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2.0 Course Evaluation

2.1 Credit

To obtain credit in a course, students must meet all the course requirements for attendance, term work and examinations as published in the course outline.

2.2 The Course Outline

The instructor is required to provide to the students of each course a formal statement called the Course Outline. The course outline must be given to the students on or before the first teaching day of the course that term, in a document distributed in class or posted electronically.

The course outline must specify all the elements that will contribute to the final grade, as well as the overall grade breakdown for the course.

The course outline may specify requirements that must be satisfied for the student to be eligible to write the final examination or a deferral of the final assignment/examination. If no such conditions are explicitly mentioned in the course outline, all students are eligible to write the final assignment/examination or, where circumstances warrant, to apply to the Registrar's Office for deferral of the final assignment/examination.

The course outline may also specify the requirements for those auditing a course, including attendance, to successfully complete the audit.

2.2.1 Early Feedback Guideline

Providing feedback to students on academic work, completed or in progress, is an integral part of teaching and learning in that it allows students to measure their understanding of material, the success of their learning strategies, and their progress on learning objectives. While the nature and frequency of such feedback will vary with the course and level, Carleton University is committed to providing students with appropriate and timely feedback on their work. Accordingly, wherever possible, and especially in first and second year courses, instructors are urged to include academic work that is assigned, evaluated and returned prior to the 25th teaching day of each term. More generally, all instructors are urged to include academic work that is assigned, evaluated and returned prior to the 40th teaching day of each term.

The spirit of this guideline should be followed during the summer term. In particular, all instructors are urged to include academic work that is assigned, evaluated, and returned at least two days prior to the last day to withdraw from the course in Early Late, or Full Summer term.

Course outlines should provide an indication of approximately when the first graded piece of work will be returned to students. In cases where a course does not lend itself to early feedback, this should be clearly noted on the course outline.

2.3 Standing in Courses/Grading System

Standing in a course is determined by the course instructor, subject to the approval of the faculty Dean. Standing in courses will be shown by alphabetical grades. The system of grades used, with corresponding grade points and the percentage conversion is below. Grade points indicated are for courses with 1.0 credit value. Where the course credit is greater or less than one credit, the grade points are adjusted proportionately.

Grade Point Equivalence Percentage Conversion
A+1290-100
A1185-89
A- 1080-84
B+977-79
B873-76
B-770-72
C+667-69
C563-66
C-460-62
D+357-59
D253-56
D-150-52
F0less than 50

In cases where the final examination is not written and was not explicitly a requirement to successfully complete the course, the cumulative grade earned on term work without the missing examination will be assigned.

If the grade conversion deviates from the percentage conversion presented above, the faculty member must notify the class in the course outline.

 Other grades and notations in current use by the university are as follows:

