Section 6 - Instructional policies and procedures
Faculty Workloads: The term of professional obligation, except in the case of part-time or temporary employment where the obligation may be less, shall be one of the following as determined by the Chief Administrative Officer, or designee:
- Calendar year obligation: an annual obligation of service for the full year, i.e., 12 months; or
- Academic year obligation: an annual obligation of service for the academic year, not to exceed 10 months, or
- College year obligation: an annual obligation or service for any period less than the full year.
In consultation with the Provost, Deans and department chairs, sufficient flexibility in faculty workload assignment policy and related guidelines provide for efficient and productive workload assignments in the broad base of teaching activity, institutional service, research and related activity, administrative assignments and public service activities. The instructional portion of faculty workload assignments for full-time faculty at the college are generally equivalent to 12 semester hours per semester during the academic year, six semester hours during the six-week summer session, and three semester hours during the three-week session.
Class Meetings: All classes will meet at the time scheduled in the room for which they are scheduled. If it is necessary to change the time or place of meeting, permission must be secured from the Registrar's Office in 301 Culkin Hall.
Faculty are expected to meet all their classes at the time and place scheduled. Permission to miss classes for professional reasons must be secured from the faculty member's chair in advance of the absence so that arrangements may be made for the instruction of the students at the regular hour and in the regular classroom. When an absence is necessary because of illness or other emergencies, the department chair must be informed as soon as possible to minimize interruptions in instruction.
Syllabus Requirements: During the first week of each course, the instructor of every section of an undergraduate or graduate class at SUNY Oswego will distribute a course syllabus for that section (either printed or web-published). The syllabus must include, at a minimum, the information listed below.
Course title, number and section, as well as semester and year
Class meeting days, times and location
Instructor name, contact information and office hours
Required and recommended textbooks/materials
A section on grading that includes required learning activities (papers/projects/exams/quizzes, etc.) along with their relative weight in the overall course grade. Attendance and /or make-up policies should be included here if they impact grading.
Student learning objectives
Final Exam date and time or a statement indicating that there is no final exam
Disability Statement: "If you have a disabling condition, which may interfere with your ability to successfully complete this course, please contact the Office of Disability Services."
Intellectual Integrity Statement: SUNY Oswego is committed to Intellectual Integrity. Any form of intellectual dishonesty is a serious concern and therefore prohibited. You can find the full policy online.
Faculty are required to establish regularly scheduled office hours. To provide services to our diverse student body, schedules should utilize alternative day and time slots (including late afternoon and evenings). Such faculty access is critical to our students for their successful progress toward their degrees.
Faculty Attendance at College Functions: As part of their professional obligation, faculty members are obligated to attend college functions such as commencement and departmental and division meetings. If it is necessary for a faculty member to be absent from these functions, prior approval must be received from the appropriate Dean.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act establish legal obligations for the institution, faculty and staff to provide reasonable accommodations that facilitate the access of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities to fully participate in the programs and activities of the college. Discrimination against individuals with disabilities is illegal.
Faculty are expected to cooperate in providing reasonable classroom accommodations. Students with documented disabilities will provide faculty members with a letter from the Office of Disability Services to identify the accommodations they may need relative to instruction and testing. Faculty are urged to engage in discussion with students with disabilities to understand the effective provision of accommodations. Questions regarding accommodations should be directed to the Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities at the Office of Disability Services.
Grades and Registration Information
Changing Grades: Faculty members who have made clerical errors in assigning grades must complete the Grade Change Form. After review by the appropriate department chair, the appropriate Dean will review the request, The Dean in turn will give instructions to the registrar concerning changing the grade. The instructor is not expected to change a grade unless there has been a clerical error. All grade changes can only be made during the first six weeks of the next semester.
Distribution of Grades: Final grades are distributed to students through the Registrar's Office. Faculty members who post grades should use a system that insures that the requirements of the Buckley Amendment pertaining to the confidentiality of grades are carefully met. The listing should not be in alphabetical order. Social Security numbers should not be used. Some faculty may require students to submit a code word to which the grade can be assigned.
