Admissions and Standards Committee

Revisions to Faculty Handbook Regarding New Techologies


1. That the GSU Faculty Handbook ( be changed as indicated below to recognize the growing importance of new technologies in teaching and learning.

Deletions Additions [Rationales]

Effective July, 1 2002

Section 401.01

All teaching faculty shall provide by the end of the first week of class, each quarter term, a copy of a course syllabus to each student in their classes. Also, a copy of each syllabus shall be provided the departmental office no later than the end of the first week of class.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs will forward to the University Senate a specific policy regarding items to be included on the syllabus.

Course syllabi shall contain the following items of information:

1. complete course title and number; name of professor; quarter term, year;

2. statement of faculty member's accessibility to students outside of class (e.g., office hours, telephone number);

3. prerequisites (if any) for the course;

4. objectives of the course;

5. course assignments (e.g., required readings and activities) and due dates;

6. specific course requirements (e.g., written and oral tests and reports, research papers; performances). In cross-listed undergraduate and graduate classes, the course requirements will specify any projects and/or other activities required specifically of graduate students taking the course and the criteria by which student work will be judged that differentiate graduate-level from undergraduate-level work;

7. grading policy: how the final grade is to be determined with respect to the weights assigned to various course requirements;

8. attendance policy (see current University general Catalog for University guidelines). If there are specific requirements for attendance these should be stated;

attendance policy (see current University general Catalog for University guidelines). Syllabi should state specific requirements for attendance including requirements for the frequency and kind of participation by designated channels;

[The policy change rewrites the entire section to make it apply to traditional in-classroom courses as well as new instructional methods. Depending on where and how attendance is expected and the channels intended to support it, there may be different expectations in different courses. These expectations should be made clear to students in the syllabus so that they can comply with the procedures in Section 401.03 Student Attendance.]

9. list of text(s) or other required course materials;

10. make-up examination policy;

11. all syllabi should include the following statement: 'The course syllabus provides a general plan for the course; deviations may be necessary.'

12. all syllabi should refer to the Policy on Academic Honesty (Section 409).

401.03 Student Attendance

In this section as well as Section 401.04, "attendance" refers to the specific requirements for attendance including requirements for the frequency and kind of participation by designated channels.

[This paragraph stipulatively defines "attendance" so that it covers many different instructional methods.]

The resources of the University are provided for the intellectual growth and development of its students; it is expected that students attend class. should attend class regularly "Attendance" means following the specific requirements for attendance including requirements for the frequency and kind of participation by designated channels. There are two formal institutional regulations regarding class attendance: Veterans' attendance policy, delineated below; and Regents' Test Preparation course attendance policy (see current Catalog).

All matters related to student absences, including the making up of work missed, are to be arranged between the student and the professor. All professors will, at the beginning of each quarter term, make a clear statement to all their classes in the syllabus their policies for handling absences. Professors will also be responsible for counseling with their students regarding the academic consequences of absences from their classes or laboratories. Students are obligated to adhere to the requirements of each course and of each course professor.

If a faculty member wishes to withdraw a student from the course for exceeding the established absence policy, the faculty member should originate a "Withdrawal Form" (available from the Office of Academic Assistance and from the Registrar), and indicate in the space provided that the student violated the absence policy for the course. The completed form should be forwarded to the departmental chairman's office. Students must be present in attendance for announced quizzes, laboratory periods, or final examinations unless the reasons for the absences are acceptable to the professors concerned. Faculty are encouraged to take into consideration whether a short-term absence results from participation in University business, from attendance at recognized religious holidays of the student's faith, from summons to jury duty, or from similar compelling reasons for absence. Faculty should make students aware of the academic consequences of their absences.

401.04 Veteran Attendance

In this section as well as Section 401.03, "attendance" refers to the specific requirements for attendance including requirements for the frequency and kind of participation by designated channels.

[This paragraph stipulatively defines "attendance" so that it covers many different instructional methods.]

Georgia State University has contractual responsibilities for monies paid as Veterans' Benefits.

Students receiving veterans' benefits must comply with attendance regulations of the University and the Veterans Administration. No such veteran may drop any course or stop attending any class without prior approval of the Registrar's Office and executing formal withdrawal procedures with that office and the Office of the Veterans Coordinator. There are no exceptions to this rule. Georgia State University is required to report to the Veterans Administration on absence and progress toward educational objectives and other matters affecting benefits.