AEGAegrotat. Pass standing is granted under special circumstances by an academic appeal committee, in response to an application from or on behalf of a student, on the basis of course work when no further assessment is considered feasible. AEG has no impact on the CGPA calculation.
AUDAudit. No academic credit. Indicates the course was not taken for academic credit, but that the student has the permission of the instructor to audit the course and has satisfied the conditions for successful audit of the course. AUD has no impact on the CGPA calculation.
CEXCurrent International Exchange. An interim notation.
CHCredit granted under challenge for credit policy. CH has no impact on the CGPA calculation.
CLPCurrent Letter of Permission. An interim notation.
CTNContinuing. No academic credit and no impact on the CGPA. Assigned by the Registrar’s Office to the first half of a course taught consecutively over two terms.
CURCurrent registration. An interim notation assigned by the Registrar’s Office to indicate the student is currently registered in the course.
DEFDeferred Final Examination and/or final course work. An interim notation administratively assigned by the Registrar’s Office upon approval of a request to write a deferred final examination or defer submission of final course work. DEF must be replaced by a final grade within the prescribed time or be replaced with F.
FFailure. The grade of F is assigned when the student has failed to meet the conditions of “satisfactory performance” defined in the Course Outline. F carries 0.0 grade points.
GNAGrade not available. An interim notation administratively assigned by the Faculty when a grade is not available pending an Academic Integrity review and must be replaced with a final grade.
IPIn Progress – a notation (IP) assigned to a course by a faculty member when: At the undergraduate level, an undergraduate thesis or course has not been completed by the end of the period of registration. At the graduate level, a graduate thesis, research essay, independent research project or comprehensive examination has not been completed by the end of the period of registration. The IP notation may also be used at the graduate level when a research seminar has not been completed by the end of the period of registration provided the research seminar has been approved by Graduate Faculty Board as being eligible for the use of this notation. In the case of re-registration in any of the above courses, the IP notation will remain; a final grade will normally be assigned in the final period of registration. Where there is no re-registration in any of the above courses, the IP notation must be replaced with an appropriate notation or grade within the prescribed time period, or be replaced by a notation of WDN.
SATSatisfactory performance in an ungraded program requirement, option or course taken on Letter of Permission or International Exchange. SAT has no impact on the CGPA calculation.
UCHUnsuccessful attempt for CH. UCH has no impact on the CGPA calculation.
UNSUnsatisfactory performance in an ungraded program requirement, option or course taken on a Letter of Permission or International Exchange. UNS has no impact on the CGPA calculation.
WDNWithdrawn. No academic credit, no impact on the CGPA. WDN is a permanent notation that appears on the official transcript for students who withdraw after the full fee adjustment date in each term (noted in the Academic Year section of the Calendar each term). Students may withdraw on or before the last day of classes.

The following notations are no longer in use by the University:  

ABSAbsent from a required final examination. ABS is assigned only when the student is absent from the required final examination and has achieved satisfactory performance during the term as specified in the course outline. ABS is equivalent to an F and it carries 0.0 grade points.
DNCDid not complete the course. No academic credit or impact on the CGPA calculation. In credit courses, the notation DNC is assigned by the appropriate appeal committee in the case of a student, who, having achieved satisfactory performance during the term, and has been granted a deferred final examination in the course then is unable to write the deferred examination due to continued and documented personal or medical reasons. In the case of audited courses, DNC is assigned by the instructor when the student has registered to audit the course and has not satisfied the requirements for successful audit.
FNDFailure with no deferred final examination allowed. The grade FND is assigned only when the student has failed the course on the basis of inadequate term work as specified in the Course Outline. FND carries 0.0 grade points.
FNSFailure without access to a supplemental examination because of incomplete term work or unacceptably low standing. No academic credit.
FWSFailure with access to supplemental examinations.
INCIncomplete may be assigned to a Graduate course in which the student has been approved to submit an assignment after the final deadline date. Incomplete must be replaced with a letter grade within forty days of the end of classes. If the Incomplete is not changed to a letter grade within forty days of the end of classes, the Incomplete will be changed to a grade of F, which will remain as a permanent entry on the student's record. In exceptional cases students may petition the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs to have the Incomplete remain on the student record. For circumstances that go beyond the forty-day period (i.e. medical), students may apply for a deferral (refer to Special/Deferred Final Examinations, Section 9.2)

2.3.1 A course is considered to be completed when the course registration results in a notation or grade other than WDN, IP, CTN, CUR or AUD, CEX, CLP, DEF, GNA.

2.3.2 A course is considered to be successfully completed if the course is completed with a passing grade, SAT, CH, or AEG.

2.4 Examination Regulations

Students writing tests and examinations should be aware of the rules governing examination conduct.  These rules include those listed in the Academic Integrity section of this Calendar and information about policy and procedures for writing examinations distributed at the final examination.

For examinations scheduled during the official examination period, it may be necessary to schedule examinations during the day for classes held in the evening and vice versa, or on Saturday and Sunday.

