Course Design and Approval

Principles of Course Design

Many of the decisions affecting the success of a course take place well before the first day of class. Careful planning at the course design stage not only makes teaching easier and more enjoyable, it also facilitates student learning. Once your course is planned, teaching involves implementing your course design on a day-to-day level.

To design an effective course, you need to:

1.       Consider basic logistical issues, such as how your course fits into the major or department’s curricular goals, how many class meetings times and hours there will be, and what type of classroom space is available. How large is your class?  How many credit hours?  What time of day will you be teaching?  What technology is installed in the room?  What other technologies are available for your use?  Is there certain material you must address?
2.       Understand your students.  What prior knowledge or preparation might they have for your course? What is their personal and intellectual level of development or maturity?  How might the cultural differences among your students impact your teaching?  What generational experiences and expectations might your students have?
3.       Identify your learning objectives or outcomes.  What knowledge and skills do you want your students to acquire by the end of the course? Phrase your objectives using action verbs, such as “Apply theorems to solve problems.”  Make sure the objectives are measurable so that you will know whether students accomplished what you hoped.
4.       Align your assessments with your objectives.  Examinations, papers, projects, homework assignments, and classroom activities should be crafted to advance and measure the objectives. 
5.       Identify appropriate teaching approaches, such as lectures, discussions, case studies, service-learning, writing, group or individual projects which will promote the course learning objectives.
6.       Plan your course content and schedule, and write the syllabus.  Syllabi communicate the design of the course—its goals, organization, expectations, and requirements—to students.  Key components of the syllabus include:

Course Information

Course number, title, term, year, meeting times, and location. You may want to include a course description, whether from the catalog or your own. Give a brief explanation of how the course fits into the larger curriculum: Is this course for majors? Does it meet Miami Plan requirements (and which one[s])? Is it part of a Thematic Sequence?

Contact Information

Your name, email address, voicemail number, office location, and office hours.

Materials Needed

Books, course pack, calculator, art supplies, . . .

Student Learning Outcomes for the Course

These should be tied to the SLOs of your program and, if applicable, those of Liberal Education.  If you know that assignments for your course may be used for program assessment, please notify students that their work may be used for this purpose.  The following language is taken from the Center for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching and University Assessment website: http://www.units.muohio.edu/celt/students/Student%20Assessment.php

In addition to being evaluated by your course instructor, this academic work may be:

  • viewed by designated Miami University personnel to gauge broader program achievement within Miami University;
  • short quotations from your work that do not identify you may be included in assessment reports;
  • Any work that can be connected with you will not be shared with a public audience nor will it be used for other purposes, such as published research, without your explicit written consent.

Assessment data is used by the university to determine how effective we are at cultivating successful students and achieving learning goals, not to evaluate your work as an individual student.

 Course Policies

If you have expectations for how the students will conduct themselves in class, lay them out. Instructors are obliged to follow the class attendance policy in the Student Handbook (MUPIM 5.2).  When possible, provide a reason related to the learning environment. Examples: Be respectful of your classmates during discussion, as we will be discussing sensitive topics; No food or drink during a chemistry lab, as it would be unsafe; Attendance is vital, as this is a once-a-week seminar discussion class.

 Academic Integrity Policy

The following language is taken from the website of the Office of Academic Integrity, miami.muohio.edu/integrity/faculty-resources.html:

As a scholarly community, we must be clear about expectations for academic integrity in the classes we teach. Based on research of best practices for syllabi language, Miami recommends inclusion of the following in a syllabus:

  • A personal statement on the meaning and significance of honesty in the classroom. Such a statement might refer to students' future work in a job in the respective discipline, personal observations on the importance of integrity, etc.
  • Depending on the discipline, a general statement of academic guidelines (e.g., APA, Chicago Manual of Style) that students must use in their academic work.
  • A statement on if, when, and how students may collaborate with one another on assignments, projects, examination preparation, or examinations.
  • A referral to this website as well as other resources students may use in a particular class.
  • A reference to the definitions and penalties for academic dishonesty, located in Chapter 5 of the Student Handbook and on the undergraduate and graduate student pages of this website [www.miami/muohio.edu/integrity].

 Disability Services Information

The Office of Disability Resources suggests that faculty include a statement like this on their syllabus:

If you are a student with a disability and feel that you may need a reasonable accommodation to fulfill the essential functions of the course that are listed in this syllabus, students with physical, medical and/or psychiatric disabilities are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Resources at 529-1541 (V/TTY), and students with AD(H)D and/or specific learning disabilities may contact the Office for Learning Disability Services located in the Rinella Learning Center at 529-8741.

