Academic Dean and Provost Notice
01 Dec 17
ACADEMIC DEAN AND PROVOST NOTICE 1531.6
From: Academic Dean and Provost
Subj: END OF SEMESTER ITEMS
(a) ACDEANINST 1531.12, Midshipmen Evaluations of Classes and Instructors
(b) USNAINST 1531.53, Policies Concerning Graded Academic Work
(c) ACDEANINST 1531.62, Academic Reporting System
(d) ACDEANINST 1531.80, Midshipmen Academic Performance Reports
1. Purpose. This notice provides reminders of responsibilities that faculty members have at the end of the semester. The guidance for previous and following years is similar; specific (e.g., date) changes are highlighted in red.
2. Midshipman Evaluation of Courses and Instructors. Per reference (a), faculty members are required to provide all of their students with an opportunity to offer their opinions on the courses they took and the instruction they received.
3. Grades and MAPRs
a. RESPONSIBILITY. Faculty members are responsible for the assignment of grades for their students. Except in the most unusual circumstances, no one else may assign a faculty member's grades, and no one else may change them. Reference (b) describes policies concerning graded academic work. Reference (c) describes the process for submitting grades and reference (d) describes the process for submitting Midshipman Academic Performance Reports (MAPRs). Note that a MAPR is required by all instructors of a midshipmen appearing for an Academic Board, regardless of their performance in the class; MAPRs are also required by instructors for cases where a midshipman has earned a grade of "D," "F" or "I" even if the midshipman is not an Academic Board case.
b. TIMELY SUBMISSION. It is of critical importance that grades and MAPRs be entered via the Midshipman Information Database System (MIDS) to meet the absolute deadlines below. Faculty members must follow earlier schedules announced by their department chairs. Grades or MAPRs may be changed prior to the deadlines listed next by simply re-entering the data.
- Grades are due: 1200, Thursday, 21 Dec 2017.
- MAPRs are requested by the Academic Board: by 1200, Tuesday, 26 Dec 2017. The list of cases to be reviewed by the Academic Board will be available by approximately 1900 on Thursday, 21 Dec 2017. Faculty members may enter MAPRs at any time after they have submitted grades and need not wait until the Academic Board list is posted.
In order to assure an orderly and timely submission of grades and MAPRs, chairs will announce earlier deadlines to their departments and ensure that all faculty members are aware of them and can be reached in the event that there are any problems with submission. It should be kept in mind that the Academic Board will require MAPRs from ALL faculty members who instructed midshipmen on the Academic Board list. Department chairs have a list, by course and instructor, of all MAPRs that would have been required if the Academic Board list were based on second marking period grades alone. Faculty members may wish to consult with their chairs to estimate which MAPRs might be needed in advance of publication of the Academic Board list.
c. ACCURACY. Faculty members must ensure that the grades they submit at the end of the semester are accurate. These grades have more serious consequences than the interim grades submitted at 6 and 12 weeks which are principally advisory. Many critical decisions about midshipmen are made in a short period of time after the semester ends and it is assumed that the grades submitted are the grades the midshipmen earned.
d. GRADE TRIPLETS. In every course where there is a final examination, faculty members MUST submit THREE (3) grades: the 16-week progress grade, the final examination grade, and the grade for the course. The course grade depends only on the 16-week grade and the final examination grade since no other graded work may be required after classes end. It follows then that the course grade must be bounded by the 16-week grade and the final examination grade. The 16-week grade should include every graded item in the course but the final examination. Chairs will monitor grades in their departments to assure timely submission, consistency and completeness.
e. INCOMPLETES. There are only two reasons for submitting a grade of I (Incomplete): (1) the midshipman was unable to complete the course requirements because of circumstances beyond his/her control (medical reasons, emergency leave, etc.); or (2) the midshipman is in a section where there is reason to believe that the final examination may have been compromised (see reference (a)). If an Incomplete is submitted, every effort must be made by the midshipman, under the faculty member's direction, to complete the course as soon as possible. Failure to do so will result in a permanent grade of F. If the I (Incomplete) is the result of missing a final examination, arrangements should be made to administer a make-up examination as soon as possible and by the regular deadline for grade submission, if possible. Chairs will monitor the submission of grades in their departments to assure correct submission of Incompletes.
f. CHANGE OF GRADE AFTER COMPLETION OF SEMESTER. A faculty member may change a permanent grade he/she has submitted only when the faculty member has made an error in its computation. However, there should not be any error if the faculty member has exercised appropriate care. See subparagraph c, above. The time limit for such a grade change is four months after submission of the original grade. A grade change must be made on a Midshipman Record Change (MIDREC) card. This card must be delivered in person, by a department faculty or staff member (NOT a midshipman) to the Registrar. The faculty member must explain the error made in the grade computation on the card and the card must be signed by the faculty member, his/her chair, and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The card should include the old (incorrect) triplet of grades and the new (corrected) triplet of grades.