Final Grades: At the conclusion of the fall and spring semesters and after summer sessions, final grades are recorded by instructors on final standing sheets prepared by the Registrar's Office. Final grade sheets are placed on file and become a part of the records or the college.
Registration for Courses: To receive credit for a course, a student must officially register for the course at the beginning of a semester through prescribed registration procedures.
College Policy on Cheating and Plagiarism
Intellectual honesty on the part of all students is basic in the individual growth and development through college coursework. When academic dishonesty occurs, the teaching/learning climate is seriously undermined and student growth and development is impeded. For these reasons, any form of intellectual dishonesty is prohibited. Also basic to the teaching/learning process in college course work is the authority of the course instructor to assign a grade to indicate the quality of student achievement.
Intellectual Dishonesty: In an academic community, one critical outcome of intellectual dishonesty is that the instructor is prevented from knowing the truth with respect to the student's level of mastery of course content. Further facilitation of learning and accurate evaluation of student achievement is thereby jeopardized. Intellectual dishonesty can take many forms. Examples of intellectual dishonesty include making up or falsifying data. It may also take the form of intellectual carelessness, which, while not intentionally deceptive, has the same outcome and may be treated as academic dishonesty.
Cheating: Intellectual dishonesty may take the form of cheating when one presents as one's own the work of another. Some examples of cheating include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Copying an examination, assignment or other work to be evaluated,
- Inappropriate collaboration on work to be evaluated,
- The use of "cheat sheets'' or other unapproved aids,
- Buying and selling examinations or term papers,
- Use of "ringers," i.e. having another student take an exam or having another student write a term paper or assignment for which the student will receive credit, and
- Submitting work for which credit has already been received in another course without the express consent of the instructor.
Plagiarism: One particular form of intellectual dishonesty is plagiarism; defined as the representation of another's words, thoughts or ideas as one's own. While it is expected that a student who is engaged in writing will utilize information from sources other than personal experience, appropriate acknowledgment of such sources is required. Plagiarism includes:
- Using a direct quotation without citing the source,
- Paraphrasing the ideas, interpretation or expressions of another without giving credit, and
- Failing to acknowledge or document sources, thereby representing the thought of others as one's own.
Sources of information should be credited or footnoted following an English language style guide (i.e., Modern Language Association Style Sheet, The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, etc.).
Student Responsibilities: Each student has a responsibility to assist in protecting the integrity of the degrees which this college grants by (1) not participating, either directly or indirectly, in cheating or plagiarism, (2) actively discouraging cheating or plagiarism by others, and (3) reporting to the course instructor in a timely manner any known incidents of cheating/plagiarism.
Faculty Responsibilities: Each faculty member has a responsibility to assist in protecting the integrity of the degrees which this college grants by (1) informing students of the cheating/plagiarism policy and of any specific interpretation of that policy particular to a given course, (2) actively discouraging cheating or plagiarism, and (3) implementing recommended procedures for dealing with cheating or plagiarism in instances where substantial evidence of cheating exists.
Procedures for dealing with cheating or plagiarism
Each student suspected of cheating/plagiarism shall be so informed and is entitled to an opportunity to reveal his/her understanding of cheating/plagiarism and to discuss the alleged incident in a private discussion with the course instructor prior to the assessment of a penalty. The instructor or the student may choose to have a witness present for the discussion without impairing the privacy of the discussion.
Instructors who determine that a student has engaged in an act of plagiarism may impose an academic penalty, including that of a failing grade for the course, on that student. In cases of cheating, the instructor may impose an academic penalty as described above or may choose an alternative procedure and pursue disciplinary action through the administration of the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct. Before taking action under this section, instructors shall consult with their department chairs and associate dean to discuss an appropriate penalty before informing the student of the decision.