(quoted from units.muohio.edu/oeeo/office-disability-resources/faculty-resources)

 Course Calendar

This should include the key topics, assignments, and exams. Give as much information as you have about the work the students will be doing. You may want to tie the listing of the course activities back to the SLOs for the course. You may want to include rubrics for major assignments here, or you may want to note here that more detailed information about assignments will come later. The Registrar assigns final exam dates. You should find the final exam schedule on the Registrar’s website and include the date and time of your final exam on your syllabus.

 You will also want to be clear about policies regarding late work and make-up exams and your policy regarding the return of student work (MUPIM 5.2).

 Grading Policy

Be clear about how you will calculate the final grade. Is there a set number of points for the semester, or are you using weighted grades?  Be sure that what students are graded on, and therefore their course grades, will be tied to the course SLOs.

  

Sources:

 Karen Dunn-Haley & Laura Martin (Center for Research on Learning Excellence at UC Merced) A Rubric for Rethinking the Syllabus.

 Julia Guichard & Cecilia Shore. Setting Classroom Policies You Can Live With (PowerPoint for GSTEP)

 Carolyn Haynes, Course Design and Approval: Principles of Course Design.

 http://www.miami.muohio.edu/documents/secretary/Student_Handbook.pdf

 http://www.miami.muohio.edu/integrity/faculty-resources.html

http://www.units.muohio.edu/oeeo/office-disability-resources/faculty-resources

http://www.miami.muohio.edu/documents/secretary/MUPIM.pdf (section 5.2, Statement of Good Teaching Practices). 

For assistance on course design and teaching, please consult the Center for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching and University Assessment.

Course Approval Processes

There are two types of course approval processes: one for new courses that will be offered on a permanent basis (i.e., more than three times) and another for new courses that will only be offered no more than two times.  The course must be approved as a permanent course before it is offered for a third time.

New Permanent Courses

A proposal for a new permanent course shall first be approved by the department or program, after consultation with other departments or programs where appropriate. The proposal must also be submitted for approval by the following bodies.

 

Approving Body

Undergraduate

Graduate

Department or Program

*

*

Division

*

*

Council of Academic Deans

*

*

University Senate Consent Calendar

*

*

Any permanently approved course may have modifiers[CS4]  to allow students to register for the course more than once or to focus on specific content (hence, different titles) within a very large body of material. Requests for new modifiers of a non-topics course are treated as revisions to an existing course.

See MUPIM 11.1.A.1.

New Temporary Courses

When special course offerings are demanded by circumstances such as changes in staff, the divisional dean may grant temporary approval. The dean may also grant temporary approval to a new course that a department or program wishes to test before seeking permanent approval. A course may be offered under this temporary provision for no more than two terms. All requests for temporary course approval must include learning outcomes and shall be forwarded, with a recommendation, by the appropriate dean to the Office of the Registrar. If the temporary course request involves a graduate-level course, the Dean of the Graduate School must also approve it.

See MUPIM 11.1.A.2.

Proposal Forms

Forms are available on the Office of the Registrar website.  Questions related to course approvals may be directed to: courseapproval@MiamiOH.edu.

Academic Calendar[CS5] 

Faculty members are encouraged to consult the academic calendar when developing their syllabi.  Note especially the following items:

  • Start and end dates of the term
  • Religious holidays and mid-term break dates
  • Mid-term grades: Faculty are encouraged to schedule a significant assignment prior to the mid-term grading date in order to have enough information to complete the mid-term grade and to enable the student to understand their progress in the course thus far.
  • Final examination schedule time.

Course Numbering

Course numbers are designed to inform the student and public about the course level and audience.  The following guidelines are used to assign Miami course numbers.

000-099: Developmental courses, generally not creditable toward a degree.

100-199: Introductory courses, usually with no prerequisites.

200-299: Sophomore level courses.

300-399: Junior level courses.

400-499: Senior level courses.

500-850: Graduate level courses. Under particular conditions, a junior in the University Honors Program or a Miami senior may take 500- and 600-level courses for graduate credit with permission. Seniors who wish to earn undergraduate credit in a 600-level course must have approval of the course instructor, department chair, and dean of the Graduate School.

599 and 699: Workshops or similar offerings. Workshops must go through an approval process each year.

700 and above: Restricted to graduate students.

Course numbers at two levels (such as 433/533) may be taken either for undergraduate or graduate credit. Graduate students must complete additional work to receive graduate credit.

Course numbers separated by a comma (such as 233, 234) are related. You may take one of the series and they may be taken in any order (unless otherwise indicated in the course description).

Course numbers separated by a hyphen (such as 233-234) must be taken in numerical order and both must be taken to receive credit for graduation.

