III. Classroom Procedures
Establishing Course Ground Rules
the first meeting, instructors are expected to present to students a
written syllabus that contains course ground rules. Instructors are
expected to fully use the first meeting hour rather than dismiss class
after a few minutes of announcements. Instructors should cover:
- an introduction of the instructor and teaching assistants;
announcement of office locations and office hours (if changes become
necessary, students should be notified in advance); course website,
other electronic means of communication (WebCT or Portfolio, for
instance); expectation that students will check university email
account as official means of communication;
- an outline of the general character of the course, the readings, the number and kinds of papers and tests;
- an announcement of whether or not picture identification will be required at examinations;
grading standards, methods of evaluation, and factors that enter into
grade determination - particularly conditions under which I's rather
than F's may be awarded and performance standards for S (see Chapter
VII., CLA Grading Policies for definition of grades and use of I);
- the expectations for classroom participation and attendance and their effect on the student's grade;
list including date and time of any additional, optional, or required
outside-of-class work such as study sessions, field trips, or extra
- the help that students can expect
from the instructor and assistants, particularly important in
introductory courses, including the room number, phone number and hours
(if available) of any tutoring available through the department;
- the background preparation or prerequisite work required for course enrollment; and
courses listed at more than one level, e.g., 1xxx-3xxx or 3xxx-5xxx, a
description of the different work expectations and grading procedures
and standards for each registration level.
In addition, the following items should be addressed:
out dates when work is due or when tests are scheduled, including dates
and times of any additional or optional outside-of-class work such as
field trips, study sessions, or extra class meetings.
college policy on scholastic conduct, expectations for academic
honesty, and sanctions that may be imposed for dishonesty. A
description of what constitutes plagiarism is especially useful for
first-year students. (For procedures for handling scholastic
misconduct, see "Resolving Scholastic Misconduct" in Chapter V., Student Conduct.)
the course to other courses in the department and describe the general
relationship of the discipline to liberal and professional education.
- Inform students about deadlines and procedures for canceling/adding courses.
- Remind students to check their registrations for accuracy of course and section numbers and grading options.
Academic Freedom and Responsibility
University statements on academic freedom and responsibility outline
instructors' rights and responsibilities as well as grievance and
appeals procedures. The statement is published in the Regents' Policy Book,
approved March 1991. Copies are available through the Associate
Executive Director of the Board of Regents, (612) 625-6300. Policies
can also be found online at http://www1.umn.edu/regents/policies.html.
Student Evaluation of Teaching
1993, the University Senate passed a policy requiring both student and
peer evaluation of teaching. Evaluation forms for student evaluation
are available to all faculty through the Office of Measurement Services.
Evaluations must be administered during a regular class period before
exam week and must be handed out, completed, and collected without the
instructor present (usually a student from the class is asked to handle
this process). Data from student evaluations is provided to
departmental chair and the faculty member after final grades are
Each department determines peer evaluation
procedures, but all departments are required to have some form of peer
evaluation of teaching. Check with your department on its policies and
procedures. A copy of the full policy on teaching evaluation is
available at http://www.policy.umn.edu/Policies/Education/Education/TEACHINGEVALUATION.html
department should have a designated person who will listen to or
respond to student complaints about teaching. For more information on
handling student complaints about teaching or grades, see "Grade Disputes" in Chapter VIII., Grade Reporting and Records.
Quantity of Work Per Credit
University Senate prescribes the quantity of work needed to earn a
credit as three hours per credit per week or 42-45 hours per semester.
The manner in which the course is taught determines how much of the
work will be in the classroom, laboratory, library, or independent
study and research. A student should expect to spend about 9 hours a
week, including class time, on a 3-credit course.
Class Attendance, Participation, and Evaluation
guided by the policies of their departments, set their own attendance
regulations and rules for late work. Students are held responsible for
meeting all course requirements and for observing deadlines,
examination times, and other procedures. Instructors should inform
students as early in the term as possible of dates for testing and
deadlines for papers and reports; the return of graded work and other
evaluative material before cancellation deadlines (the end of the
eighth week) is strongly encouraged. Students should be told at the
outset if unannounced quizzes are part of the evaluation process.
