Changes to syllabi, accommodations, exams, academic calendar

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On Friday, March 20, UNB announced the changes to the remainder of the school year that will be occurring as a result of current events.

(Jordan Gill/CBC)

“This is an unusual time – in fact, an extraordinarily unusual time – not just for UNB, but for all other Universities, and all other sectors of society. Responding effectively as a university requires us to be creative and flexible in constructive ways and in all aspects of out mission as we continue to prioritize student success while ensuring the health and safety of all.” Paul Mazerolle, UNB’s President and Vice-Chancellor, said.

The announcement clarified, and perhaps brings about more questions from students, some concerns in the UNB community about how courses will proceed. Here is what you need to know.

Academic calendar changes

Term tests are generally prohibited from being held during the last week or two of class. Since classes have been cancelled for the last week, tests are allowed to be held as late as Friday, April 3. It was noted that the following undergraduate calendar exceptions still apply, found in Section B, Examination and Evaluation of Course work, 5.d.

“The following may be exceptions to the regulations (a) and (c):
i. courses with regular, usually weekly, tests;
ii. course requiring laboratory examinations of a practical nature;
iii. courses in which oral examinations are given. In such cases a mutually agreeable time may be arranged between the student and the instructor.
In the case of the exceptions i) and ii) the tests or examinations must be held during the regular class period. A student or faculty member reports instances of contravention of this regulation to the Registrar.”

Students may also withdraw from any course without academic penalty up to and including the last day of the winter semester, Thursday, April 9. Any WF (withdraw fail) will be changed to a W.

Students will be given the option to take a letter grade or a credit/no credit for each course.

If you choose credit/no credit, and receive credit it, will count towards your program requirements, credit hours completed, as a pre-requisite, but will not affect GPA (positively or negatively). If you receive no credit, it will not count towards program requirements, a prerequisite, or be assigned grade points, it will count as credit hours attempted.

If you choose the letter grade option, which is the standard grading scheme in most courses, regular conditions apply. If you’re trying to keep that GPA where it is at, CR/NCR might be best for you; if you’re trying to improve your GPA, letter grade may be a better option. However, CR/NCR is not recommended for students considering applying to future programs and it is recommended you contact your academic advisor for more info.

Syllabus and exam changes

Instructors have been given the option the change their course syllabi to adapt to current changes. Students must be made aware of any changes to syllabi by Friday, March 27.

Exams will be a combination of take-home or online, with instructors being given the option to cancel them as well. Take-home exams will be due on Friday, April 24. More specific information regarding this will be communicated by instructors to their students.

Accommodation changes

Any academic accommodations pre-approved by the accessibility centre will be honoured, some of which may need to be adjusted based in alternative delivery format. If you do not have reliable internet access you should contact your instructor.

This article is to provide supplementary information to students only. Do not rely on this for academic advice or make changes to your courses based on this. Always contact your academic advisor before making major changes to your course plan.