At the beginning of each quarter term, "Veterans Attendance Rolls" are provided to each faculty member for convenience in record keeping. It is the responsibility of each professor to report to the Veterans Service Office any veteran who has accumulated 10 class hours of consecutive absences. Forms for reporting non-attendance are available in the Office of Academic Assistance of each college.

Section 401.06 Textbooks and Other Course Materials

Textbook and course material selection is the prerogative of the instructor except when departments or colleges have selected textbooks and course materials for multiple-section or required courses. Faculty will strive to select textbooks and other course materials that comply with requirements for accessibility of the Americans with Disabilities Act, other applicable acts, and their implementing regulations. Textbook orders are coordinated by the departments and are forwarded to the University Bookstore.

[While it opens up new possibilities for conveying knowledge, the emergence of electronic media as required or supplementary resources for courses creates an institutional responsibility to ensure that those resources are accessible to those with disabilities. The responsibility runs from the adoption of electronic resources for a course rather than from the enrollment of a disabled student in the course. The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 Section 508 stipulated that federal agencies purchase only accessible software and that federal websites be made accessible, a requirement that is likely to be extended to all agencies receiving federal funding.]

Section 402.01 Final Examinations

A final examination is defined as an examination to be given in a class room during the scheduled time and day after the end of classes for the quarter term. The standard in-class final examination length is two hours. It is expected that a final examination will be given in each course as part of the requirements for the course as stated in the syllabus, unless one of the following conditions apply:

[In the original, the meaning of "class room" was a physical space. The use of electronic media for thinking and communicating opens up new possibilities for the definition of a "class room", e.g., a virtual classroom enabled asynchronously or synchronously. Removing the connotation of physical space would let instructors configure "class rooms" to suit the learning objectives of the course.]

A. departmental/college policy governs final examinations for the course;

B. the academic nature of the course does not warrant a final examination in the opinion of the instructor;

C. an alternative form of examination to be completed after the end of classes for the quarter term is being given (for example, a "take home" final examination to be completed by students off campus after the end of classes for the quarter term).

The schedule of times and days during which such final examinations are to be given is in the online Registration Guide. Those examinations which are designated on the course syllabus as in-class final examinations must be given at the designated time during the final examination schedule unless a change is authorized prior to the examination time by the dean (or designee) of the college in which the instructor is teaching. After the Dean's Office approves the request, a dean's office representative will communicate with the Office of the Registrar Administrative Services for a classroom assignment.

The instructor is responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure the integrity of the examination environment. Different approaches may be required to ensure the integrity of student assessment in different venues, as appropriate for the learning objectives.

[Heretofore, the GSU Faculty Handbook has not made instructors explicitly responsible for ensuring the integrity of student assessment. This change would vest the responsibility with the instructor.]

[The clustered exam policy, which is not modified by this motion, makes up the remainder of 402.01.]

Section 408.01 Assignment of Instruction Facility

The following policy has been adopted regarding class assignments to rooms.

[This sentence is redundant because the Faculty Handbook is a collection of adopted policies.]

A. Classrooms are assigned to a class, not a professor. If a faculty member's teaching assignment is changed, the professor is reassigned to another class with a designated room. The classes must be taught in the classroom to which they were assigned. If a classroom is unsatisfactory, a request to change the assignment should be made through the departmental chairman. The Dean's Office will consider the need for an adjustment very carefully before requesting a change from the Office of the Registrar.

B. Classroom chairs and/or tables should not be moved from one room to another by students or faculty. The classrooms are set up with maximum seating for specific types of classes and cannot be changed without adversely affecting other classes scheduled in the room.

C. Special class requirements (such as a room with tables, projection screen, etc.) should be noted on the original schedule from the Dean's Office in order that they may be given consideration.

D. Factors to be considered in setting class sizes are the course learning objectives, the level and kind of the expected student-instructor interactions, the assignment of personnel support such as graduate teaching assistants, the availability of instructional support systems and services, facility-related constraints, and workload balancing.

[The emergence of e-learning platforms opens up new possibilities for the configurations of spaces used for student learning, in time periods designated for class sessions and at times of students' choosing. This new paragraph makes explicit the need to consider a wider range of factors in setting class sizes.]

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