Exams in the era of COVID-19
These policies were created on August 3, 2020, and are reflective of the information and understanding of the pandemic at that point in time. This document was created and will be maintained by Mines’ Academic Affairs office.
Mines faculty are working diligently toward designing instruments that help determine your competency level with regards to the course learning objectives. Not surprisingly, these instruments include homework, essays, written reports, projects, etc. One key instrument that faculty also rely on is exams.
Exams help faculty determine the competency of an individual student in a controlled environment that is consistent for all students. Considering that several fall courses are not being delivered in the traditional residential setting, students will be expected to collaboratively work with faculty to account for any extenuating circumstances that may potentially impede your ability to complete exams as set by your professors. Forethought, initiative and transparency on your part will help faculty develop alternative plans to accommodate exceptional circumstances while still maintaining a level playing field and assuring the integrity of the course.
What are faculty accountable for?
- Clearly articulating any prerequisites for high-stakes assessments such as exams. These could include requiring a built-in or external webcam to be on during an exam, installation of some kind of proctoring software or taking the exam at an external proctoring site.
- Working with students and developing alternatives, if needed, as well as reasonable plans that both parties agree on:
- in case exams will be held on campus but students opt to take them remotely.
- if students are in a different time zone.
- for students with disabilities and making necessary accommodations as recommended by disability services.
- Monitoring on-campus exams
- Making everyone’s health and safety a priority.
- Creating exams that align with the learning objectives of the course and can be completed in the allocated time.
- Providing make-up exams as needed for students.
- Creating make-up exams that are consistent in difficulty level with the original exam.
- Creating a level playing field and maintaining consistent expectations of all students.
- Creating a positive learning environment through flexibility, reasonable expectations of students and transparency about those expectations.
What are students accountable for?
- Being proactive and informing faculty as early as possible of any extenuating circumstances you expect to encounter that will hinder you being able to take the exam. Waiting until the last minute will not give faculty the required time to provide reasonable adjustments and accommodations.
- Being transparent and proactive about your needs and lack of resources (if any), so faculty can work with you and other groups on campus to alleviate those issues.
- Giving faculty enough time to make necessary arrangements if special accommodations are needed.
- Acting in a manner befitting a professional scientist or engineer. See your major’s professional organization for codes of conduct and ethics guidelines.
- Completing assignments and exams without assistance. Students will not obtain or provide any unauthorized help of ANY kind (any type of outside resource including, but not limited to, the internet, any kind of solutions manual or help to/from other individuals) in completing an exam. Follow the guidelines set by your instructor. Do not share or post problems or solutions to an exam in any shape or form with anyone. Do not use unauthorized resources or websites.
- Making sound judgements and decisions that will not harm the integrity of the course, be unfair to your fellow classmates or break the trust of your instructors, TAs and peers.
- Adhering to and upholding all standards of honesty as stated in the Mines Academic Misconduct and Code of Conduct policies as well as the department or course-specific guidance on academic integrity. Academic integrity will always be strictly enforced. Violations in academic misconduct may result in varied sanctions, including failure of the course and/or suspension from Mines.