Special Course Numbers

100: Each department in the College of Arts and Science can offer a seminar numbered 100, cross-listed with at least two departments. This course number is reserved especially to allow students and faculty a chance to learn how different disciplines deal with the same problem. The 100 course has one or two  hours of credit; a student cannot receive more than four hours credit for all courses numbered 100. These courses may not be offered every year.

300: This course, Special Topics, is offered according to student request together with instructor permission. It carries one to three semester hours of credit; students cannot receive more than six hours of credit for this course.

177, 277, 377, and 477: These courses are independent study for undergraduate students. A student can register for one to five hours of independent study each term (no more than 10 per year). Registration for each course should be in accordance with the level of instruction. Independent study projects must be approved by the instructor and the department chair or program director.[CS6] 

340: This course is extended independent study and/or internship. It can be worth up to 20 hours of credit depending on the agreement between student and instructor. All extended independent studies must be approved by the instructor, department chair and dean.

199, 299, 399, 499/599 and 699: These numbers are used for workshops or similar offerings. Workshops must go through an approval process each year. Some departments/programs utilize workshop numbers ending in 97, 98 or 99 based upon volume and frequency of workshop offerings.

677: This course is used for departments/programs without an established Independent Study course number. You can register for 1-5 credit hours of independent study each semester (no more than 10 per year). Registration for each course is in accordance with the level of instruction. Independent study projects must be approved by the instructor and the department chair/program director.

700: This number is used for Master's thesis research credit.

790: This number is used for Pre-candidacy doctoral research.

850: This number is used for Doctoral Dissertation credit.

Faculty and Instructional Staff

Criteria for Quality[CS7] 

The following are the minimum expectations that apply to all full-time and part-time instructors at Miami University, including graduate teaching assistants or adjunct faculty members employed at secondary institution:

  • Faculty members hold a degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or equivalent as verified by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services;
  • Faculty members hold a terminal degree or a degree at least one level above the degree level in which they are teaching
    • At least a bachelor’s degree if teaching in an associate degree program,
    • At least a master’s degree if teaching in a bachelor’s degree program,
    • A terminal degree if teaching in a graduate program;
    • Faculty members teaching Miami Plan courses hold a master’s degree in the discipline taught or a master’s degree and a cohesive set of graduate coursework and graduate experiences equivalent to a graduate degree in the discipline;
    • Graduate teaching assistants who do not meet minimum faculty credentialing requirements are appropriately mentored by a faculty member of record who does meet the minimum credentialing requirements;
    • In addition to meeting degree level requirements, faculty members teaching technically or practice-oriented courses demonstrate evidence of practical experience in the field and hold applicable licenses and/or certifications;
    • For programs involving clinical faculty (e.g., student teaching supervisors, clinical practicum supervisors), the credentials and involvement of clinical faculty are described and meet applicable professional standards for the delivery of the educational experiences;
    • Where professional accreditation standards for faculty members exceed these standards, faculty members are expected to meet the professional accreditation standards;
    • Faculty members show evidence of professional development in the discipline;
    • Faculty members who teach online courses are appropriately prepared for teaching in an online environment;
    • Faculty members who received their degrees from a single institution do not constitute the majority of the program’s faculty. 
Use of Undergraduates as Teachers

Undergraduate Associates Program

Undergraduates may be used to assist in the instruction of undergraduates so long as the high quality of instruction that undergraduates at Miami expect and deserve is maintained.  Students who wish to perform in this capacity may apply for the Undergraduate Associates Program, which is University-wide, administered by the University Honors Program, and approved by the relevant department chair or program director (when appropriate). Requirements and regulations are described in detail in MUPIM 10.5 and summarized below:

