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Frequently Asked Questions - Instructors

What do I need to do if I want to keep a student's paper to share with another class?

Policy on Student Academic Creations

September 26, 2005

The ownership of student works submitted in fulfillment of academic requirements shall be with the creator(s) with the following exception: upon request of the creators, the University shall determine ownership of works created from research or development activities that are collaborative efforts involving students, faculty or staff, or spanning several semesters. The student by enrolling in the University gives the University a nonexclusive royalty-free license to mark on, modify, retain the work as may be required by the process of instruction, or otherwise handle the work as set out in the University's Intellectual Property Policy or in the course syllabus. The University shall not have the right to use the work in any other manner without the written consent of the creator(s). Where the creation is part of any ongoing research or development project, the involved faculty or staff shall have the right to use and to modify the creation for use within that project and related research projects without additional consent of the creator(s).

Wording to Be Used on English Department Course Syllabi:

Since one of the aims of this course is to teach students to write for specific audiences, ungraded student-authored work may be shared with other class members during the semester in which you are enrolled in the class. Please do not submit materials on sensitive subjects that you would not want your classmates to see or read, unless you inform the instructor in advance that you do not want your work shared with others.

Other uses of student-authored work are subject to the University's Policy on Intellectual Property and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. If your instructor desires to use your work outside of this class (e.g. as a sample for another class or future classes), you will be asked to fill out and sign a written form authorizing such use.

What is the new academic misconduct policy?

Procedures for Addressing Academic Misconduct:

1. When an instructor determines that a student has violated academic integrity, the instructor may charge the student with academic misconduct. The instructor must complete the Charge of Misconduct form (which is provided by the college and can be obtained from the Associate Director of FSE or the Director of FSE) within 10 calendar days of the discovery of the misconduct.

2. The first step in charging the student with misconduct before giving the form to the student is to see either the Associate Director or Director of First- and Second-year English (for GTAs and Lecturers) or the Associate Chair or Chair (full-time faculty) to consult about an appropriate penalty and recieve a copy of the form. Instructors should include copies of the evidence of misconduct to be forwarded to the College with the forms in case the student has a hearing later for another case of misconduct. The instructor signs and dates the form.

(The recommended sanctions for this charge must be decided on the charges' merits. Then, the Department will check to see if the student has committed academic misconduct before and recommend a more severe charge as a second step.)

3. The Chair adjusts the charge if the student has committed misconduct before and then signs the form. The signature of the Chair indicates awareness of the charging instructor's charge, not necessarily agreement with the charging instructor's recommendations. If the Chair is the charging instructor, the Associate Chair signs on behalf of the Department.

4. When the form is signed by the Chair and the instructor, the instructor should give the form and the statement of the Academic Misconduct policy to the student or inform him/her by e-mail that he/she needs to come in and sign it. Note that the student has 10 days to decide whether or not to sign the form, so if the student wants to take the form home and think about it, he or she may do so. In this case, the instructor should give a copy of the form to the Associate Directory of FSE. If the student does not respond to the instructor's attempts to contact him or her or is not available (i. e. the offense is discovered after the last class meeting or final exam), the Department will send the form to the student by Certified Mail. The student has 10 days to return the form; if the form is not returned, the student is presumed to accept guilt.

5. If the proposed sanction is Censure, Reduction of Grade for the Assignment, or Reduction of Grade for the course, and the student denies the charge, the FSE Director (if the instructor is a GTA or Lecturer) or the Associate Chair (if the instructor is a member of Senior Staff) will meet with the student to mediate. This mediation consists of talking to both the student and instructor separately to decide whether they want to continue the process. The student must be informed that he or she may continue the process and request a departmental hearing. The instructor is also able to request that the hearing be held.

6. If a hearing is held at the departmental level, the hearing panel will consist of a three person faculty committee including the Associate Chair or FSE Director (whichever one has not tried to mediate the case). If the instructor is a part-time faculty member, the other members will be the Associate Director of FSE and a member of the GTAL Committee. If the instructor is a member of Senior Staff, the other members will be the Chair and a member of the Advisory Committee on the Senior Staff. Present at the hearing will be the faculty panel, the instructor, and the student. All hearings must be audio recorded.

