University of Windsor: Flexible Final Grading Choices for Winter 2020 Term

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For University of Windsor Students Only

In response to COVID-19, the University of Windsor announced the following grading choices: (1) Pass/Fail; (2) keep final marks as posted; or (3) voluntarily withdraw from your course. However, most of these choices are only available AFTER students are already required to take final assessments.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, students face too many problems to count, including familial layoffs, job insecurity, health risks, home environments that are unsafe or non-conducive to this new mode of learning, unequal internet access compounded by inaccessible public transit, parents/caregivers who have the added pressure of caring for their children, and stress and anxiety induced by self-isolation/quarantine and the uncertainty posed by the pandemic.

Expecting students to write exams without exception, and only allowing them choices after final marks are posted, is unrealistic, unaccommodating, and unacceptable.

The Pass/Not Pass option is unfair to students who have worked hard to achieve their grades all semester, and it's impractical as an option for students pursuing a degree in a graduate or professional program. Likewise, the Voluntary Withdrawal option negates students’ hard work and will have financial implications for students, especially for those relying on OSAP.

In the Provost's March 16th memo to instructors, his recommendations included a grade freeze. This, however, remains at the discretion of each instructor, rather than a uniform University policy. An irregular practice like this will see some students benefit while others continue to struggle and be disadvantaged.

Our ask is simple: We request a University-wide policy, applicable to all faculties with the exception of Law and Education, that gives students two additional choices:

1. A grade freeze, whereas students can opt-out of final assessments and be graded on all coursework up to the last day of classes (provided 60% of the grade has been assessed); and  

2. To request a Pass/Non-Pass grade based on all coursework completed before final assessments.  

More information: https://uwsa.ca/joint-letter-on-final-grading-choices-due-to-covid-19/

Supported by: University of Windsor Students' Alliance (UWSA), Graduate Students' Society (GSS), Organization of Part-time University Students (OPUS), Science Society, Odette Commerce Society, Human Kinetics Society, Computer Science Society, Engineering Society, Creative Arts Students' Society, Social Work Students' Association, Students' Law Society, Education Society, Society of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, Dramatic Arts Society, Nursing Society and International Students' Society.