  1. Ordinarily an Undergraduate Associate (UA) will serve as a junior assistant for instruction in a specific course or as a research assistant for a faculty member’s project. Faculty may also suggest other creative ways that a student can serve as an Undergraduate Associate.
  2. Faculty may nominate seniors, juniors, or sophomores to serve as Undergraduate Associates under his or her supervision for a term. The nominated undergraduates must be in good academic standing (i.e., attained a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher);
  3. All portions of the application form must be completed by the nominated student and/or the faculty nominator. The application should include:
    1. a statement describing the objectives and anticipated outcomes of the experience for the student and the relation of this experience to the student’s learning;
    2. an explanation of the roles and responsibilities of the student and faculty member;
    3. a rationale for the student’s readiness for this responsibility (including past coursework, experiences, and personal attributes) and the plan for preparing the student to assume the required responsibilities;
    4. a statement from the faculty member explaining the educational value of the use of the Undergraduate Associate, not only to the student but also to the faculty member and the students enrolled in the course; and
    5. a plan for assessing whether the use of the Undergraduate Associate advanced learning and the course objectives.
    6. No student may serve as an Undergraduate Associate in a course in which that student is currently enrolled.
    7. A student serving as an Undergraduate Associate in a course is responsible for acquiring an adequate knowledge of all relevant course materials.
    8. A student participating in the Undergraduate Associates Program may teach a very limited number of class sessions. When an Undergraduate Associate teaches all or part of a class session, the Associate's faculty sponsor will be present.
    9. In discharging his or her duties as an Undergraduate Associate, a student will not have sole responsibility for grading any assignment or instructing a specific class without supervision. An Undergraduate Associate may read other students’ assignments and examinations, write comments on them, and advise the faculty member about the grades.
    10. An Undergraduate Associate is expected to work a minimum of thirty (30) hours per semester.
    11. The faculty sponsor and the Undergraduate Associate should meet at least monthly and more often as desired and useful.
    12. At the conclusion of the undergraduate associateship, the student shall submit to the University Honors Program office a final reflection of what was learned by the undergraduate associateship experience. The reflection should be submitted on the appropriate form obtained from the University Honors Program office and should include but not be limited to:
      1. a commentary on how the use of the undergraduate associateship advanced learning on the part of the Undergraduate Associate, the faculty sponsor, and students in the class;
      2. a description of the Undergraduate Associate’s and faculty sponsor’s roles within the undergraduate associateship and the outcomes achieved;
      3. an explanation of the ways, if any, the roles, responsibilities, and outcomes differed from the original objectives and why;
      4. a reflection on how the undergraduate associateship experience advanced the Undergraduate Associate’s learning.
      5. Upon acceptance of the Undergraduate Associate’s final reflection, the University Honors Program office shall notify the Office of the Registrar to award the student an appropriate transcript notation. A student may receive one credit hour through independent study in the appropriate department or program for his or her participation in the Undergraduate Associates Program. The final grade will be determined by the faculty sponsor on the basis of the student’s work and on the quality of the student’s final reflection. A student may not receive pay for this experience.

Undergraduates Assisting in Laboratory Classes and Drill Sessions

With the approval of the department chair or program director (when appropriate), faculty members may hire undergraduates to assist in laboratory classes and drill sessions. The students shall not present new material or answer questions that go beyond the material presented by faculty members. The department or program shall determine the methods for selection, training, supervision, and evaluation of students. Students assisting in laboratory classes and drill sessions shall be paid but cannot receive academic credit for their work.

Grading by Undergraduate Students

With the approval of the department chair or program director (when appropriate), faculty members may hire undergraduates to score work by other students when the scoring is completely mechanical, as with multiple choice tests. The faculty member, not the student, assigns the actual grades. Undergraduates cannot be hired to grade final examinations or any quizzes, tests, or assignments where grading requires a qualitative evaluation. However, homework (problem) assignments may be graded by undergraduates provided the faculty member is responsible for the course grade and is available to respond to a student’s appeal of a grade given on a homework (problem) assignment. The department or program shall determine the methods for selection, training, supervision, and evaluation of students. Students hired to grade the work of students shall be paid but cannot receive academic credit for their work.

See MUPIM 10.5.

Grades and Grading Options

Grades

Grades for all students are reported to the Office of the Registrar. Grade submission deadlines and dates by which grades are viewable are listed on the academic calendar (http://www.units.muohio.edu/reg/calendars/). Miami uses the following grading structure on a 4.00 scale.

 

 

Points Per

Grade

 

Semester Hour

A+

 

4.00

A

Excellent

4.00

A-

 

3.70

B+

 

3.30

B

Good

3.00

B-

 

2.70

C+

 

2.30

C

Satisfactory

2.00

C-

 

1.70

D+

 

1.30

D

Poor

1.00

D-

 

0.70

F

Failure

0.00

Other grade symbols include:

I

=

Incomplete; calculates as an F in grade point average (retired).

IG or IGY

=

Incomplete; work at the graduate level; not included in the calculation of grade point average. The student has one academic semester following the recording to complete the academic work. Check the Academic Calendar for the deadlines per term. After the deadline has passed with no grade change being recorded, the "IG" will convert to a grade of F. The "IGY" will convert to Y (no credit).

IU or IUY

=

Incomplete work at the undergraduate level; not included in the calculation of grade point average. The student has one academic semester following the recording to complete the academic work. Check the Academic Calendar for the deadlines per term. After the deadline has passed with no grade change being recorded, the "IU" will convert to a grade of F. The "IUY" will convert to Y (no credit).

L

=

Audit; not included in enrollment status hours; not included in calculation of grade point average.

N

=

No grade submitted by the instructor; not included in the calculation of grade point average.

P

=

Passing; carries no credit points (used for student teaching, thesis hours, dissertation hours).