All tests and examinations are subject to the following rules:

  1. Tests or examinations given in class may not exceed the time allotted for the class.
  2. The schedule for any term tests or examinations to be held outside class time must be communicated in the course outline.  Students who are unable to write during this scheduled time must be accommodated before the last day of classes.
  3. If there is a final examination in the summer term, it will be held during the official examination period;
  4. If there is a final examination or an end-of-term examination in a multi-term course, this examination will be held in the official examination period;
  5. No summative tests or final examinations may be held during the last two weeks of fall or winter terms, or during the last week of each half of the summer term;
  6. Formative tests or examinations may be held during the last two weeks of classes of fall or winter terms, or during the last week of each half of the summer term, provided they do not total more than 15% of the final grade.  The purpose of formative tests or examinations is to provide feedback to students on a component of the course content.
  7. No tests or examinations may be held between the end of classes in a term and the beginning of formally scheduled examinations;
  8. Normally, final take-home examinations in any term will be assigned on or before the last day of classes and are due on the last day of the official examination period.  Final take-home examinations not set according to this normal practice must be formally scheduled by Scheduling and Examination Services and are subject to overload rules.  In all cases the rules for take-home examinations must be well communicated to students by course instructors.
  9. Students are not required to write with an exam conflict (defined as two examinations scheduled at the same time) nor in an exam overload, defined as (i) 3 or more examinations scheduled in 3 consecutive time slots, (ii) 4 or more examinations scheduled in 5 consecutive time slots, or (iii) 5 or more examinations scheduled in 7 consecutive time slots, where a time slot refers to the morning, afternoon, or evening time slot on an exam day.

2.5 Deferred Final Examinations

Students who do not write/attend a final examination because of illness of other circumstances beyond their control may apply to write a deferred examination.

The application for a deferral must:

  1. be made in writing to the Registrar's Office no later than three working days after the original final examination or the due date of the take-home examination; and
  2. be fully supported by appropriate documentation and in cases of illness by a medical certificate dated no later than one working day after the examination or by appropriate documents in other cases. Medical documents must specify the date of the onset of the illness, the (expected) date of recovery, and the extent to which the student was/is incapacitated during the time of the examination. The University's preferred medical form can be found at the Registrar's Office forms and fees page.

The granting of a deferral also requires that the student has performed satisfactorily in the course according to the evaluation scheme established in the Course Outline, excluding the final examination for which deferral privileges are requested. Reasons for denial of a deferral may include, among other conditions, a failure to (i) achieve a minimum score in the course before the final examination; (ii) attend a minimum number of classes; (iii) successfully complete a specific task (e.g. term paper, critical report, group project, computer or other assignment); (iv) complete laboratory work; (v) successfully complete one or more midterms; or (vi) meet other reasonable conditions of successful performance.

Students will not be given a deferral of a deferred examination. Students granted a deferred final examination who are then unable to write the deferred final examination due to properly documented personal or medical conditions will receive one of the notations Aegrotat (AEG), Withdrawn (WDN) or a grade of F for the course as assigned by the appropriate appeal committee.  (Students may not petition for one of these alternate notations if they attended the deferred examination but did not complete it for personal or medical reasons unless the circumstances satisfy the requirements for Early Departure from Final Examinations in section 2.5.1 below.)

Aegrotat standing may be considered for applicants for deferred finals but will be granted only if a substantial proportion of the term work has been completed and is of high quality.  AEG denotes a pass standing.

Students who have obtained approval for a deferred examination in a Carleton University Online (CUOL) course will have access to course materials after the end of the academic term of the original course.

Deferred final examinations are scheduled in the time period approved by Senate.  Please refer to the Academic Schedule for deferred examination dates.

2.5.1 Early Departure from Final Examinations

Students are expected to assess their medical situation/ability to write an examination prior to entering the examination room.  Students who do not write a final examination because of illness or other circumstances beyond their control may apply to write a deferred examination.  Section 2.5 of this calendar outlines the regulations governing deferral of final examinations.

