Queen's University: Give Students the Option to be Graded on a Pass/Fail Basis

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The shift to remote learning in lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic poses unprecedented challenges to learning for many students. This disproportionately impacts certain displaced students, leading to inequitable learning outcomes, and a lack of accountability for academic integrity. 

Because of this situation, the grades earned during this period don’t necessarily give an accurate portrayal of the student’s understanding of the course content and provide opportunities for breaches of academic integrity. This looks like students working collaboratively or even bringing in external individuals to sit in on their exams - this is unacceptable by all means. 

Despite Queen’s faculties’ best attempts to make their courses accessible, many students are struggling to adapt to these changing circumstances and find themselves unable to concentrate during this stressful and uncertain time. This uncertainty surrounding academics, housing, employment, and health will make it exceedingly challenging for all students to succeed.

Recognizing these issues, we call on Queen’s University to follow the precedent set by key members of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities in offering students the option to select courses for grading on a pass/fail basis for Winter 2020 courses. 

McGill University: https://www.mcgill.ca/coronavirus/faqs#Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory%20option

McMaster University DeGroote School of Business: https://www.degroote.mcmaster.ca/student-news/last-day-to-withdraw-deadline-extended-to-friday-march-20/

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology: https://emergency.nait.ca/COVID-19-Update-and-general-information/COVID-19-update-for-credit-students-March-23-Cha

University of British Columbia: https://science.ubc.ca/students/advising/concession

University of Toronto: https://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/covid19-artsci-student-faqs

University of Waterloo: https://uwaterloo.ca/coronavirus/

University of Calgary: https://www.ucalgary.ca/news/final-grades-winter-2020-term

University of Alberta: https://www.ualberta.ca/extension/information/for-students/forms/cancel-registration