4.07 Miscellaneous Course Policies

4.07-1 Classes Not Meeting

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When professional matters require an absence from campus, classes must be covered by a member of the faculty or by an approved teaching assistant.

Implementation
Department heads should strictly enforce this policy.

Sources:
  • Office of the Vice President for Instruction, October 22, 1985
  • Office of the Vice President for Instruction, February 22, 1979

4.07-2 Mandatory Assignments,Tests, & Quizzes on Reading Days & Final Instructional Day of a Course

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Policy
http://bulletin.uga.edu/bulletin/acad/Examinations.html

Sources:
  • University of Georgia Bulletin

4.07-3 Final Exams

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Policy
http://bulletin.uga.edu/bulletin/acad/Examinations.html

Sources:
  • University of Georgia Bulletin

4.07-4 Retention of Term Papers and Final Exams

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Term papers and final examinations are important educational tools which can provide feedback to students about their academic work.

If faculty members do not return such papers to their students at the conclusion of the course, they are asked to retain them for a minimum of one semester in order to provide an opportunity for review and discussion.

Sources:
  • University Council, December 3, 1979

4.07-5 Faculty Authorized Texts

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Textbooks authored by the course instructor may be ordered with the approval of the department head. Prior to approving such orders, the department head should be satisfied that the work is equivalent in quality to other texts available for that course. Textbooks should not be ordered from companies in which the course instructor or a family member owns a substantial interest.

Sources:
  • Office of the Vice President for Instruction, March 11, 1994

4.07-6 Course Syllabus

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Please see https://curriculumsystems.uga.edu/curriculum/courses/syllabus

Sources:
  • University of Georgia Bulletin

4.07-7 Grades

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Policy
http://www.bulletin.uga.edu/bulletin/acad/Grades.html

Sources:
  • University of Georgia Bulletin

4.07-8 Course Auditing

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Policy
http://www.bulletin.uga.edu/bulletin/acad/Courses.html#Auditing

Sources:
  • University of Georgia Bulletin

4.07-9 Pass/Fail Option

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Policy
http://www.bulletin.uga.edu/bulletin/acad/Courses.html#Pass

Sources:
  • University of Georgia Bulletin

4.07-10 Course Numbers

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Policy
http://www.bulletin.uga.edu/bulletin/acad/Courses.html#Numbers

Sources:
  • University of Georgia Bulletin

4.07-11 Write-In Courses

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Write-in course definition

A course taken by a student at an institution other than the University of Georgia which transfers in to UGA as a credit course but does not transfer in with a UGA course number.

Determining equivalency

When a student transfers a course, it is evaluated by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. If this office does not assign a UGA equivalent course number to the transfer course, the student may ask the faculty in the department of the discipline in which the course is taught at UGA to evaluate the course to determine if it is equivalent to a UGA course. If the department determines that the transfer course is equivalent to a UGA course, the Admissions Office should be notified and the appropriate UGA number assigned.

Courses that are used to satisfy Core Curriculum requirements

Board of Regents policy mandates that students who satisfy Core Curriculum areas at one USG institution must be permitted to use those courses to satisfy the Core Curriculum requirements at all USG institutions. Therefore, if a USG course transfers to UGA as a write-in course and there is verification of the completion of that Core Area at the originating institution, the academic advisor or school/college must approve the course for use in the same Area in the UGA degree. Verification may be offered by the student (i.e. course syllabus, catalog, final exam, or other information as requested) or determined by an advisor (i.e. checking the web page of the originating institution). In cases where core areas have not been completed or the course is from a non-USG institution, the faculty in the department of the discipline in which the course is taught at UGA will determine whether or not a course may be used in Areas C, D, or E of the Core Curriculum and the faculty in the student’s major department will determine whether or not a course may be used in Area F of the Core Curriculum.

Courses that are used to satisfy Major Requirements or Major Electives

Course requirements to satisfy a student’s major are determined by the faculty in the department of the major and reviewed/approved by the curriculum committee(s) according to relevant policy. Therefore, the faculty in the major department have the responsibility and authority to determine if/how the write-in courses will count in the major. If the faculty member who reviews write-in courses is not familiar with the institution or course in question, the student should provide the faculty member with a course syllabus, catalog, final exam, or other information as requested.