A student who thinks the penalty assigned by the instructor is inappropriate may appeal the penalty;
- First, to the instructor involved;
- Then, to the chair of the department in which the course is offered;
- Finally, to either the appropriate Dean or the Mediation Panel.
An instructor may not impose an academic penalty and pursue disciplinary action against a student for the same act of academic dishonesty. However, when a student is involved in repeated breaches of academic integrity, disciplinary action may be initiated against that student by the appropriate associate dean.
Faculty grading rights and responsibilities
The individual faculty member has the right and the responsibility to assign student grades, including academic penalties. Both the academic appeal process and the Mediation Panel (outlined in V, C 1-3 above) are mediation and not judgmental procedures. However, if disciplinary action is initiated through the Office of the Dean of Students, it is a judgmental procedure. Thus, final authority for the determination of any penalty to be invoked for cheating through the disciplinary process rests with the Office of the Dean of Students.
Midterm Grades: Assignment of midterm grades for all 100- and 200-level courses is required; grades are expected to be entered into myOswego by the end of the eighth week of each semester.
Final Examinations: All courses will involve some form of comprehensive evaluation. Final examinations are an integral part of this procedure in many cases. For every course requiring a final examination, the day and hour scheduled for this purpose must be used, and the examination must be limited to that specified period of time.
All evening courses in which final examinations are to be given will hold the examination during the final examination week at the day and hour of regular class meeting.
The last examination of the semester in a course must be given during the final exam week at the scheduled lime. During the last week of class, examinations may only be given if there is also a comprehensive examination given during the scheduled final examination period.
Additional Course and Grade Regulations: The current undergraduate catalog contains information on incompletes in courses, the quality point system, the grading system and the policy for withdrawal from courses.
Student attendance policies
The following are the established attendance policies for the college:
1. Student achievement and the development of scholarship are responsibilities shared by the student and the college. It is the responsibility of the instructional staff of the college to provide worthwhile and rewarding learning experiences commensurate with the objectives of the college, and it is the responsibility of each student to maintain class attendance at each class since such attendance is essential to obtain optimum benefits from the college program.
2. The relationship between class attendance and student accomplishment is not constant for all students and varies with the type of instructional activity being carried on. Because of these variables, no numerical quota of allowable absences is set.
3. An absence from class or other assigned educational activity results in lessening, to some degree, the student's progress. It is, therefore, the responsibility of each student, insofar as possible, to acquaint him or herself with the concepts and to attain the skills developed in the period or periods missed.
4. After consulting with the department chair, an instructor may recommend to the appropriate Dean that the student be dropped from class because of poor achievement due to excessive absence. Excessive absence in any course will be construed to be absence, regardless of cause, which appreciably lowers the accomplishment of a student in that course. If the Dean agrees that such action is justified, the student will be notified by the Dean that he or she has been dropped. If such action has been avoidable on the student's part a mark of E will be recorded on his or her record. If, however, the absence was a result of extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control, the student will be dropped without penalty. The action of the Dean will be taken only after the end of the "drop" period.
5. The attendance policy is focused on the twin goals of effective instruction and scholarly achievement; hence, no account has been taken in the preceding statements concerning the cause for the absence. It is apparent, however, that certain instances of absence from class are unavoidable. In the case of such unavoidable absence, the student should inform the instructor of the situation which occasioned the absence. Faculty members have the responsibility, insofar as feasible, to provide students with the opportunity to make up any examination, study or work requirement missed for duly verified medical reasons, college-sponsored activities, religious observations or other unavoidable absence. Please note Section 224-a of the New York State Education Law, and SUNY policy, require that a student who is unable to attend class on a particular day or days because of his or her religious beliefs be excused from such class upon request. In addition, faculty have the responsibility to make available to each student absent for this reason an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirements that he or she may have missed as a result of this absence.