Students are expected to complete a final examination once begun. If the student experiences a significant deterioration of her/his health while the examination is in progress, it may be possible to submit a petition to apply to write a deferred examination.  

A significant deterioration during an exam is a situation whereby the student requires immediate and/or emergency medical attention.  In such circumstances, a student will be required to seek appropriate documentation to confirm that the medical situation caused significant, acute symptoms during the examination that completely prohibited the student from completing the exam, describing the specific impacts on the student’s ability to continue the exam.  

A student must then petition to the Registrar’s Office within three (3) business days of the examination with appropriate supporting documentation.

Minor illnesses and ongoing chronic illnesses under medical management will normally not be considered valid grounds for granting a deferred final examination.

 2.6  Deferred Term Work

In some situations, students are unable to complete term work because of illness or other circumstances beyond their control, which forces them to delay submission of the work.

  1. Students who claim illness, injury or other extraordinary circumstances beyond their control as a reason for missed term work are held responsible for immediately informing the instructor concerned and for making alternate arrangements with the instructor and in all cases this must occur no later than three (3.0) working days after the term work was due.  The alternate arrangement must be made before the last day of classes in the term as published in the academic schedule.  Normally, any deferred term work will be completed by the last day of term.  In all cases, formative evaluations providing feedback to the student should be replaced with formative evaluations.  In the event the altered due date must extend beyond the last day of classes in the term, the instructor will assign a grade of zero for the work not submitted and submit the student’s earned grade accordingly; the instructor may submit a change of grade at a later date.  Term work cannot be deferred by the Registrar.
  2. In cases where a student is not able to complete term work due to illness or injury for a significant period of time/or long term, the instructor and/or student may elect to consult with the Registrar's Office (undergraduate courses) Graduate Registrar (graduate courses) to determine appropriate action.
  3. If a student is concerned the instructor did not respond to the request for academic accommodation or did not provide reasonable accommodation, the student should consult with the department/school/institute chair/director. If a mutually agreeable accommodation to complete course requirements prior to the course grade submission deadline cannot be achieved, the Associate Dean will become involved.  If academic accommodation is not granted, and the student receives word after the academic withdrawal deadline, the student may submit a petition to the Registrar's Office (undergraduate courses)/Graduate Registrar (graduate courses) for a final grade of WDN (Withdrawn) in the course(s).  If academic accommodation is not granted, and the student receives word prior to the academic withdrawal deadline, the student may elect to withdraw from the course(s).
  4. Furthermore, if academic accommodation is granted, but the student is unable to complete the accommodation according to the terms set out by the instructor as a result of further illness, injury or extraordinary circumstances beyond their control, the student may submit a petition to the Registrar's Office (undergraduate courses)/Graduate Registrar (graduate courses).  Please note, however, that the course instructor will be required to submit an earned final grade and further consideration will only be reviewed according to established precedents and deadlines (More information: Undergraduate | Graduate).

2.7  Informal Appeal of Grade

There may be a number of circumstances in which students will have questions regarding their grades. These questions may be about understanding the grading scheme; about the grade awarded for a specific piece of work, including work that has not been returned; or about the determination of the final grade. Wherever possible, both during the term and after, concerns about the grading of student work should be settled informally between the student and the instructor. As a result of this informal appeal process the original grade may be raised, lowered or left unchanged.

Students have the right to have questions regarding their grades addressed and to view all material, including material that has not been returned such as final examinations. In some cases, the original submitted work will remain in the possession of the University and the viewing of this work may be supervised. In cases where a student has concerns regarding the determination of their final grade, the student will be provided with a list of their grades on all components of the course and a description of how their final grade was calculated.

Students should initiate this process within seven working days of the day on which the official grade in question was made available. The informal appeal process should address the concern within 15 working days of the day on which the grade was made available through Carleton Central.