S

=

Satisfactory progress; carries no credit points and not included in the calculation of grade point average; (used for courses in research, independent reading, special topics courses, thesis hours, dissertation hours, and undergraduate honors); changes to a final grade when the project is completed.

U

=

Unsatisfactory progress; carries no credit points; not included in the calculation of grade point average; (also used for special projects as above); changes to a final grade when the project is completed.

W

=

Withdrawal; assigned to a student who officially withdraws from the University or from a course; carries no credit points; is not included in the calculation of grade point average.

WP

=

Withdrawal passing; (retired).

WF

=

Withdrawal failing; (retired).

X

=

Credit in a course taken credit/no-credit in which a grade of C or better is earned in an undergraduate course or in which a grade of B is earned in a graduate course; carries no credit points; not included in the calculation of grade point average.

Y

=

No credit in a course taken credit/no-credit course in which a grade of C- or less is earned in an undergraduate course or in which a B- or less was earned in a graduate course; carries no credit points; not included in the calculation of grade point average.

Z

=

Course grades preceded by Z indicate the Fresh Start policy has been applied.

Credit/No Credit

All students not on academic probation may register for courses on a credit/no-credit basis, except as noted below. Eligible students may enroll in any course on a credit/no-credit basis excepting courses used to meet department field of concentration and major requirements and the core courses at the Dolibois European Center. However, departments may specify field of concentration and major requirements that can be met with "credit" in a specified course. Registration in a course on a credit/no-credit basis requires the permission of the instructor except in Miami Plan courses.

No more than 25 percent of the total hours earned at Miami may be earned in courses taken on a credit/no-credit basis. First-year students may register for courses on a credit/no-credit basis providing they are concurrently enrolled for 12 hours for grades. During the summer term, first-year students may register for courses on a credit/no-credit basis providing they are concurrently enrolled for four semester hours for grades. If at any time during the semester, a student drops below 12 hours for grades (four hours for the summer term), the credit/no-credit status will be removed. Courses offered only on a credit/no-credit basis are not factored in. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors may register for one or more courses per semester on a credit/no-credit basis. Students may not enroll on a credit/no-credit basis in any course in which they have previously earned credit. A student may not enroll for grade in any course for which they have received "credit" on a credit/no-credit basis. "Credit" (X) will be granted for grades of C or better; "no-credit" (Y) will be granted for grades of C- or less. The instructor will record the normal letter grade, which the Office of the Registrar will convert to the respective credit/no-credit symbol. Courses taken on a credit/no-credit basis are disregarded in the computation of grade point averages. A course can be changed from credit/no-credit to letter grade or from letter grade to credit/no-credit during the first 20 percent of the course (see the academic calendar for specific dates).

Incomplete Grades

If a student cannot finish the work for a course by the end of a term, with the instructor’s permission the student may take an incomplete. This is an agreement between the student and the instructor that the student will finish the remaining unfinished course work.

Grades of incomplete for a graduating student must be removed by the conclusion of end-of-term processing for the student's graduation term, approximately 30 days after the date of graduation.

A grade of Incomplete may be assigned only in cases where a formal arrangement has been made with the student for completion of the work.

For more information, see: Student Handbook 1.3; General Bulletin.

Non-Attendance

Any listed student who stopped attending or never attended and was not pre-assigned a W must be assigned a final grade for the course. If the student's work due to non-attendance or stopped attendance is insufficient to warrant credit for the course, a failing grade (F) must be submitted to prevent the student from receiving credit for the course.

Class Size

The maximum size of each class section is fixed by the department chair or program director with the approval of the dean of the appropriate academic division and Provost and is based on the optimum size for effective teaching and the capacity of available classrooms. After a section or course is closed, only the department chair or program director has the authority to add students to it, and only after he or she has first ascertained from the Office of the Registrar that a classroom is available.

See: MUPIM 10.2

Attendance and Absence of Students

Every student is expected to attend every class session for which the student is duly registered.

It is the prerogative of the individual faculty member to set attendance policy for each individual course, and it is the responsibility of the individual faculty member to inform students of that policy in the course syllabus or other written document within the first week of the semester.

There are no University-recognized excused absences except for religious observances that require absence from a class session and other required class activities. Students must give written notification to their instructor within the first two weeks of class of the religious event that prohibits class attendance and the date that will be missed, if officially known. Instructors will, without prejudice, provide such students with reasonable accommodations for completing missed work. However, students are ultimately responsible for material covered in class, regardless of whether the student is absent or present.

In general, class absence should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. If a student is involved in activities that result in class absence (such as intercollegiate athletics, band, debate, other class activities, etc.), it is the student’s responsibility to negotiate specific arrangements with individual instructors about any absences. The Senate also recognizes the fundamental value of extra- and co-curricular activities and their significance in students’ overall educational experience. Instructors should recognize that participation in such activities is an integral part of students’ education and helps to fulfill the comprehensive mission of the University. Therefore, instructors are urged to accommodate student requirements.

