Updates for Faculty and Instructors

March 23, 6:30 p.m. - On Friday, March 20, the University announced a number of academic measures put in place to support the completion of the Winter 2020 term, including the decision to implement Credit (CR)/Noncredit (NC) grading for all Winter 2020 courses. The following key messages are designed to keep faculty members informed and to assist you in addressing questions you may be receiving from students.

23 March 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Sections of this page updated April 21, 9:00 a.m.

Credit/Non-Credit/Incomplete Grading Regulations

We know how hard students and faculty work each semester to achieve their many accomplishments. These academic measures address the challenges many are facing in the transition to remote delivery, including lack of access due to illness, isolation, or caring for others, with the ability to successfully complete the term. The decision to revise grading regulations this semester will help ensure equity among all our students, preserve academic integrity in these challenging circumstances, and manage the issues presented by an uncertain future.

CR/NC Grading Regulations

  • Exceptions to the CR/NC grading regulation will be made by Deans of programs only where grades are required as a result of accreditation or licensure requirements. Exceptions will be made at the course or program level only (not for individual students). Students will be contacted directly no later than March 27, 2020, if this exemption applies to them.
  • If a course was to be graded for the Winter 2020 semester, it will follow the CR/NCR model. This includes full-year (six credit) courses. 
  • If a grade for Winter 2020 is already on the official record, the grading stands as submitted. 

Incomplete Status

  • Incomplete (IN) is a status that can be assigned to students if they are not able to complete the course for various reasons.
  • When and how to assign an IN - Incomplete? 
    • An incomplete status can be indicated for multiple reasons. The main reason is typically that  the course or student was disrupted in a manner that made it impossible to determine whether students have met learning objectives or outcomes sufficient to assign a CR/NC grade at the point at which grades need to be assigned. 
    • Instructors will indicate which students are to receive the status of Incomplete in the course, and specify for the student what they must do to resolve the IN and over what timeframe (as indicated in the University Calendar). For example what components and objectives need to be assessed and completed to assign a CR grade. 
    • The timelines for students to resolve their IN and receive a grade of CR/NC may need to be extended should circumstances beyond the control of the student or the institution prevent the completion of the remaining key course components. This is acceptable and should be communicated clearly if it becomes necessary.
    • After adequate and specified opportunity for the student to resolve the IN based on the requirements communicated by the instructor , a grade of CR or NC grade will be assigned by the instructor.
  • In the event that the University must cease all activities, all grades which have not yet been submitted and approved will be considered to be Incomplete (IN) temporarily. 

Syllabus (Course Outline) Cover Page Template 

All Winter 2020 course outlines for both undergraduate and graduate courses  must be updated to outline all changes to exams, assessments and grading and shared with students no later than March 27, 2020 using the cover page template circulated by the Office of the Registrar shortly.  

The modified syllabus (course outline) template will explain the rationale for the mandatory changes to examinations and grading regulations and must include: 

  • Any changes to course weightings. 
  • The format of their final exam or assessment. If students require alterations in their approved accommodations, they should contact arrec@ualberta.ca. 

Students must receive a modified course outline that communicates this information clearly no later than March 27, 2020 to allow students to make an informed decision before the April 8 withdrawal deadline. 

Student Performance Letter

Updated: April 21, 9:00 a.m.

We understand concerns about GPA are top of mind. We are working to minimize any possible negative impacts from the temporary grading regulations changes, and to protect academic futures.

We are developing a downloadable letter about the CR/NC grading change, as well as advice and guidance instructors can use if they choose to provide commentary to indicate how a student performed within a course. While this won't replace traditional grading, it will be a useful addition to applications.   

Key Dates 

March 27, 2020:

  • Deadline to update and share all Winter 2020 course outlines for both undergraduate and graduate courses, including format of exams, assessments and grading.
  • Deadline to contact students if revised grade regulation exemption applies to them. 

April 1, 2020:

  • Deadline to communicate any modifications to academic standing by Deans to will have the ability to modify academic standing.

April 8, 2020:

  • Withdrawal deadline.