2.8 Formal Appeal of Grade

A student may submit a formal appeal of grade when the informal appeal process has not addressed their concerns. The appeal must be submitted to the Registrar's Office with required supporting documentation, normally within 20 working days of the day on which the grade was made available to the student, or the informal appeal process was completed (if applicable). The resolution of an appeal of grade is the responsibility of the Dean of the Faculty offering the course. The appeal must be specific to one or more graded components of the course and/or the calculation of the final grade.

On receiving a formal appeal from the Registrar's Office, the Faculty Dean may decide not to proceed with the appeal if, in the opinion of the Dean, reasonable grounds have not been established as a basis for the appeal. Circumstances which may result in a decision not to proceed may include, for example, cases where the Dean determines that the informal process has adequately addressed the student's concerns or where the Dean determines that a reasonable expectation of error or bias in the original grade has not been established. If the Dean decides not to proceed with the appeal, the student will be informed of the reasons for the decision.

In proceeding with an appeal, the Dean may assign reassessment of the work to one or more qualified readers other than the instructor. In this case, the identity of the reader(s) will not be made known to the appellant and the identity of the appellant will not be made known to the reader(s). After due consultation, the Dean, as chief academic officer of the Faculty, will assign the grade. The decision of the Dean is final. As a result of this formal appeal process the original grade may be raised, lowered or left unchanged. The student will be given a concise explanation of the decision.

2.9 Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

Carleton University is strongly committed to providing access and accommodation for all individuals with identified and duly assessed disabilities. The University has a Senate-approved policy on academic accommodation that forms part of its Human Rights Policy. This policy should be consulted for further information and is available at: carleton.ca/equity. The policy promotes efforts to accommodate students with disabilities so that they will have the opportunity to meet learning objectives and be fairly evaluated in their performance. In no case, however, does academic accommodation negotiate away, lower, or remove the academic standards and learning objectives of any course or program, rule, regulation, or policy at the university.

The Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities is the designated unit at the University for assisting the Carleton community in integrating persons with disabilities into all aspects of Carleton's academic and community life. The Paul Menton Centre provides assessment of academic accommodation, advises students on strategies to open a dialogue with instructors and acts as consultant, facilitator, coordinator and advocate in this area for all members of the University community.

The Paul Menton Centre provides individualized support services, based on appropriate and current documentation, to persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder (ADD), visual impairments, head injuries, physical disabilities including mobility impairments, or who have psychiatric, other medical or non-visible disabilities.

Students are responsible for applying for special services by making an appointment with the appropriate coordinator at the Paul Menton Centre. All requests will be considered on the basis of individual need. Students are advised to come to the Centre early in the term to discuss service requests.

Examination accommodations for all tests and examinations (in-class, CUOL, or formally scheduled) must be arranged by specific deadline dates. Please consult the Paul Menton Centre for a list of deadlines.  Note that it may not be possible to fulfil accommodation requests received after the specified deadlines.

2.10 Academic Accommodation for Students with Religious Obligations

Carleton University accommodates students who, due to religious obligation, must miss an examination, test, assignment deadline, laboratory, or other compulsory event. The University has a Senate-approved policy on religious accommodation that forms part of its Human Rights Policy, available at: carleton.ca/equity.

Accommodation will be worked out directly and on an individual basis between the student and the instructor(s) involved. Students should make a formal written request to the instructor(s) for alternative dates and/or means of satisfying requirements. Such requests should be made during the first two weeks of any given academic term*, or as soon as possible after a need for accommodation is known to exist, but in no case later than the penultimate week of classes in that term. Instructors will make reasonable accommodation in a way that shall avoid academic disadvantage to the student.

Students unable to reach a satisfactory arrangement with their instructor(s) should contact the Director of Equity Services. Instructors who have questions or wish to verify the nature of the religious event or practice involved should also contact this officer.

*When a student's presence is required prior to the date on which classes begin (e.g. for field trips or orientation activities), any student who cannot meet this expectation of attendance for reasons of religious accommodation should notify the Registrar's Office in advance.