6. It is an obligation, as well as the educational responsibility, of each staff member to keep an accurate and up-to-date record of attendance of each student enrolled in his or her classes. The class book provided for this purpose must be deposited in the office of the department chair at the conclusion of each academic year. Class books must be retained for five years.
* Because an extended period of absence from classes may indicate the student is seriously ill, faculty members are encouraged to contact the student to determine the reason for his or her absence, If the student appears to need professional help, he or she should be advised that assistance is available through the Health Center.
7. Because mass absences before and after vacation periods reduce the number of effective class meetings in a course and thus penalize the students who are present as well as those who are absent, attendance at these times is particularly important. Since these policies assume that it is the responsibility of the student to attend classes throughout the semester, no mention of this problem is included in the statement of policy supplied to the students. It is the responsibility of faculty members to maintain such a high level of instruction that voluntary and avoidable absence at these times will carry its own penalty. The scheduling of instructional activities that will strongly encourage attendance just before and just after vacation periods will be very helpful. In case of students' avoidable absences, the instructor is under no obligation to provide opportunities for making up the work missed.
8. It is the student's responsibility to regularly attend classes and complete assignments as scheduled. When a student is unable to attend a class due to circumstances beyond his or her control, he or she is expected to communicate directly with instructors concerning class absence and missed assignments. In those rare instances when medical documentation is required (hospitalization, mononucleosis, etc.), the student should request a written statement from his or her off-campus attending physician or authorize the college health service to verify the nature and extent of illness. The health service should not be expected to be involved in issuing statements or excuses on a routine basis.
9. Authorization for field trips and other college-sponsored activities that require student absence from classes must be cleared through the chair of the department involved. The request for such clearance must be a minimum of one week in advance of the date of the activity.
Advisement of students
Policy Statement: Faculty members have the responsibility to be available to meet with their advisees prior to registration and to give advice on course selection for the completion of degree programs. Students have the right to accept or reject me advice they receive.
Advisement provides 1) an opportunity for individual professors and individual students to meet to discuss the student's academic program as it relates to the student’s career objectives and goals; and 2) a reasonable basis for departmental planning in terms of course offerings, especially in the area of electives and alternate courses that the department or the college may need to offer.
First Year Advisement: All entering first year students will be assigned advisors through the First Year Advisement Program. Students will meet with their advisors five times in their first year. Advisor/student meetings will be related to such issues as academic success, career preparation, course selection and registration, and personal growth and development.
Academic Advisement: Following the first year, students will be assigned an advisor in the department of their major. These assignments are done by the Advisement Coordinators in each department. Undeclared students will be assigned an advisor through the Student Advisement Office.
Students in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction will be assigned advisors by the Curriculum and Instruction Department Advisement Coordinator. The students will be advised as well by an advisor in their certification area.
A student majoring in a program within the School of Business will be assigned an advisor by the Business Administration Student Advisement Coordinator (BASAC).
Individual graduate faculty members who are assigned by the appropriate department provide advisement for graduate students. It is the function of the graduate advisor to counsel graduate students and to approve their programs of registration. A folder is maintained for each graduate degree student in the appropriate department office. Advisors may refer to these student records at any time and should file copies of correspondence with students in the office file.
Declaration of Major: The student's initial choice of major must be made during the second semester of the sophomore year or prior to entering the upper division of the college. All students have the opportunity to change their major. Permission to change a major must be granted by the advisement coordinator of the department to which the student wishes to transfer, provided selection and program requirements are met. The necessary permissions are indicated on the "Declaration and Change of Major/Minor/Advisor" form, which students may obtain from the Registrar's Office or appropriate Dean. Permission to change a declaration of interest or major must be obtained at least one month before the beginning of the ensuing semester.