Courses that satisfy school/college degree requirements

If a school or college has school-wide or college-wide degree requirements the school or college should develop a policy for substituting a write-in course for a required course in the degree requirements. In the absence of such a policy the student’s major department can make such decisions.

Courses that satisfy University degree requirements

The faculty in the department of the discipline in which the course is taught at UGA will determine whether or not a course may be used to substitute for a University degree requirement.

The route of appeals for major requirement, major elective, or Core Area F substitutions or waivers is:

  1. the major department,
  2. Dean’s Office of the student’s school/college,
  3. Educational Affairs Committee,
  4. University of Georgia President,
  5. Board of Regents

The route of appeals for school/college requirement, University requirement, or Core Areas C, D, or E substitutions or waivers is:

  1. the department of the discipline in which the course is taught at UGA,
  2. Dean’s Office of the school or college in which that department resides,
  3. Educational Affairs Committee,
  4. University of Georgia President,
  5. Board of Regents
Sources:
  • University Council, April 22, 2004

4.07-12 Instructor of Record

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Objective

To improve institutional data quality for the purpose of more accurately reflecting the instructional responsibility in all course sections.  This policy will allow for:

  • improved reporting of institutional data at local, state and national levels,
  • the ability to accurately account for instructional activity of graduate teaching/laboratory assistants,
  • data consistency across schools/colleges allowing for better comparative data analysis,
  • appropriate accountability in academic dishonesty and grade appeal processes, and
  • data integrity (especially related to faculty credentialing) as required by SACS.

Policy

Academic units must identify all instructors for all course sections including sections taught for credit and non-credit. The instructor is defined as the person(s) responsible for conducting the day-to-day classroom/instructional activities and/or the assignment of grades. Instructors of Record must hold appropriate UGA faculty appointment and credentials as outlined below.

These policy changes are effective for Fall Semester 2007 courses. Departments are encouraged to also update their summer 2007 data.

Procedures

More than one instructor may be listed for each course section. Assignment of appropriate instructor percent responsibility must be determined by each academic unit using the following guidelines: 

  1. Regular classroom instruction: sections taught for credit whether taught by a faculty member or a graduate teaching assistant must include all instructors contributing to the instructional activity. Each instructor must be assigned the appropriate percent responsibility.

  2. Credit-bearing laboratory sections:  the person conducting the day-to-day classroom activities, whether faculty or graduate laboratory assistant(s), must be listed as the instructor and assigned a minimum of 90% instructional responsibility. If a faculty member is primarily providing oversight of another instructor/graduate assistant, they may be assigned a maximum of 10%.

  3. Non-credit laboratory sections: the person conducting the day-to-day classroom activities, whether faculty or graduate laboratory assistant(s), must be listed as the instructor and assigned a minimum of 90% instructional responsibility. If a faculty member is primarily providing oversight of another instructor/graduate assistant, they may be assigned a maximum of 10%.

  4. Study abroad sections taught by foreign faculty: the foreign faculty conducting the day-to-day classroom activities must be listed as the instructor of record and assigned 90% instructional responsibility. The local UGA faculty member serving as program coordinator who provides primary oversight of all local matters concerning the course sections will be assigned 10% instructional responsibility.
    (University Cabinet, December 2009)

Sources:
  • Office of the Vice President for Instruction, July 2007
  • University Cabinet, December 2009

4.07-13 Faculty Credentials and Institutional Approvals Required for Instructors of Record

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Each academic unit has the responsibility to ensure that instructor of record faculty credentials satisfy the SACS Standards for Faculty Credentials (includes doctorate or master’s degree in teaching discipline for faculty dependent on course level; master’s degree or 18 graduate semester hours in teaching discipline and direct supervision of faculty for graduate teaching assistants teaching undergraduate ccourses, etc), the University of Georgia’s Instructor of Record Policy and Procedures (as stated in § 4.07-12), and any applicable specialized accreditation standards for all courses in the academic unit. The instructor of record faculty credentials and approvals apply to all courses listed in the UGA Course Offerings System including courses taught abroad, field study, extended campus courses (Buckhead, Griffin, Gwinnett, Tifton) and courses offered through Independent and Distance Learning.

