End of Semester Procedures
As we look toward the end of a challenging semester and plan for completing end-of-term work, the following guidance developed in conjunction with Columbia College and the School of General Studies may be helpful to you.
Clarification on mandatory pass/fail and non-evaluative notations on the transcript for Barnard students
The mandatory pass/fail system in place for this semester replaces the normal system of evaluative letter grades. The grade of P* will take the place of the grades of A, B, C, or D, while an F will still be recorded as an F. The following note will also appear on transcripts below the spring 2020 courses:
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mandatory Pass/Fail grading was in effect for all students for the spring 2020 semester.”
Non-evaluative notations on the transcript will still be available, such as I (incomplete), UW (withdrawal from a course without official notification to the Registrar), X (absence from final examination), or IX (incomplete coursework as well as absence from final examination).
If you are encountering any issues that may impact your ability to complete work for your courses satisfactorily, particularly personal, social, and/or economic challenges as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak and the current global crisis, students are encouraged to reach out to their faculty and/or class deans.
Preparation for finals and alternative assignment formats
Students should plan ahead to ensure that they have access to the materials and support they need. You are encouraged to reach out to Barnard Library’s research and instruction team (Personal Librarians) for any support needed in completing research-based assignments, including senior projects. Librarians are available for individual consultations about ways to access online research materials and meet citation requirements for your papers and projects. While not all resources are available online, librarians can assist in finding e-books, full-text articles, and open access sources. More information about how to contact Personal Librarians by subject area is available at: https://guides.library.barnard.edu/remote-library-services. The Columbia University Libraries online portal also provides access to digital versions of texts.
Given that many students are working asynchronously and coping with a range of very challenging circumstances, faculty may have adjusted their originally planned assessment formats. Especially given the unprecedented events of this semester, end-of-term assignments can provide students with a summative experience of their learning this term, which can be achieved by many means. Instead of timed final exams, faculty may have replaced them with take-home (open-book and open-note) exams, papers, presentations, portfolios, and other more flexible kinds of assignments.
We strongly encourage you to study together for final assignments and exams and to take advantage of the opportunities that faculty have created to do assignments that allow you to work as a team or collaborate with your fellow students. Such group preparation can help you to consolidate your knowledge, helping to ensure that you have understood course materials and are prepared to progress in your studies next semester.
For many courses, final examinations will remain the preferred end-of-term assignment. All final examinations for the spring 2020 semester will be administered on-line. The final examination schedule for Barnard courses is published by the Registrar’s Office and is visible on the Barnard Registrar’s website.
All instructors and students are expected to follow the official exam schedule. If you encounter hardship at the time of your final exams, you should be in touch with your instructor to make alternate arrangements for taking your exam on a different day. If you need assistance with communicating with the faculty, you may contact your class dean.
ILLNESS DURING EXAM:
If you become ill during an examination, you should inform the faculty member to ask about how to proceed.
Incompletes may be given in cases of illness, personal emergency, or other compelling circumstances. If you need to request an Incomplete, and the instructor is amenable, you may submit the Spring 2020 Incomplete form. (Please note that incompletes apply only to coursework exclusive of the final examination.) For more information, visit the Registrar’s website.
Students who are registered with the Barnard Center for Accessibility Resources & Disability Services (CARDS) and have accommodations should be in touch with CARDS as needed to ensure that their accommodations are aligned with remote end-of-term assignments. If a faculty member has specific questions about how to implement accommodations in their courses, CARDS is available for individual consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Center for Engaged Pedagogy and CARDS will host co-working sessions and study hall hours for students to work on individual projects in virtual community. The co-working sessions held on Thursdays will be dedicated to senior theses. During the study hall hours, groups of students from a particular class can request a break-out room to study together.
Academic integrity in end-of-term assignments is of the utmost importance. Both students and faculty have communicated a desire to foreground the heightened significance of academic integrity in Spring 2020, emphasizing the values that bind us as an academic community. As you write papers or complete exams, keep the College's The Honor Code in mind.