Questions with an asterisk (*) are new or recently updated.
What’s happening with final exams for the Winter 2020 semester?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the following types of final exams have been significantly impacted:
- final exams to be written on-campus;
- online final exams with in-person invigilation;
- online final exams with online invigilation.
Note: For ease of reading, these will collectively be referred to as “on-campus final exams” throughout this FAQ.
No on-campus final exams will be written during the regular Winter 2020 final exam period, which was intended to take place from April 8-18 (Grenfell Campus), or from April 13-21 (St. John’s campus and online courses). In response, a policy was approved on March 17 governing courses which were intended to have an on-campus final exam.
Does this policy apply to everybody?
The policy applies to all undergraduate and graduate courses intended to have an on-campus final exam, except for courses offered by the Fisheries and Marine Institute, the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Nursing, the Centre for Nursing Studies, and the Western Regional School of Nursing. These students will be updated directly by their academic unit.
My course was supposed to have an on-campus final exam. What does this mean for my evaluation scheme?
Instructors have been provided with a variety of choices:
- Determine a final grade based on coursework submitted to date. The course will be considered complete. No further evaluation, including a final exam, will take place.
- Determine a final grade based on coursework submitted to date and term work still to be submitted. No final exam will take place.
- Determine a final grade based on a revised evaluation scheme in which the on-campus final exam is replaced by an alternative assessment. No final exam will take place.
- Determine a final grade based on a revised evaluation scheme in which the on-campus final exam is replaced by a final exam delivered through alternate means.
- Postpone the on-campus final exam to a future date.
Instructors are encouraged to consult with their academic unit head in determining the best option for each of their courses, and to be mindful of the University’s duty to accommodation and fairness.
*What considerations should be given for an alternate final assessment?
Some things to consider are whether you’ve achieved learning outcomes without the exam, whether the exam can be redesigned in an alternative format, and if not, thinking about the options available to digitize your current exam. This flow chart will help you make the decisions you need to make about the final assessments in your course.
The Academic Sub-committee of Memorial's Emergency Operations Centre has developed these recommended best practices for remote final exams.
When must instructors decide how their on-campus final exams will be addressed?
Instructors must inform students of the status of their on-campus final exam, and any resulting changes to the course evaluation scheme, by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020.
*Can the instructor of a course with an on-campus final exam make additional changes to the evaluation scheme after Monday, March 23?
To minimise confusion, further changes to the evaluation scheme are strongly discouraged. In extraordinary cases, the procedure outlined in General Academic Regulation 6.7.4 Changing the Method of Evaluation may be used. However, in such cases the “exceptional circumstances which warrant the change” must be circumstances which were not foreseeable as of the date on which the decision addressing the on-campus final exam was originally communicated to students.
What happens to a deferred/supplementary exam from an earlier semester which was intended to be written during the Winter 2020 final exam period?
The head of the academic unit may replace the deferred/supplementary exam with an alternative assessment or deliver the final exam through alternate means. The deferred/supplementary exam may also be postponed to a future date. In any of these cases, the student will be offered the choice of receiving either a numeric grade or the corresponding PAS/FAL (pass/fail) grade. In consultation with the course instructor, the head may also offer the student the option of accepting a PAS/FAL grade based on term work completed.
My course doesn’t have an on-campus final exam. How does this policy apply to me?
The policy does not apply to courses without an on-campus final exam; these courses may continue to follow the original evaluation scheme. If an instructor of a course without an on-campus final exam wishes to alter the evaluation scheme, they must follow the procedures outlined in General Academic Regulation 6.7.4 Changing the Method of Evaluation.