return or if it is undetermined. Arrangements for submission of missed assignments, evaluations, etc., are to be made between the student and the teacher.
4.2 Authorized Absence
For DEC students, absences of a period of three weeks or more for justified reasons or for an equivalent percentage of an intensive course (including AEC courses), students must complete a ‘Request for Authorized Absence’ which is available on the college website and at the Registrar’s Office. If the request is made for medical or other extenuating circumstances and is supported with appropriate documentation, the student may receive a Permanent Incomplete (IN) instead of a failing grade from the Registrar’s Office (see Article 11.3). The RO will communicate this decision to faculty implicated by this decision.
All students and teachers are provided, each semester, with a procedure document from the Registrar’s Office outlining the different types of absences and how they are to be reported and dealt with.
ARTICLE 6. EVALUATION
Evaluations should occur throughout the duration of the course. Before the course drop deadline (see current Academic Calendar), students must receive feedback, by one of the following means: diagnostic assessment, formative assessment or summative assessment. By mid-semester/mid-course students must be provided with sufficient graded material (See Article 3.1.14) in order that they be informed of how they are doing and seek help and support, if needed.
Please refer to the ACADEMIC PROCEDURE: Academic Progress by Mid Semester.
The evaluation of student achievement must be impartial, valid, reliable and consistent. Departments and course committees shall ensure that all sections of a multi-section course adhere to an equivalent/common evaluation framework. In the case of common competencies taught by several disciplines, program committees shall make recommendations to teachers and departments on the equivalency of evaluation.
Evaluation tasks, created by teachers, are directly related to the learning objectives of the course and the learning outcomes in the Exit Profile of the program. Examples of evaluation tasks include examinations, essays, problem-solving exercises, oral presentations, artistic productions, laboratory work, case studies, simulations, etc. It is understood that teaching and evaluation strategies are adapted to different pedagogical contexts.
The following evaluation rules must be applied:
- 1. No assignment of evaluated work will be given prior to the first day of class without explanation and approval from the department, the requisite program dean or the Director of the Centre for Continuing Education. This approval must be obtained each time a course requires it.
- 2. No single evaluation task will be worth more than 40% of the final grade for the course, except in the case of a final evaluation task based on all the principal competencies assigned to the course (i.e.: a final exam).
- 3. A total of up to 10% of the final grade may be awarded for participation. Participation must be clearly linked to course objectives, approved by the department and the specific criteria for participation must be included in the course outline. No grades may be given, or deducted, for attendance.
- 4. Teachers should evaluate and enter grades for a sufficient number of assessments in Gradebook in order that the College may advise DEC students of their progress by mid semester as per the ACADEMIC PROCEDURE: Academic Progress by Mid Semester; AEC students at risk of failure will be advised by the AEC program coordinator.
- 5. All components of the evaluation plan must be indicated in the course outline including the weight given to each component.
- 6. The grade value of each question or section must be clearly indicated on assignments, tests and exams;
- 7. Teachers may deduct grades for term work submitted late. If penalties for late student work are specified in the course outline, the teacher must apply them consistently as per departmental policy.
- 8. Students must be given sufficient time to prepare for and to complete examinations and assignments for their courses. For a task of more than 10% or more of the final grade, students must be given a notice of at least one week in semester long courses.
- 9. For semester long courses, the total value of all assessments due or scheduled in the last two (2) weeks of scheduled classes cannot exceed 30% of the final grade for the course.
- 10. The time allocated for the completion of in-class tests may not exceed the regularly scheduled class or lab time.
- 11. There must be an evaluation task (or tasks) in each course that allows students to demonstrate the achievement of the competencies assigned to that course.
- 12. Departments must have clear guidelines identifying how the objectives and competencies will be evaluated for the stage component of the course(s).
Any exception to the above must be explained to and approved by the program dean or by the Director of the Centre for Continuing Education.