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A refresher on spring grading options

Faculty are encouraged to contact students to explain the Pass/Fail, Withdrawal and Incomplete options.

By Maggie Thulson

May 11, 2020

Students sitting in desks in classroom.As the spring semester ends, it is more important than ever to communicate clearly with students regarding their options.

Metropolitan State University of Denver has implemented several policy changes, effective for this semester only, to provide students with additional options for managing the challenges resulting from a pandemic and the midsemester shift to an online environment. These include an expansion of the Pass/Fail grading option and an extension of the deadline for a student to request a Withdrawal from a class. In addition, we are asking faculty to be flexible with students who are requesting an Incomplete in a class. For a more detailed overview of the changes, view the video of the April 17 Information Session on grading options.

To position students to make the best possible decisions, faculty members are encouraged to contact them to explain the Pass/Fail, Withdrawal and Incomplete options. Provide students as much information as possible regarding their standing in the class and their final course letter grade upon calculation. One option is to post the student’s current letter grade in Blackboard. Instructions for configuring Blackboard can be found on the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design website.

Armed with information about their course grades, students have four options for finishing the course. Some options might affect the student’s eligibility for Financial Aid, academic standing, GPA, etc. Please refer students as necessary.

  1. The first, and in most cases best, option would be for the student to complete the course as normal and to progress with the final assigned letter grade.
  2. The student may request to switch to a P/F grading model using this form. The process by which students can adopt the P/F grading model is described here. Note: There are specific programs that will not accept a P/F grade.
  3. The student may withdraw from the course through the Student Hub by May 15.
  4. The student may request an Incomplete, using the new Incomplete Agreement Form.

We encourage you to engage any interested students in conversations about the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options. If you have questions or need additional clarification, please feel free to contact any of the following:

Bill Henry, Ph.D., vice provost for Faculty Affairs,

Shaun Schafer, Ph.D., associate vice president for Curriculum and Policy Development,

Connie Sanders, registrar,

Topics: Academics, Student Success

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