7. For more severe sanctions (including Transcript Citation of Academic Misconduct, Suspension from the University or Expulsion), a hearing will be held at the college level whether the student accepts or denies the charges.

8. If a charge of academic misconduct is pending during an end of semester grade submission deadline, the instructor should temporarily assign a grade of "WG" to the student.

What criteria are used to decide which 203 proposals are accepted?

The Director of FSE reviews 203 proposals and considers whether the proposed topic overlaps other offerings (to generate a wide range of topics from which students may choose), whether the topic will be of interest to a general audience (beyond English majors), and whether a teacher has taught the class before (giving preference to new topics and new teachers). Examples of successful proposals can be found on the FSE Blackboard Teaching Site.

Who is eligible to teach 300-level courses?

If the Associate Chair of the English department does not have enough faculty members to teach sections at the 300- and 400-level, the Director of FSE recommends part-time faculty to teach these courses. Teachers for these courses are chosen based on qualifications and knowledge of the subject matter. Teachers who are interested in being considered for one of these courses should write a letter to the Director indicating their interest, qualifications, and experience. Note: Some of these courses are taught at the Edwards campus. To teach at the Edwards campus, a GTA must have passed his or her comprehensive examination for the PhD.

What do I do if I want to select a different textbook or propose a different course for 101 or 102?

You would need to petition the Director, explaining your proposed course design and textbook choices and how their conception fits the stated goals of 101 or 102.

What are the chances that I can teach a course in the summer?

This is the 10 point scale by which priority for summer teaching is determined. Assignments for 300-level courses are determined by qualifications of instructor and number of points. First-year teachers are qualified to teach 101 and 102.

What should I do if I must be absent from teaching a class?

To fulfill the terms of their contracts, part-time lecturers and GTAs must gain approval from the Director for any anticipated absence involving their missing one or more class meetings. If you anticipate an absence, please contact the Director or Associate Director and fill out an Absence Report Form and submit it to Lori Whitten. Teachers should try to arrange for substitutes to cover classes when they are gone instead of canceling class. Unanticipated absences such as those occasioned by a sudden illness or a family emergency, insofar as is reasonably possible, should be handled by asking a colleague to cover a class. Only as a last resort should the English department staff be asked to dismiss a class. If you inadvertently miss a class, you should contact Lori Whitten at the very first opportunity so that your students can be notified. If you post on Blackboard canceling a class, you must also notify the Director that the class has been canceled.

What should I tell students who want to add my class?

If you are teaching 101 or 102, you should ask students to add an open class that fits their schedule. If the student cannot find an open class and you allow them to attend yours (provided that you have students enrolled who are not attending), you may ask Lydia Ash to give the student permission to enroll in your section. If you are teaching a 200-level course, you may ask Lydia Ash to generate permission numbers for you if you want to add a student or two to your class. Be careful not to exceed the maximum course size by many, as these are writing courses and the grading can be very time-consuming. It also makes it difficult to argue that these courses need to be kept small if some teachers over-fill sections.

What do I do if I suspect a student may have a learning disability?

Students must self-identify as having a disability to receive accommodations at KU. If a student tells you that he or she has a disability, you may refer them to Disability Resources. If you receive a letter from Disability Resources you should discuss the proposed accommodations with the student privately, and you may confer with the Director or Associate Director of FSE if you have questions. If a teacher suspects, based on a review of a students' work, that a student has a learning disability, the teacher should contact The Director or Associate Director for support.

What should I do about disruptive/harassing students?

If a student is behaving inappropriately in or out of the classroom, please discuss his or her behavior with The Associate Director or Director as soon as possible. Please also be sure to document any disturbing incidents by describing the behavior, dates, names, and circumstances. Keep copies of any written evidence of behavior. If disruptive behavior occurs in class, especially if it is threatening, ask the student to leave class immediately, and notify the Associate Director or Director as soon as possible.

What should I do if a student stops attending my class but doesn't withdraw?

You should probably e-mail the student to remind him or her of your attendance policy. If the student does not withdraw and appears on your grade roster at the end of the semester, you should assign the student the grade of F.

What do I do if I suspect a student has plagiarized a paper?

