Topic

Pass-Fail Grading

322 petitions

Update posted 3 hours ago

Petition to Dr. Kenneth Hawkinson, Dr. Anne Zayaitz, Dr. Carole Wells, Dr. Annmarie Cordner, Dr. Tom Stewart, Dr. Anne Carroll, Dr. John Ward, Dr. David Beougher, Dr. Michelle Kiec

Kutztown University (COVID-19) Academic Demands

Together we can make a change. Together We Roar! Distress immediately incurs when a university's administration decides that protecting its institutional legacy takes prioritization over the safety and well-being of its students. We are in unprecedented times, so we must adapt in a manner that is equitable to all, especially students. COVID-19 has disrupted and destroyed the lives of countless people, and students have been precipitously affected by its devastation. A university’s #1 focus should be the health and wellness of its student population, so we (KU Resist*) created a list of 10 demands that allows our well-being to be prioritized, not trivialized and ignored. After the list of 10 demands, the petition breaks down each demand and explains why we are asking for that specific accommodation, so that you will have a complete understanding of our needs. The 10 Demands #1 – Graduate Students will be allowed to take any course, of their choosing, Pass/Fail. #2 – The Pass/Fail grade system will be changed to the following: Pass is any grade that is an A, B, C, D, and NC (No Credit) is an F only. #3 – If a course cannot be taught online, without a significant drop off between in-class learning and distance learning, the student will receive an automatic “Pass.” #4 – Attendance and Participation will not factor into grading. #5 – Students will be allowed to submit ALL “late” course work (without penalty to their grade) until May 15th. #6 – Classes will end on May 8th, but the deadline for students to submit course work will be extended until 11:59 pm on May 15th. #7 – If the Kutztown University Administration does not agree to the previous demand, then they need to reimburse the tuition of all students for the week of March 16th - March 20th. #8 – Students who receive an F (letter grade system) or a NC (pass/fail system) will automatically receive an incomplete and allowed a fair opportunity to “Pass” the course in the Summer or Fall. #9 – The incomplete deadline for Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 courses will be extended until 11:59 pm on May 15th. #10 – Grades will be released on Tuesday, May 26th. “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” We are all experiencing the effects of COVID-19, so to pretend like everything is alright or to go about business, as usual, is disgusting and inhumane. Our country is at war, and Kutztown University Administration must take the necessary steps to ensure that it is protecting the well-being of its students without trivializing the effects that COVID-19 has on our health, wellness, and way of life. Otherwise, it is not good to be golden. #1 – Graduate Students will be allowed to take any course, of their choosing, Pass/Fail. Many students (not just undergraduate students) are experiencing psychological, emotional, mental, physical, and financial distress, so it has become challenging and for some downright impossible to concentrate on their studies. Allowing students to take courses pass/fail releases some of that stress, so that they can focus on their health and well-being. This option also gives graduate students who wish to keep their letter grade that choice, without affecting them. Not offering the same accommodations for graduate students, which you are offering to undergraduate students, is unjust. If a graduate student was placed on academic warning or academic probation before March 8th (2020) their academic standing will not be lowered after the Spring Semester, but it can be raised. Thus, they will be allowed another full-term semester to achieve appropriate academic standing, if not reached after this Spring Semester. (Demand #2 through Demand #10 applies to graduate students and undergraduate students.) #2 – The Pass/Fail grade system will be changed to the following: Pass is any grade that is an A, B, C, D, and NC (No Credit) is an F only. In our current letter grade system, any grade that is not an F (even a D) is an earned credit. However, in our current pass/fail system, a D is counted as no credit. That model negatively affects the students who wish to switch their courses to pass/fail. That forces unneeded stress on some students to make a difficult decision between taking the D (earning them credit but lowering their GPA) or receiving an NC (not earning them credit or lowering their GPA, but impacting their graduation requirements and financial aid status). We are in unprecedented times, a students focus should be on surviving the uncertainty of COVID-19; our academics need and should take a backseat in a global pandemic. Many students are already being forced to make difficult decisions, life vs. death, every single day, and our grade model should not be one of those choices. If a(n) (undergraduate or graduate) student was placed on academic warning or academic probation before March 8th (2020) their academic standing will not be lowered after the Spring Semester, but it can be raised. Thus, they will be allowed another full-term semester to achieve appropriate academic standing, if not reached after this Spring Semester. #3 – If a course cannot be taught online, without a significant drop off between in-class learning and distance learning, the student will receive an automatic “Pass.” Students did not ask nor choose to have their courses switched to online instruction. COVID-19 has forced students into a mode of learning that isn’t conducive to many (students) and a decent number of courses. For students who are taking courses where the education outcomes have significantly dropped off need to receive adequate and appropriate accommodations. They are paying tuition (without a deduction) for a class that they are getting little knowledge and hands-on experience. Their class instruction and assignments should continue until the end of the semester. However, completing their coursework should be optional. (They should consider if the course is a prerequisite, graduation requirements, academic goals, and future ambitions.) Each student will then receive an automatic “Pass” (those courses will switch to the pass/fail model) no matter if they choose to continue their coursework. #4 – Attendance and Participation will not factor into grading. There are countless reasons why students cannot access Zoom meetings and class instruction. Some of these reasons are a lack of available technology, internet services, extra responsibilities, tumultuous home life, exacerbation of mental illness, work (essential employee), disease, sensory overload, and many other