Whenever a student is absent from class to such an extent as to make the student’s work inefficient or to impair the morale of the class, the instructor may direct the Office of the Registrar to drop the student. During the first 20 percent of the course no grade will be recorded; after the first 20 percent is completed but before 60 percent of the course is completed, a grade of W will be recorded. After 60 percent of the course is completed, a grade of F will be recorded. The instructor shall notify the student of this action no later than the time he or she notifies the Office of the Registrar (see academic calendar for specific dates).

A department may, at its discretion, drop from a course any student who is absent from the first class meeting of a semester or term, unless by the end of the day (11:59 p.m.) of the first class meeting the student notifies the department or instructor of his or her intention to take the course. When possible, departments and instructors should reinstate a student who, for reasons beyond his or her control, was unable to contact the department or instructor by this deadline.

The determination of individual class attendance requirements and their enforcement at the Dolibois European Center is governed by the attendance policy of the Center.

For more information, see: MUPIM 10.1; Student Handbook 1.9; Bulletin.

Auditing Courses

Courses may be audited without credit with the consent of the instructor and will not be counted under any rules established by the instructor and may include active registration or enrollment status. The requirements for auditing a course are established by the instructor and may include active participation by the student. Any instructor may drop an auditing student at any time during the semester if the student is not fulfilling the audit requirements. Full fees are assessed for auditing a course. Whenever a student is not fulfilling the audit requirements for a course the instructor may direct the Office of the Registrar to drop the student. During the first 20 percent of the course no grade will be recorded; after the first 20 percent is completed but before 60 percent of the course is completed, a grade of W will be recorded.  See: MUPIM 10.6; Student Handbook 1.5.

Textbook Policy

The dissemination of timely, accurate, and complete information about required textbooks and supplemental materials is important to ensure that sufficient quantities of textbooks and supplemental materials are available to meet the needs of students and to assist students in being responsible consumers.

Before each upcoming academic term, the Office of the Provost shall partner with the University Bookstore to make publicly accessible the following information for each upcoming academic term:

  1. the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and retail price information of required and recommended textbooks and supplemental materials for each course listed in the course schedule; and number of students enrolled in each course and the maximum student enrollment for the course.
  2. The Office of the Provost, in consultation with the University Bookstore, shall communicate to the deans, department chairs, program directors, and regional campus coordinators the date by which their textbook information is to be provided to the University Bookstore.

The textbook information provided to the University Bookstore shall be published on the University Bookstore website and shall be made readily accessible through a link from the University’s on-line course registration system.

If the ISBN is not available, then the author, title, publisher, and copyright date for such college textbook or supplemental material will be published. If the University Bookstore determines that the disclosure of the information required by this policy is not practicable for a college textbook or supplemental material, then it will place the designation ‘To Be Determined’ in lieu of the information required.

Use of Self-Authored Material

In the event that an instructor wishes to utilize a textbook(s) or other material which is authored by the instructor and the sale of which results in a royalty being paid to the instructor, then such textbook/material may only be required by the instructor if: (1) the instructor’s chair or program director and dean have consented to the use of the textbook/material; or (2) the majority of faculty within the instructor’s department has voted to permit the instructor’s use of the textbook/material in the instructor’s class. Sales of such items cannot be conducted directly between a faculty member and a student.

 Departmental Responsibilities

  1. The information referenced above will be made available by academic departments and programs each academic term to the University Bookstore on or before a date specified by the Office of the Provost. The academic departments and programs will endeavor to ensure that the information provided to the University Bookstore is in an acceptable format so as to avoid unnecessary orders and returns by the University Bookstore.
  2. Unless the academic department has made other arrangements, it is the responsibility of each individual instructor to secure his or her own desk copies of textbooks.
  3. Each academic department or program and regional campus coordinator should designate a person to act as its representative with the University Bookstore and should inform the Bookstore of the name of the designated person.
  4. To the extent possible, the University Bookstore should be notified of increased enrollments of scheduled course sections and/or of additional course sections to be offered.
  5. Following the submission to the University Bookstore of textbook lists for the upcoming academic term, instructors are expected to use the textbooks specified for that term.

For more information on textbooks, see MUPIM 10.4

Mid-Term Grades

Midterm grades provide students the opportunity to assess their academic performance while there is still time to improve before receiving official grades. Midterm grades are not recorded on student's academic records. Academic advisers have access to students' midterm grades, and they will meet with all students who are struggling to discuss strategies for improving academic performance.