Daily class schedule
The daily class schedule for college classes if as follows:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
- Period I: 8 - 8:55
- Period II: 9:10 - 10:05
- Period III: 10:20 - 11:15
- Period IV: 11:30 - 12:25
- Period V: 12:40 - 1:35
- Period VI: 1:50 - 2:45
- Period VII: 3 - 3:55
- Period VIII: 4:10 - 5:05
- Period I: 8 - 9:20
- Period II: 9:35 - 10:55
- Period III: 11:10 - 12:30
- Period IV: 12:45 - 2:05
- Period V: 2:20 - 3:40
- Period VI: 3:55 - 5:15
As part of the effort to properly identify and support students with disabilities, each course syllabus should include the following statement:
“If you have a disabling condition, which may interfere with your ability to successfully complete this course, please contact the Office of Disability Services.”
Including this statement on your syllabi directs students to the proper source for self-identification and access to the resources they may need to be successful. Students who self-identify must also provide the Office of Disability Services with appropriate documentation of their disabling condition. Based on that contact and documentation, letters are prepared for the student to share with their faculty. These letters will identify the student as eligible, under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), for specific class accommodations.
Inclusion of the syllabi statement is an important step in the efforts of the institution to be in compliance with Section 504 and the ADA.
Emergency evacuation and persons with disabilities
You may have students in your classroom that could require some assistance in the event that it is necessary to evacuate your building. Students with visual and mobility impairments, who may depend on an elevator to reach your classroom, will not have that option in the event of a fire alarm. Elevators are shut down and are not to be used in those circumstances. If a student is unable to evacuate via the stairs, they should move to the nearest stairwell. Faculty members are asked to see that those students receive the help they may need.
If a student is left at a stairwell, please immediately notify the emergency personnel (University Police or Fire Department) as to where the student is located. They will take over from that point.
It is best to discuss these possibilities in advance and privately. While we ask students to be their own advocates and express their needs, they are not always ready to assume this role. Please do invite students to talk with you if they feel they might need assistance in an emergency.
Fire safety information
Fire drills will be indicated by a rapid series of short bell rings or other appropriate signals. Faculty members or the residence hall director will designate direction as to the particular exit route. Smoking is prohibited on campus. Alleged violations of this policy should be reported to the office of the appropriate Dean for possible disciplinary action.
Departments with a graduate program(s) may provide assistantship opportunities for selected graduate students. Arrangements for these positions are made at the department level. Appointments are made by the Dean of Graduate Studies on recommendation of the department chair. Graduate assistants may carry no more than nine semester hours of coursework per semester during the period of employment.
Hybrid course policies
At SUNY Oswego, it has been a long standing practice to integrate instructional technology into our classes and the curriculum. We have offered a range of courses from fully online to hybrid courses to web enhanced courses. Technology continues to evolve as does the needs of our students. It is also important to insure the highest quality learning opportunities for our students.
In 2006, SUNY Oswego formulated a hybrid policy task force to discuss the emerging learning mode. The group outlined an approval process but did not formally adopt a policy. So that the college may more formally integrate hybrid courses into our regular scheduling, course planning, and faculty governance processes it is necessary to clarify policies and procedures. The purpose of this document is to clarify what constitutes a hybrid course, provide a statement that articulates Oswego’s policy, and list the implications of implementing the policy.
Our academic community offers courses in many formats. At SUNY Oswego, we offer three types of technology based courses: fully online, hybrid, and web-enhanced. The following definitions reflect Oswego’s technology based formats.
Fully online class
An online class is a class that is offered 100% through the Internet. Asynchronous courses require no time in a classroom. All assignments, exams, and communication are delivered using a learning management system (LMS). At Oswego, the campus is transitioning from ANGEL to Blackboard, which will be completed by the Fall 2015 semester. Fully online courses may also be synchronous. Synchronous online courses require student participation at a specified time using audio/visual software such as Blackboard Collaborate along with the LMS.
Although many definitions of hybrid and blended learning exist, there is a convergence upon three key points: (1) Web-based learning activities are introduced to complement face-to-face work; (2) "seat time" is reduced, though not eliminated altogether; (3) the Web-based and face-to-face components of the course are designed to interact pedagogically to take advantage of the best features of each.