You should bring the paper, along with any evidence you have that supports your suspicions (you may want to do a preliminary Internet search for key phrases) to the Director or Associate Director. We will discuss the extent of the plagiarism and possible penalties and talk over strategies for confronting the student.

How late can a student withdraw from my class?

According to the university withdrawal policy (USRR 2.2.5):

The withdrawal period is divided into three instructional-day time segments (dates for each semester's periods are available on the Academic Calendar):

Period 1: First 15 instructional days of the semester (3 weeks)
Period 2: 16th instructional day through 60th instructional day (weeks 4-10)
Period 3: 61st instructional day through last day of classes

During Period 1, a student may withdraw from a course by notifying the dean to cancel enrollment. The course will not appear on the student's record.

During Period 2, a student seeing to withdraw from a course must first obtain a drop form signed by the instructor (or agent) and then notify the dean. The instructor must mark the course either "WP" (if the student's current performance is equivalent to a letter grade of A, B, C or D) or "WF" (if current performance is equivalent to a letter grade of F). The grade (WP or WF) will appear on the student's academic record but will not be included in computing the grade point average.

During Period 3, a student cannot withdraw from a course. The course grade will be determined by the student's overall academic performance.

After a student completes a course and a letter grade has been assigned, including an "Incomplete" where appropriate, retroactive withdrawal from the class is not allowed.

What should I do if a student asks for an Incomplete?

An Incomplete is for rare occasions when a student has been completing acceptable work for the semester but for serious reasons is unable to complete a precisely definable amount of work during the semester of enrollment. If a student has missed many class periods and asks for an Incomplete, you should advise them to withdraw from the class instead and complete it at another time. If you are considering assigning an Incomplete, you need to consult with the Associate Director or Director.

What do I do if someone other than a student wants to discuss a student's grade?

Requests for information about a student's grades or progress in a course from anyone except University officials must be denied because of federal privacy laws. If you hear from parents, fraternities and sororities, government agencies or anyone else who wants to discuss a student's progress, please refer them to the Associate Director or Director. An exception would be athletes, who sign a waiver authorizing release of information to Student Support Services - the academic advising arm of Intercollegiate Athletics - but not to coaches. If you receive any request for information on a student' progress, please contact the Associate Director or Director.

What happens if a student wants to appeal a grade?

Students who are unhappy about their grades should discuss these grades with their instructors. If this conference does not resolve the conflict, a student should be encouraged to contact the Associate Director about appealing the grade. According to the University's grade appeal policy, students may appeal grades only if they can argue that a teacher did not adhere to his or her announced standards, and these appeals go to the Director of FSE. Grade appeals must be for the course grade and not individual assignments. You will be informed of the results of any such appeal.

What training do new teachers undergo?

All new GTAs are required to attend a pre-semester orientation and to take English 801: Study and Teaching of Writing and English 802: Practicum in the Teaching of College English during their first year of teaching in the Department.

How are Graduate Teaching Assistants evaluated?

In their first year, GTAs are reviewed by their 801 teaching mentor and 802 instructor. In subsequent years, GTAs are assigned a teaching advisor, a member of the full-time faculty whose task is to become familiar with the work of the GTA, advise the GTA about teaching issues, and to give feedback about the quality of teaching. In the fall semester all experienced GTAs will meet with their teaching advisors and decide which semester would best work for the review of a complete set of graded papers and a class visit. The GTA will be evaluated based solely on class evaluations indicating if the GTA's work is satisfactory for the other semester.

How are Lecturers evaluated?

The University requires that all raises be based solely on performance, so all Lecturers are asked to submit materials each April to demonstrate the quality of their teaching. These materials are reviewed by a sub-committee of the GTAL committee, whose evaluations, along with the Director's own review of the materials, will form the basis of the Director's assignment of salaries for the next academic year. In addition to performance reviews, Lecturers will have their teaching evaluated through a periodic review. During the first semester of teaching, and thereafter at least once every six semesters, a member of the GTAL committee with a rank above Lecturer will visit a class taught by each Lecturer and examine a complete set of the Lecturer's graded papers. The results of this review will be added to the Lecturer's file.

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