Attendance Policies

The Undergraduate Student Attendance Policy outlines the expectations for student attendance in class and for excused absences. With the shift to FHLE for fall 2020, we are providing the following additional guidance to faculty:

  • It is expected that students attend all synchronous or in-person class meetings. However, some students may live in time zones that make synchronous attendance burdensome. Others may have unreliable wifi or household situations that make regular attendance challenging. We recommend that you engage in a dialogue with individual students at the beginning of the semester and provide flexibility for students who are not easily able to attend synchronous sessions. Options include: recording synchronous sessions and asking the student to review them and respond to questions; meeting separately with the student; or using small group work to provide additional support to the student.
  • If students are absent for more than a week, please ask them to send documentation to their class dean. In this context, “absent” means that students have not participated in synchronous sessions, have not turned in work, or have not responded to regular class inquiries. Please also inform the appropriate dean for student support and success in FCLC (Tracyann Williams) and FCRH (Christie-Belle Garcia).
  • Please clearly outline your policy regarding absences and their impact on final grades in your course syllabus.
  • During this time, it is also recognized that unforeseen circumstances may well lead to an occasional absence or a class cancellation. Instructors and students are encouraged to engage in a dialogue at the start of the semester about the importance of cura personalis and how to inform each other in the event of situations like this.

Further thoughts: 

  • If you are planning some number of scheduled asynchronous sessions, you may choose to give regular, even weekly, homework (problem sets, write ups, short papers, rehearsal footage, etc.) in order to identify student participation in the course. To keep the amount of grading reasonable, this work could be non-graded (P/F), peer-reviewed, or part of a portfolio that would be submitted weekly but graded with the midterm or final assignment.
  • Consider outlining policies that describe approximately how much time you expect an assignment to take. (i.e. “Allow between 2-4 hours to read this 50-page chapter for Thursday.”)
  • Encourage students to turn off other devices during class. Alternatively, create synchronous assignments that involve collaborative uses of technology (i.e. a shared google doc), or encourage them to search for information or review data sets together.