Policies for makeup work and incomplete grades should be on the course
The University of Minnesota permits absences
from class for participation in religious observances. Students who
plan to miss class must: 1) inform instructors of anticipated absences
at the beginning of the term; 2) meet with instructors to reschedule
any missed examinations; and 3) obtain class notes from other students.
Instructors are requested to assist students in obtaining course
materials and assignments distributed during class sessions and to make
arrangements for taking missed examinations. Questions about this
policy as it affects students should be directed to the Office of the
Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs, 110 Morrill Hall, (612)
Students who must miss classes (including
examinations) due to scheduled activities of official University
student organizations (e.g., intercollegiate athletics, ROTC,
University band, University student government-MSA) should be allowed
to make up missed work to the same extent as students who are absent
because of verified illness. They must, however, notify the instructor
in advance of their absence. When necessary, the Office
of the Assistant Dean for CLA Student Services, (612) 625-3846, will
certify activities qualifying for such accommodation. Other acceptable
excuses for absence include subpoenas, National Guard service, and
confirmed medical excuses. Students with excused absences must provide
supporting documentation. If administering makeup exams presents a
severe burden for the instructor (as in large classes), alternatives
that do not penalize the student may be considered, such as computing
the final grade without the missed assignment. (Also see "Administering
Makeup Examinations" in Chapter VI., Examination Procedures, for more information regarding policies for makeup examinations.)
University of Minnesota Board of Regents Policy on Sexual Harassment
Subd. 1. Sexual Harassment.
"Sexual harassment" means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for
sexual favors, and/or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual
nature when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly
or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or
academic advancement in any University activity or program; (2)
submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as
the basis of employment or academic decisions affecting this individual
in any University activity or program; or (3) such conduct has the
purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work
or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or
offensive working or academic environment in any University activity or
Subd. 2. Member of the University Community.
"Member of the University community" or "University member" means any
University of Minnesota faculty member, student, or staff member, or
other individual engaged in any University activity or program.
Section II. Policy.
Subd.1. Prohibition. Sexual harassment by or toward a member of the University community is prohibited.
Subd. 2. Responsibility to Report.
Department heads, deans, provosts, chancellors, vice presidents, and
other supervisors and managers must take timely and appropriate action
when they know or should know of the existence of sexual harassment.
Other persons who suspect sexual harassment should report it to an
appropriate person in their unit or to the University equal opportunity
Subd. 3. Administrative Responsibility.
Each campus must adopt procedures for investigating and resolving
complaints of sexual harassment in coordination with the director of
equal opportunity and affirmative action.
Subd. 4. Disciplinary Action. A violation of this policy may lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or academic dismissal.
For questions, concerns, or information on sexual harassment policies, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, (612) 624-9547, or the Office of Human Resources at (612) 625-2000. CLA faculty and staff may also consult CLA Human Resources at (612) 624-9839.
the University does not endorse or approve notetaking services on
campus, the University does not deny access to such organizations, and
it does not prohibit faculty from freely participating with such
services. Faculty who do not wish to cooperate with notetaking services
may deny entrance to individuals who are not registered students in the
course. It is also possible to claim protection through copyrights.
Faculty should keep in mind that originality in tangible work is
protected; ideas and facts are not. If faculty intend to claim
copyright protection on lectures, notice should be given to students
both verbally in class and in writing on a class syllabus. Questions
about copying or signing agreements with notetaking services may be
directed to the Office of the General Counsel, (612) 624-4100.
must be taken to ensure the safety and welfare of all participants.
Students sued because of actions while on a field trip are not covered
by the University liability policy; however, faculty are protected,
assuming they act within the scope of their employment and do not
commit malfeasance. The most effective way to minimize the University's
risk of liability for field trip injuries is to arrange for
transportation through Fleet Services, (612) 625-3033. Faculty who have specific concerns about liability arising from field trips should contact the Office of the General Counsel, (612) 624-4100.