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School of Land Use and Environmental Change

Course expectations and evaluations

Students enrolled in geography courses are expected to adhere to the rules of conduct set out in the UFV calendar, including rules regarding harassment and privacy. These rules apply within the classroom and in all other course settings, including field trips and study tours.

Below are some resources for students and teachers as well as expectations of students in the classroom.

When students are disruptive, they impact their learning and the learning of others.

If a student feels that another student is repeatedly being disruptive, and is affecting their abilities to listen or understand course material, then they should speak with the instructor after class.

Faculty may ask that a student be removed from the course—temporarily or for the term—if he or she is particularly disruptive, or continues to engage in inappropriate behaviour after having been warned. Faculty may also report students to Student Services if warranted.

In turn, students have the right to expect that faculty too will conduct themselves professionally when dealing with issues and problems that may arise in class. Faculty must adhere to UFV harassment policies.

The UFV Priority Access to Student Supports (PASS) program connects students to the supports and resources that may help them increase their chance of success. Such assistance may include putting students in touch with an academic advisor, financial aid, a counsellor or another resource.

If your instructor is concerned about your progress, they may refer you to PASS. The referral is treated confidentially and is sent because your instructor cares about your progress and success in the course.

Your response to PASS is entirely voluntary. If you do not wish your instructor to make a referral to PASS on your behalf, please let them know by email.

Students have the right to anticipate that assignments submitted for evaluation are returned to them in a timely fashion.

There is no set amount of time for assignments to be returned. The size, type, and number of assignments to be marked influence the speed with which faculty can return assignments.

Generally, shorter assignments should and will be made available to the student for pick up in two weeks or less. Longer assignments, such as research essays and field reports, may take longer.

Most instructors strive to provide as much feedback as time allows.

The purpose of instructor comments is to expand upon the grade awarded and to provide suggestions as to what can be improved upon for the next assignments.

If a student does not understand why an assignment is awarded a particular mark, they should read through all the comments prior to meeting with the instructor for further explanation. If a student wants additional feedback on their assignment(s), they should discuss the matter with their instructor.

Each faculty member has the right to assess a penalty on assignments submitted late. Potential penalties and rules will be laid out in a course syllabus. Faculty may exercise discretion in choosing to waive such a penalty if the situation warrants. See Make-up exams and assignments below.

If it appears as though you will need to submit an item past the time it is due, you must speak with the course instructor at the earliest possible date. Again, such exceptions are up to the instructor.

Typically, exams cannot be ‘made up’ except under the most extraordinary circumstances.

Valid reasons why a student would need to reschedule an exam or other assignment include: a death in the family, illness (with a doctor’s note), or conflict with other university-sponsored scholastic or athletic activities.

Students who have scheduling conflicts with other mandatory university activities must see their instructor no later than the first week of class.

Make-up exams are typically administered outside of regular class time, and thus it is up to the instructor to schedule exams in consultation with the student. Instructors, at their own discretion, may allow for make-up exams in other circumstances.

Instructors may also choose to not issue a make-up exam for one of the following reasons:

  • The student requesting a make-up does not provide a valid reason;
  • The student requests a make-up only after the exam has been administered (making exception again for only the most extreme circumstances); this includes students who are sick but phone in or email after the exam has begun;
  • The student fails to discuss rescheduling an exam due to a university event well in advance of the event;
  • The student does not provide a doctor’s note if claiming illness as a reason to not complete the exam;
  • The student has already begun taking the exam.

Students that have been assessed by the Centre for Accessibility Services may require extra allowances for taking exams, taking notes, or completing assignments.

The Centre for Accessibility Services will notify the instructor of such requirements, but it is up to the individual student to schedule exam times out of the classroom with their instructor well in advance.

Students who have not made arrangements ahead of time for alternate exam times and due dates may not be given extra allowances.

If you think you may need to be assessed or supported through the Centre for Accessibility Services, please book an appointment with their office.

Email between students and faculty is considered a formal form of communication. Take the extra minute or two that it takes to make sure that your emails have proper punctuation, capitalization, etc.

Sloppy, rushed emails do nothing to improve a professor’s opinion of a student’s abilities. Instructors do not have to respond to rude, harassing, or improper emails, and such emails may be forwarded to Student Services if the instructor feels it is appropriate.

Students should allow 1-2 workdays for a response to emails. It is an instructor’s choice to answer any email during the weekend.

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