factors. Therefore, students should not be penalized for their lack of attendance or participation. For many courses, attendance and participation factors into the overall grade, but you cannot assess a student’s performance and commitment to a class based on Zoom meetings (aforementioned reasons) nor the first six or seven weeks of in-class learning. There are students who were experiencing difficulties in the first half of the Spring Semester, and the sudden switch in the mode of learning doesn’t allow them the appropriate time and resources to make up for their early absences or lack of participation. Thus, attendance or participation should not factor into a student’s grade, only assignments, tests, and coursework. #5 – Students will be allowed to submit ALL “late” course work (without penalty to their grade) until May 15th. Students should not be penalized for submitting an assignment late; they need to be taking the necessary time to focus on their well-being and surviving this pandemic, not on submitting an assignment on time. Students need extreme flexibility in this tumultuous semester, not hard-pressed deadlines. Also, taking a full course load of online classes comes with added stress, anxiety, and work that makes distance learning more difficult than in-class instruction. To place additional harm on a student's mental and emotional well-being in this unprecedented juncture is hugely inappropriate. #6 – Classes will end on May 8th, but the deadline for students to submit course work will be extended until 11:59 pm on May 15th. Students missed a full week of courses, after Spring Break, and we should not be penalized for the slow response of the Kutztown University Administration to COVID-19. Many students are also experiencing multiple symptoms of distress and should be concentrating on their overall well-being, not on the completion and submission of an assignment on-time, and finals week brings additional stress and anxiety that would be disastrous for many students (right now). The added week would also make up for the one week of learning that students were not reimbursed and allows students a week after finals to make up any incomplete assignments, which would give students time to prioritize their health and wellness in this global pandemic. #7 – If the Kutztown University Administration does not agree to the previous demand, then they need to reimburse the tuition of all students for the week of March 16th - March 20th. In the March 23rd email about refunds, we were explicitly told that we would not receive a tuition refund. “Tuition – All instruction has been moved online but will continue through the 2020 spring semester. Full tuition costs are remaining in place based on 50% face-to-face and 50% online. The change in instruction does not meet the distance education requirement of 80% online or more.” However, what the Kutztown University Administration neglected to factor in was the week of classes, after Spring Break, which class instruction was suspended (March 16th – March 20th). Kutztown University students paid for 15 weeks of tuition (class instruction and learning), which excludes Spring Break, not 14 weeks. Therefore, we need to be refunded tuition for the week of classes that were suspended, or the KU Administration must agree to the previous demand; it would benefit Kutztown University’s budget and the overall well-being of students if Demand #6 was agreed upon. #8 – Students who receive an F (letter grade system) or a NC (pass/fail system) will automatically receive an incomplete and allowed a fair opportunity to “Pass” the course in the Summer or Fall. We are in a global pandemic, students who fail a course (this semester) need to be met with the utmost compassion. These students were most likely dealing with extreme stress that inhibited their studies, severe mental health issues, technological hindrances, complications from illness, and many other unfortunate factors. To blame their failing grade on their lack of “grit” is callous and inappropriate. Kutztown University should not have a blatant disregard for the circumstances of its students, especially during this pandemic, but an understanding that many students are suffering (in silence) during the unprecedented nature of COVID-19. If a student fails a course, they need to be allowed an opportunity to complete their unfinished assignments or submit extra credit, so that they can “Pass” the course. They will not be able to receive a letter grade, only a “Pass” in the pass/fail system. If a(n) (undergraduate or graduate) student was placed on academic warning or academic probation before March 8th (2020) their academic standing will not be lowered after the Spring Semester, but it can be raised. Thus, they will be allowed another full-term semester to achieve appropriate academic standing, if not reached after this Spring Semester. #9 – The incomplete deadline for Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 courses will be extended until 11:59 pm on May 15th. The deadline was already pushed back until May 1st/May 8th. Still, students who took an incomplete for the Fall of 2019 or Winter of 2020 were already experiencing high distress, before this pandemic, which allowed for their accommodation. However, COVID-19 has compounded the stress and anxiety of students who were already suffering; thus, this pandemic has disproportionately affected them. These students should be focusing on their health and well-being, and it is impossible for that prioritization when they are taking a full course load of online classes and making up incompletes from prior semesters; online courses also come with additional work and more difficulties. #10 – Grades will be released on Tuesday, May 26th. Grades cannot be released on Tuesday, May 12th if students can submit course work until May 15th. Also, it is unjust and unfair to force professors who are also experiencing the effects of this global pandemic to grade all assignments and submit student grades to the University in less than four days, May 19th. (Demand #6 approval would have grades released on Tuesday, May 19th.) Professors should be given an extra seven days, so that they can focus on their health and well-being, especially with most being older (more vulnerable to COVID-19) and the primary caregiver for their families. Students will still have one week to decide on their grading policy (June 2nd, 4:30 pm), and final changes to their grade and financial aid packages will be made promptly afterward. “The voices of students will be ignored no longer; we will scream our truths from the mountaintops, and our souls will be felt in the heavens above.” *KU Resist is all students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, community members, and literally anyone who wants better from Kutztown University.