4. Administration of Final Examinations.
a. FACULTY RESPONSIBILITIES. Faculty members are responsible for informing each of their students of the date, time, and place of the final examination in each course they teach. Faculty members must also provide unambiguous directions to midshipmen concerning the conduct of final examinations. Faculty members must exercise care that no midshipmen have any advantage over other midshipmen taking the same final examination. This applies to the preparation of midshipmen for an examination and their use of devices of any kind that may be used for the transmission, storage or manipulation of data; see reference (b).
In courses with more than one instructor, there should be mutual agreement among all instructors about what general information, if any, may be disclosed about an upcoming final examination. Course coordinators are responsible for disseminating this information to the course instructors. Instructors should take care to provide "gouge for none or gouge for all." Deviations from this rule have created more problems than any other.
Faculty may permit all midshipmen taking a final examination to use calculators, computers, textbooks, tables, faculty-prepared information sheets, student-prepared information sheets or other information sources, provided that it is verified by each instructor that these tools or aids conform to clear department policy approved by the Academic Dean and Provost and no midshipmen have an unfair advantage over others by the use of such aids. It should be recognized that calculators used by midshipmen are capable of recording whole sections of textbooks including graphical information. Care should be taken to collect all examination papers--and check the trash--when departing the examination room. Double-check each room before departing and count papers. Since midshipmen are expected to act honorably at all times, the principal purpose of proctoring an examination should be to administer its distribution and collection and to clarify any ambiguities or correct any errors. It is not necessary for a proctor to be present continuously in the examination room. If a faculty member must proctor examinations in different rooms at the same time, this will not be possible.
b. MIDSHIPMAN RESPONSIBILITIES. Midshipmen must have, or must seek, a clear understanding of rules concerning the conduct of final examinations. Midshipmen may not communicate or collaborate with others in any manner. In particular, midshipmen may not use cell phones or similar devices during a final examination except in an emergency situation. Since cell phones will be used by the command to communicate with midshipmen in case of a breach of security or safety, midshipmen who bring them to examinations should be directed to configure them in their alert mode. Midshipmen may not use written materials or tools such as calculators on a final examination except as specifically directed.
c. FINAL EXAMINATION ADMINISTRATION AND SCHEDULE. Reference (b), "Policies Concerning Graded Academic Work", describes the administration and security of final examinations. All faculty members are required to be familiar with this document and must comply with the policies stated in it. In every case where there is any possibility of administering the same final examination to midshipmen at a later time, every effort must be made to collect all examination materials including scrap papers. The official final examination schedule is promulgated by the Registrar and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. A faculty member may not cancel or otherwise modify the official final examination schedule without approval from the ADAA; such modifications are extremely rare and will be considered in only the most exceptional circumstances. Final examinations are normally of three hours duration. During Review and Study Day(s) ("Reading Day(s)"), faculty members must be available to their students for the purpose of review or to respond to student questions. Too, midshipmen may not be required to attend any other activities during this day. In particular, no regular class period may be used for any purpose other than review or study.
d. ABSENCE FROM FINAL EXAMINATION. If a midshipman is unexpectedly absent at the start of a final examination, the faculty member should report this immediately, via the course coordinator, to his/her department chair who will attempt to determine the midshipman's whereabouts. Occasionally, a midshipman will forget the appointed time for a final examination. Every effort should be made to contact that midshipman as soon as his or her absence is noted and have the midshipman take the scheduled final examination.
e. ALTERNATE FINAL EXAMINATIONS. All midshipmen must take final examinations at the regularly scheduled time or an officially approved alternate time. Faculty members may not arrange with midshipmen to conduct a final examination at another time without the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
f. REEXAMINATIONS. Reexaminations are not permitted at USNA. Faculty members may give a final examination to a midshipman only once.
5. EFFECTS OF POTENTIAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN. In the case of a government shutdown, final examinations should be administered at their originally-scheduled times, whenever possible. If an exam cannot be administered due to a government shutdown, alternative plans to administer the exam will be arranged once the shutdown concludes. As indicated in the AcDeanNote on Final Examinations, canceling of final exams is not authorized, rescheduling of final exams is not authorized, and "take home" final exams are not authorized. However, Grade and MAPR deadlines may be adjusted depending on the exact timing and duration of the shutdown. Faculty should consult with their department and/or division leadership with any questions or concerns.
6. This guidance and its supporting materials are posted online on the USNA Academics website under Academic Dean | Rules and Regulations.