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Faculty urged to consider re-weighting examinations

A newly implemented hand-sanitizing station in the Rockefeller Dining Hall. Photo Credit: Caitlin Limestahl / The Daily Princetonian
A newly implemented hand-sanitizing station in the Rockefeller Dining Hall. Photo Credit: Caitlin Limestahl / The Daily Princetonian

Faculty has been urged to consider re-weighting midterm examinations in grading rubrics, University Spokesperson Ben Chang confirmed to The Daily Princetonian.

“The campus is confronting an enormous disruption. We’re trying to adjust as quickly as possible and urge you to work with us and your students to mitigate the effects of the crisis on your students’ academic work,” Dean of the College Jill Dolan wrote in a note to all faculty. “Adjusting your expectations and procedures for mid-terms would help a lot.”

Last night, Jacqueline Xu ’22 and Addie Jung ’22 began circulating a petition on change.org requesting that the University modify its midterm policy due to the impacts of COVID-19. Within a half hour, the petition had over 1,300 signatures, and it has 2,977 as of 1:45 p.m.

Pointing to the stress imposed by the COVID-19 outbreak, the petition “ask[s] that the University considers reevaluating the weight of this semester’s midterms or postponing them.”

“This will grant students the opportunity to prioritize their health and safety, without the pressure of upholding Princeton’s typical academic standards,“ the petition concluded.

Then, today, the student organizers released an update claiming that University faculty received an email about “ways [they] can be flexible for midterm grading.”

Chang confirmed that such a message was sent to all faculty. Specifically, faculty members have been urged to re-weight the midterm examination in grading rubrics “to acknowledge student stress and confusion.”

The message also included language on how faculty members could apply the guidance of social distancing to exam administration and pointed to the McGraw Center’s remote teaching resources.

It mentioned the possibilities of administering exams online using Blackboard or Canvas and allowing students to pick up the exam and take it elsewhere.

Upwards of 20 exams originally scheduled to take place in person have already moved to online or take-home format, according to compiled student sources.

This story is breaking and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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