Faculty members are required to submit midterm grades for the following undergraduate students:

  • New first-year students
  • Postsecondary A & B students
  • Continuing students who have earned less than 16 credit hours.

Midterm grades are available to first year students online through BannerWeb in mid-October. In the spring semester, midterm grades are issued only to continuing students who earned 16 or fewer credit hours in their previous semester(s).

Please see the appropriate Academic Calendar for grade submission dates.

To enter the midterm grades, locate the appropriate class in myMiami Home or Faculty tab, and click photo roster.  This roster will display a list of students in your class.  It includes a column to indicate whether you are required to submit midterm grades.  You may and are encouraged to submit midterm grades for additional students. Click the Midterm Grades link to open BannerWeb for grade entry.  Select a student and enter the grade using the drop-down list.  Click the Submit button at the bottom of the page to save your grade entries.

For any listed student who discontinued attendance or never attended, you are encouraged to drop the student from your class prior to the end of the ninth week of the term.  You may officially DROP the student by following the instructions in Dropping a student from a class.

Examinations

Final examinations are expected in all undergraduate courses unless other evaluative substitute procedures have been approved by the department chair or dean of the division. Final examinations or duly approved substitutions may be completed during the final examination week. Neither final examinations nor tests of fifty (50) minutes or of greater length shall be given during the seven (7) calendar days preceding the first study day of the final examination period. The above regulations do not apply to laboratory final examinations. No final examination, including a laboratory final examination, may be given during study days. Final examinations in accelerated or sprint courses that end with the last week of classes must be given during the final examination week. Exceptions to these rules require the approval of the department chair, academic dean, and the Provost.

Examination Schedule

The Office of the Registrar develops the final examination schedule for the Oxford campus.

The final examination schedule is available on the Office of the Registrar website.  Except for group examinations, final examinations are generally held in the room where the class regularly meets.

In order for classes to be eligible for a group final examination during one of the designated group examination time blocks, the following criteria must be met:

  • Three or four sections of the same course exist with a total enrollment of 200 or more students;
  • Five or more sections of the same course exist, regardless of their enrollment size.

Room assignments for group examinations are posted on the examination schedule approximately one month prior to the final examination week. 

Schedule Changes for Final Examinations or Other Evaluative Substitution

No student shall be required to take more than three (3) scheduled final examinations in any 24-hour period. If a student has four (4) or more final examinations in any 24-hour period, then one of those examinations may be changed to a later time with the consent of the instructor, or to an earlier time with the consent of both the instructor and the dean of the academic division in which the course is given. In cases where a student is scheduled for four (4) or more final examinations in any 24-hour period and no agreement as stated above can be reached, the Provost shall be empowered to make necessary adjustments.

An individual student’s final examination may not otherwise be rescheduled except in extraordinary circumstances beyond the student’s control, in which case an attempt should be made to reschedule the examination at a later time rather than an earlier time if possible. Rescheduling an examination in such cases to a later time requires the consent of the instructor; advancing to an earlier time requires the consent of the instructor, the department chair/program director, and the dean of the academic division in which the course is given.

During final examinations week, an instructor may not reschedule a regularly scheduled class examination except in extraordinary circumstances, in which case an attempt should be made to reschedule the examination at a later time rather than an earlier time if possible. Rescheduling any class final examination requires the instructor to obtain the consent of the department chair/program director and the dean of the academic division in which the course is given.

To request a change in final examination time, complete the appropriate form  which is available on the Office of Registrar website.  This form must include a signature from the appropriate department chair/program director and academic dean.

Examinations and Additional Class Requirements during the Semester

Examinations and additional class requirements given other than during scheduled class meetings and the final examination periods do not take precedence over regularly scheduled classes or final examinations.

In order that students might avoid scheduling conflicts, such examinations and additional class requirements should be scheduled on a course management system prior to the beginning of a semester. If it becomes necessary during the semester to hold an examination or class requirement other than during the scheduled class meeting, the instructor should search for a time which does not conflict with other scheduled courses in which any of his or her students are enrolled. For students whose participation in regularly scheduled classes precludes attendance at the additional examination or class requirement time, it is the responsibility of the instructor requiring the examination and/or additional class requirement to provide an alternative meeting time.

Preparation of Examinations

Examinations should not be repeated from year to year in identical form. No undergraduate student shall be employed to type or reproduce any examination questions. After an examination has been reproduced, the instructor must make sure that the reproduction office has returned all copies and other evidence.

Administering Examinations

Whenever there is congestion in a classroom during hour examinations, the chair of the department should, if possible, assign more than one proctor. Whenever feasible each student should be seated so that vacant chairs surround him or her or alternate examinations should be given to students sitting side by side. Whenever possible, the Office of the Registrar will assign larger rooms upon request.

