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Class Procedures

Add a Course or Change Sections

The supervisor should establish policies for dealing with students’ requests to add the course or to transfer from one section to another within the course. Students assigned to 07:30 sections may be well-represented among the petitioners for transfer.

Instructors should not admit new students or approve transfers during the first week of classes unless they have made prior arrangements with the assistant to the head of the department, Dr. Gorman, in the Graduate Ofice in LWSN 1137.

The purpose of these policies is to ensure fairness and an even distribution of students among the sections.

Office Hours

The bare minimum is two hours per week, unless the course supervisor specifies otherwise. Try to distribute the days and times of your office hours so that you may be accessible by as many students as possible.

Office hours provide a valuable opportunity for students who are too shy to speak up in class but are not too shy to come to your office. You are expected to be there every time the whole time.

Returning Papers

Return papers promptly, normally not more than a week after the event, and go over them in class if possible.

Returning materials to students individually, although time-consuming, is a good way to give your students a little personal attention and to learn their names. This is something you can begin in the few minutes before class.

Unclaimed Papers

You should keep unclaimed papers from a completed course for at least six weeks into the next semester. (The summer session is not considered as a semester.) This is a matter of preserving evidence in case a student appeals a grade.

Supplemental Materials

Any helpful materials, e.g. sample outputs, furnished to students in one section of a course with common tests and common standards must be furnished to the students in all sections.

The principle here is that all students must be given equal opportunity in the course. If you want to prepare a helpful handout for your students, coordinate with your colleagues so that the material may be equally available to all the students in the course.

Keeping Records

You must keep accurate records of grades. Your supervisor may determine how you keep the records. There should be "grader" programs available in ITaP UNIX systems.

Correcting Errors in Grading

You must be open to correcting errors in grading, but you must also have policies and practices that prevent or discourage false claims.

For example:

  • When students leave blank the place in which they should put an answer, good grading practice calls for a mark to indicate that.
  • If you hand back a test in class and go over it there, you can require that, to be eligible for regrading, papers be returned to you before you or the paper leaves the classroom.
  • Announce that you will correct all errors that you find in papers returned for regrading. You really do not want to give a student five points on Question 1 when you see that you gave ten too many on Question 2.
  • It is good policy to limit the time during which you will consider changes. ("Any requests for corrections must be submitted by <date>.")


Do not cancel or be absent from a class meeting unless there is a genuinely serious reason.

If at all possible, you should obtain the permission of the course supervisor or, if none, the assistant to the head and find a qualified substitute among the CS graduate assistants or faculty.

Inform your students that they should verify the authenticity of any message claiming that you have cancelled the class. You could, for example, require that a member of the class check with the departmental receptionist (Paula Perkins in the CS Undergrad Office in LWSN 1123, 494-6010). Anyone can write on the blackboard that you have cancelled the class, as one of our faculty once discovered – too late.

Beginning and Ending Class

You should always be early for class. Inform your students that, if unforeseen circumstances prevent you from arriving on time, they must wait at least 15 minutes before leaving.

You should not hinder, or permit your students to hinder, the orderly conclusion of the class meeting in the room before your class or the orderly beginning of the class following yours. A good rule of thumb is that the first half of the 10-15 minute interval between classes is for the departing class and the second half is for the arriving class.

Considerate instructors, when finished, erase the chalkboards and clear the overhead projectors they use.

Early dismissal of class should be at most a rare event. If you find that your presentations are not sufficient to occupy the class period, expand your presentations, encourage more questions from the class, or use other techniques to occupy the time well.

Last Updated: Mar 27, 2017 1:41 PM

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