The amount of in class time varies in hybrids from school to school. Some require more than 50% must be in class, others say more than 50% must be online. Others indicate that 20% - 80% must be in class (or online). There is consensus that generally the time is split 50-50, but it depends on the best pedagogy for what the instructor wants to achieve.
Web enhanced learning occurs in a traditional face-to-face (f2f) course when the instructor incorporates web resources into the design and delivery of the course to support student learning. The key difference between Web Enhanced Learning versus other forms of e-learning (online or hybrid courses) is that the internet is used to supplement and support the instruction occurring in the classroom rather than replace it. Web Enhanced Learning may include activities such as: accessing course materials, submitting assignments, participating in discussions, taking quizzes and exams, and/or accessing grades and feedback.
Delivering hybrid courses
Hybrid or blended learning courses offer students and faculty an opportunity to integrate a variety of experiences with traditional classroom learning. They can be especially valuable for students engaged in a pratica or senior seminar, courses that are heavily research based, or work shop oriented courses. Emphasis should be on the learning outcomes as opposed to a regulated amount of seat time. Faculty consultation with an instructional designer will take into consideration the expected outcomes, discipline, assignments, and methods of evaluation to determine what proportion of the class should be face-to-face versus online activities. Scheduling a meeting the first and last class face-to-face does not constitute a hybrid course.
A process for requesting approval for teaching a course as a hybrid should be developed. Digital signature software would expedite the approval process. CTS is currently developing a process for change of major forms that may be then applied to this process. The dean and department chair must approve the course as a hybrid before it can be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar has already put in place a notation using HY# as the section number to indicate it is a hybrid course. The delivery format of the hybrid course will be described in the section notes in course availability including the meetings days and times, and an indication that attendance is required.
Faculty responsibilities such as office hours, student contact access, advisement, and departmental or college committees continue regardless of course delivery mode or teaching assignment.
Policies and best practices at other colleges and universities have been reviewed. Major sources included James Madison, the Sloan-C group (now called the Online Learning Consortium), The University of Wisconsin- various campus’ documents, and the Blended Learning Toolkit. Consultation with the SUNY Deans and Directors of Continuing Education also occurred.
Hybrid course policy statement
SUNY Oswego encourages faculty to explore and implement the use of new technologies and teaching methods in their courses. Instructional technology has evolved and affords students and faculty the opportunity to connect using both face-to-face and online systems. At SUNY Oswego, a hybrid course is one which combines face-to-face instruction and interaction in a reduced class meeting schedule with replacement online activities that may include: mini-lectures, discussions, blogs, evaluations, case studies, etc.
Hybrid or blended learning opportunities are encouraged at SUNY Oswego with the following guidelines. Faculty must first have the approval of their department chair and dean to develop a hybrid course. Once development is approved, the course may be offered as a hybrid course in any academic term with department chair approval. Having secured development approval, faculty are required to meet with one of the college’s instructional designers and attend a workshop (from CELT or Extended Learning) to develop appropriate learning outcomes and gain familiarity with the learning management system at least six months in advance.
Approval for hybrid course delivery will come from the instructional designer. Determination of the proportion of class meeting times which are face-to-face meetings vs. work using the learning management system (or other technology based experience) will be determined by the faculty member based on learning objectives and discipline.
Faculty are required to specify all face-to-face class meeting times and exam information (if applicable) when the course is submitted to the Registrar so that students may plan their workload and time accordingly.
Teaching hybrid courses does not relieve the faculty member of departmental and college obligations such as office hours, student advisement, or committee work. Offering a hybrid course in subsequent semesters requires that the faculty discuss their intentions and schedule with the department chair.
Administrative access for the Director of Online Learning, the respective chair and Dean will be available as needed for resolving student problems, promotion, reappointment, and tenure. Student surveys should be administered by the department at the end of term to gather feedback on the effectiveness of the hybrid format.