Faculty Credentials and Institutional Approvals Required for Instructors of Record

Sources:
  • Office of the Vice President for Instruction, Graduate School, Office of Faculty Affairs, May 2009; Revised February 2013

4.07-14   Approval of Course Lab/Supply Fees

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The dean of each academic unit (college/school) is responsible for maintaining a balance between the instructional costs incurred by the unit and the minimum fee charged to each student. Academic departments wishing to add or modify Lab/Supply Fees on the Bursar’s Office List of Approved Courses must provide a written justification that includes documentation of the costs incurred in teaching the courses and a response to the basic criteria outlined below. An electronic form to request a new lab/supply fee can be found by accessing http://www.busfin.uga.edu/forms/application_lab.pdf. If an increase or decrease of an existing fee is required, please access http://www.busfin.uga.edu/forms/increase_decrease_lab.pdf. The department head must forward the justification to his/her dean for approval. Requests approved by the dean should be forwarded to the Office of the Vice President for Instruction for final approval.  The OVPI will send approved requests to the Bursar.

  1. Items covered by the fee must be clearly identifiable, and they must be essential to the student’s completion of the course. Specifically, absence of the items covered by the fee would prevent student success in the course.

  2. There must be equivalent treatment of all students, so that no disparity exists between courses that use the items and charge the fee and courses that use the identical items and do not charge the fee.

  3. Items covered by the fee must be unique and unavailable through other practical means for use in the specific course, and all students enrolled in the course must be required to pay the fee.

  4. The same fee should apply to all sections of the course within a given semester. Students in May session sections should be charged the same fee as those in the regular and short summer sessions.

The approved list of courses requiring Lab/Supply Fees will be maintained in the Bursar’s Office as well as in a data table in the OASIS Registration system. The fee is the actual cost expended to provide supplies, materials, and maintenance of specialized instructional equipment in undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses. It is not intended as a means of recouping ordinary and usual costs related to the instructional process. Examples of allowable and non-allowable fees are listed below.

Examples of Allowable and Non-Allowable Lab/Supply Fees

Allowable Fees
  1. Items given to students in lab/supply kits (e.g., art supplies, test tubes).
  2. Items consumed by students during a course (e.g., chemicals, paper, toner).
  3. Yearly maintenance contracts on specialized equipment dedicated solely to instruction (e.g., magnetic resonance spectrometer, rapid prototype printer); the added cost per student may not exceed $25 per course.
  4. Any tool or device used in a course that has an expected life of one year or less, is an operational item (no property tag), and is used to transform expendable items to a product needed for success in the course (e.g., sculpture chisel, electronic components).
  5. Instructional computing site license fees not eligible for Student Technology Fee funds.
Non-allowable Fees
  1. Items eligible for Student Technology Fee funds.
  2. Items costing over $5,000 and carrying a property tag.
  3. Furnishings,  utilities costs (e.g., telephones) and similar items covered by state funds.
  4. Salaries or stipends for personnel.
Sources:
  • Office of the Vice President for Instruction, December 8, 2006

4.07-15 Field Trip Requirements

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The University requires that all off campus field trips must be approved by the Department Head and Dean.  It is advisable to secure this approval prior to scheduling a field trip and before the drafting of a waiver.

Waivers of liability for voluntary field trips are generally upheld by courts in the State of Georgia.  Key elements involved with waivers include that the participant enters into the waiver voluntarily and that the participant is well aware of the activities and possible risks involved in the field trip.  Therefore, each waiver, although similar in content, must be specifically customized to fit the specific facts of each field trip.

