The new policy was enacted in response to questions and concerns raised by Elon faculty, students and staff due to the extraordinary circumstances created by the coronavirus outbreak.
Elon has adopted a new policy for spring 2020 undergraduate courses to allow students to elect to take any or all of their courses this semester pass/fail. If a student does not designate a course pass/fail, the student will receive a letter grade.
The new policy was adopted in response to questions and concerns raised by Elon faculty, students and staff due to the extraordinary circumstances created by the coronavirus outbreak. Representatives from Academic Council worked with the academic deans, the provost’s office, and other colleagues to consider options and to develop a plan that meets the needs of students and aligns with Elon’s academic commitments.
In a message to the campus community, Provost Aswani Volety and Professor Catherine Chiang, chair of Academic Council, noted that the policy does not make all undergraduate courses pass/fail, as some institutions are done. Students can make a decision to receive a letter grade or a pass/fail grade on a course-by-course basis.
Volety and Chiang explained that the policy is based on three central pillars:
- Faculty expertise: Under this policy, faculty will continue to teach and grade how they see fit, drawing on their disciplinary and pedagogical expertise – and their relationships with students — to make decisions about how each course should unfold.
- Student agency: Under this policy, students have control over the form of their final grades for the semester. Students may elect to receive a letter grade or a pass/fail grade in each of their courses. The choice to designate any course pass/fail, and the responsibility for doing so, resides with the individual student.
- Institutional sustainability: Under this policy, the university can adapt existing academic practices and systems to meet the needs of students without creating an overwhelming burden on colleagues who must enact this policy.
The full message from Volety and Chiang is available here.
Students may find a list of FAQs about the policy and its implementation under the “Online Learning” tab of the Student Information page on the university’s COVID-19 Information site. Faculty members may find a list of FAQs about the policy and its implementation under the “Teaching Resources” tab of the Faculty Teaching Information page of the university’s COVID-19 Information site.
Questions about the policy should be directed to the academic deans or the Academic Council.