#KUResist
1,603 supporters
Update posted 16 hours ago

Petition to Students of Concordia University Wisconsin, Administration of Concordia University Wisconsin, Faculty of Concordia University Wisconsin

Pass/fail for Spring of 2020 Concordia University Wisconsin

With recent news that UW Madison implementing the change to allow students to elect an alternative Pass/Fail Covid-19 grade Concordia University Wisconsin should give their students that same option. If students who are enrolled in Concordia's undergraduate program are not allowed to make this decision for themselves they are being put at a direct disadvantage to students enrolled at UW Madison (other public schools likely to follow.) All students enrolled in these schools are in competition to obtain admissions to graduate school or jobs in their respective field, and by not giving their students this option administration would be effectively devaluing the education obtained at Concordia in comparison to the education obtained at Madison. More information on the decision UW Madison has made can be found here: https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/university/uw-madison-offers-students-option-to-receive-pass-fail-grades/article_071d3517-4678-5a38-b10e-199921deb78e.html If you wish to sign this petition please only do so once as to give the administration an accurate idea of how many students or faculty feel this is the correct choice for our University. If you do choose to sign the petition please also spread awareness to other students you are in contact with during this time of separation in order to further improve the accuracy of this petition.  

Jack Terry
712 supporters
This petition won 2 days ago

Petition to Charlie McCormick, PhD, Travis Frampton, PhD, Schreiner University Administration

Request To Make Classes Pass/Fail Along With Final Examinations And Assessments An Option

Given the fact that Coronavirus has forced classes online, we believe that the appropriate action that Schreiner University should take is to allow students the opportunity to choose if their classes will be graded on a pass/fail scale or on the regular grading scale by receiving a letter grade, with a grade of P (passing) will be awarded if you earn the equivalent of a letter grade of C- or higher, or deemed acceptable by the professor and/or course syllabus. We also ask that all instructors make final examinations and assessments optional for the remainder of the semester. This would mean that: -if you take the final examination (or submit final assessments/papers) you will receive grades according to the principles set out on the course syllabus. -if you opt not to (or cannot) take the offered final nor submit the final paper or assessment, you will be assigned a grade based on the coursework you have completed to date. -if you do not want to take the chances of the other two options, you can opt for a pass/fail option to be enlisted on your transcript. We also ask to include language on every student transcript that points to the fact that a global pandemic in spring quarters 2020 required significant changes to coursework and led to unusual enrollment patterns and grades. This way all students are able to provide explanations to future employers and Graduate schools the reasoning behind the students' decisions. Whatever the choice, all classes should still count for their respective requirements. In reality, many of these classes do not properly translate into an online environment. In addition, many of the professors in our school, while being unbelievable forces in their fields, have very little to no experience managing courses online. Furthermore, the grading process will be severely limited and will place undue stress on students who have much less control over their ability to properly prepare for exams. The benefits of implementing these administrative changes severely outweigh the risks. It is much fairer to students that graduate schools and employers see "P's" on students' transcripts than potentially risking students getting grades well below their GPA potentially negating all the hard work they have done (and will do in the future), destroying their employment and graduate prospects. It is also much fairer to allow students to maintain their current grades to avoid the fear of their grades suffering from an online environment in which both they and instructors are not used to. We hope that Schreiner University enacts these changes to the benefit of the entire student community. 

Michael Collings
455 supporters
Update posted 21 hours ago

Petition to biola university, Biola Provost

Pass/Fail Grading Option at Biola University

In the midst of the difficulties associated with COVID-19, we would like to request that Biola give the option for students to move to a pass-fail grading system. We also request that they make the change sooner rather than later, as academic stress will continue until they make the change. It is unrealistic to expect students to be able to perform at the same level right now with so many stressors including family members getting sick, not being able to return home, technological difficulties, struggling with finances, time-zone differences, and the general difficulty of online learning. It is also unrealistic to expect professors to be able to teach at the same level as they usually do. Grades should not be adding to the student body's anxiety right now, rather we should be focusing on our mental health and riding out the storm. Biola should join the plethora of schools that have already made the switch such as Harvard, MIT, Abilene Christian University, University of Texas, Rice, Georgetown, and many others. We appreciate all that the school has done in addressing the crisis thus far, and recognize how difficult moving to online classes has been. But we believe at least one more measure must be taken. Since COVID-19 has forced all classes to be conducted online, we believe the university should make all classes have the option of being pass/fail and add relevant notation on every student's transcript that alludes to the global pandemic's influence on grades in the spring semester of 2020.

Biola Students
1,301 supporters