All participants in voluntary field trips in which the University provides transportation should be required to sign a waiver of liability as a condition of participation.  In other situations which may involve potential dangers or the University provides items such as meals, housing, equipment, etc. the instructor should consult with the Office of Legal Affairs about the advisability of using waiver forms. The Office of Legal Affairs drafts the waivers once the instructor provides the necessary information.  This information includes:

  • Name of the department and the faculty/staff member who is requesting the waiver
  • The dates of the field trip
  • The name and number of the course associated with the trip
  • All activities associated with the field trip
    • Include what will be provided (transportation, meals, etc.) by the University
    • Include detailed description of the activities
  • Any possible risks that you might foresee associated with the field trip (no matter how trivial you feel the risk might be.)

Instructors who need a waiver drafted by the Office of Legal Affairs, or who have any questions regarding waivers of liability, should contact Arthur Leed, Associate Director for Legal Affairs, Lustrat House at 706-542-0006 or at aleed@uga.edu.  A request for a waiver should be made at least three (3) weeks in advance of the date of the trip to ensure that the waivers are available in time.

After receiving your requested waiver from the Office of Legal Affairs, please have all participants sign an original for you to keep in the instructor’s files and also make the participants a copy of the signed original for their records.

Sources:
  • Office of Legal Affairs

4.07-16 End-of-Term Course Evaluations

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Students must be given the opportunity to complete an end-of-term course evaluation.

Common Course Evaluations and Use of Common Scale

Instructors will include the following items in their end-of-term course evaluations and use a common scale:

1.  Was this course required for your degree?
(1) No, not required (2) Yes, required
2.  On average, how many hours per week did you devote to this course outside of class?
(1) 0-1 hours (2) 2-3 hours (3) 4-5 hours (4) 6-7 hours (5) 8 hours or more
3.  Assignments and activities were useful for helping me learn.
Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5
4.  This course challenged me to think and learn.
Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5

Procedure

  • Instructors may include additional items designed to measure teaching effectiveness in their disciplines.
  • All items will use a common scale from 1 to 5, 5 being highest.
  • Items on the questionnaire should be positive statements.

Rationale

One of the Task Force for General Education and Student Learning recommendations (II.2.4) was to establish an online course evaluation system and a uniform set of questions for all University undergraduate courses. The Task Force expressed concern over the lack of uniformity among different departments’end-of-course evaluations and the lack of questions on academic rigor.  Establishing comprehensive and uniform end-of-course evaluations, but allowing for course-specific questions, will provide an effective tool to assess undergraduate courses and the degree of academic rigor.

Results of the End-of-Term Course Evaluations

Recommendation:
During the one-year trial period the numerical results for the common questions in end-of-term course evaluations will not be published online.  Course evaluation comments will not be published online.

Procedure:
An online process will be developed to facilitate collection of the common questions.  The results will be available internally for initial assessment. Results will be available for individual courses but not for individual faculty. After results have been compiled for two semesters, the results will be available to UCC for evaluation and consideration. The UCC will determine how to proceed and whether or not to publish numerical results for the common questions.

Rationale:
The University would like a measure of rigor for all courses and to be able to compare results from the course evaluations with the NSSE results. Students want to be able to see the common course evaluation results.

Sources:
  • University Council Curriculum Committee, February 10, 2010

4.07-17 Midterm Course Evaluations

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Instructors are encouraged to administer midterm evaluations in their courses each semester. Questions for that evaluation might include:

  • What’s working?
  • What’s not working?
  • How can we make it better?

Procedure

The midterm course evaluation:

  • Will be administered by the instructor (proctors are not necessary)
  • Will be used only by the instructor to improve the course
  • Will not be used to evaluate the instructor during the promotion and tenure process or annual evaluations
  • Will not be kept as a record

Rationale

The midterm evaluation can provide instructors with feedback on how to improve their courses and allow students an opportunity to provide input before the academic period is complete. This process may have a positive effect on the end-of-term course evaluation.

Sources:
  • University Council Curriculum Committee, February 10, 2010

4.07-18 Academic Textbooks

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See Board of Regents Policy, 3.19, Academic Textbooks for details.