Proctoring of Examinations

Every test, quiz, and examination shall be carefully proctored. A proctor may consider it his or her right to require students to deposit all textbooks, notebooks, and loose paper of any sort in the front of the room whenever the full period is devoted to a test.

See MUPIM 10.3; Student Handbook 1.4.

Course Changes

Guidelines for Submission of a Course Change

A proposal for revisions of an existing course shall first be approved by the department or program, after consultation with other departments or programs where appropriate. These course changes must be submitted to the division for approval. Upon approval by the division, these course changes will appear on the University Senate Consent Calendar and become official at the close of the Senate meeting in which the course change is received. Divisions are responsible for reviewing all Senate consent calendar items prior to the University Senate meeting.

Significant Course Changes

The following revisions to an existing course are considered significant:

  • change in student learning outcomes or other significant course content change;
  • any change in credit hours;
  • permanently deleting a course (see also “Deleting a Course”).

Significant course changes must be submitted for approval by the following bodies.

Approving Body

Undergraduate

Graduate

Department or Program

*

*

Division

*

*

Council of Academic Deans

*

*

University Senate

*

*

 

See MUPIM 11.1.B.

Procedure for Deletion of Courses from List of Courses

By January 1 of each academic year, the Office of the Registrar will notify via an electronic report the appropriate chair or director and dean of any courses that have not been offered for the past three and one-half years.   No action will be taken on these courses at this point in time.  If the courses on this list are not offered by the following January 1, at the four and one-half years mark, they will be removed from the Bulletin listing of courses.  By March 1 of this fifth year, the chair or director with the approval of the appropriate academic dean may submit to the Office of the Registrar a written justification for retaining the course on the list of active University courses for one additional year. The course will remain active for an additional (sixth) year and be deleted during the following year, if not offered.  Failure to supply such justification by March 1 of the fifth year of a course not being offered will result in the deletion of the course from the Bulletin list of active University courses. A department or program wishing to offer a course that has been deleted must follow the procedures for approval of a new course before the course may be offered again.

See MUPIM 11.1.D.

Course Scheduling

Guidelines for Course Scheduling

The primary objective of class scheduling is student access to required classes by optimizing space utilization throughout the week. Equally critical is a scheduling plan so faculty can remain vibrant, current, and active in their research pursuits.

Toward these ends, the following guidelines are used by the University for scheduling:

  • Spread utilization throughout the week and across all times of the day;
  • Match section enrollment to room capacity;
  • Utilize standard timeblock meeting patterns;
  • Match faculty needs with classroom technology.

Scheduling Policies

1.       Timeblock Adherence:  Miami University classes should meet in an approved scheduling timeblock based upon the “Standard Timeblock Model.” The timeblock form and a template for developing a departmental schedule are available on the Office of the Registrar website.
2.       Spread of Classes across Timeblocks. Departments must distribute full term and sprint classes utilizing all timeblocks throughout the day as much as possible without reusing previously scheduled day timeblocks.
3.       Final Examination Week. Please confer the section on Examinations in this manual as well as the Office of the Registrar website for final exam week information including Group Exam guidelines, moving exam times, and student exam time conflicts.  All Miami campuses utilize the same final exam grid.

  1. Approving the Class Schedule. Approval rests with each division throughout all steps of the process, including after each term’s schedule has been developed and registration has begun. Consult the appropriate division for specific guidelines.
  2. Coordinating Offerings. Departments should consult with one another and across divisions to coordinate the scheduling of classes shared between and among various student majors. A “Common Courses Report” serves as a reference document and is available upon request from the Office of the Registrar.
  3. Reports. Various reports will be generated by the Office of the Registrar to provide data regarding issues - such as the spread of classes across days – and distributed to the departments, divisions, and Provost throughout the process in support of the Miami University Class Scheduling Policy – Oxford Campus.

General Procedures

Scheduling Process

All course requests and changes must be made to the registration offices via email from the departmental secretary or scheduling coordinator, with the approval of the division. The process includes term scheduling and registration timelines which outline dates and deadlines for schedule development and registration deadlines based upon approved timeblocks and part of term (sprint) dates.

All course changes must be requested to the Office of the Registrar via email from the departmental secretary or scheduling coordinator.

Room Scheduling

Academic classroom room scheduling, which is a unit in the Office of the Registrar handles the scheduling of all rooms across the University for classes, examinations, final examinations, review sessions, workshops, orientation, meetings, conferences, and special events. Records and registration offices on the regional campuses schedules those locations.

For scheduling of courses, please review the guidelines for scheduling in this manual. 

Room requests are made online on the Office of Registrar’s website.  Emergency and same day requests must also be requested via the online room request form.