Course & Exam Scheduling
Courses should be scheduled in adherence with the University's allowable meeting patterns. You may also want to review the Class Meeting Patterns information and Classroom Scheduling Policy. Once the course schedule is set, the Registrar's Office, in conjunction with the Student Services Manager (SSM), will allocate a room. Make sure the SSM knows your room preferences such as size/capacity, technology needs, black/white boards, etc. Note that sometimes instructors are assigned rooms that are not ideal. This happens more so when your class is scheduled during peak times, which are between 10am and 2pm, approximately. You can ask the SSM to look for another room, but it is not always possible to find one. Instructors may search for and review rooms on 25Live (SUNet log-in required), the University's room scheduling resource, using the "Locations" tab. The SSM will be happy to provide you with a quick navigation tutorial!
Dead Week/End Quarter Period: during the last week before final exams, classes are held as usual despite student rumors to the contrary!
Depending on which day(s) of the week you teach, you may encounter University holidays which could reduce your overall teaching hours in any given quarter. Classes may not be held on official University holidays unless the School of Humanities and Sciences has granted an exemption. All classrooms are otherwise closed during holidays and may not be scheduled. No Registrar’s Scheduling Office services or facilities are available when the University is closed. It is not required that you have make-up sessions for missed classes. Scheduling a make-up session can be challenging given the hectic schedules of our student body, so offering an additional optional session will likely be the best you can do.
Given our diverse student body, instructors can reasonably expect that a student may have a conflict between a class and a religious holiday. The Office for Religious and Spiritual Life offers the following guidance:
The university administration has always been helpful in facilitating communication and encouraging respect and understanding when there are academic calendar conflicts with religious holy days. Most instructors will be cooperative and flexible regarding students’ religious observance when they receive appropriate and early communication. If a student is planning NOT to attend class or take an exam because of a religious holiday, he or she should convey this information to instructors in advance so that the student will not be disadvantaged as a result of religious practice.
Most classrooms are scheduled by the Registrar’s office. Classroom descriptions and schedules can be accessed online via the 25Live scheduling system. If there’s a problem with the scheduled room for your course, work with the SSM to see if there are other options. One of the best ways to prepare for your class is to visit the room ahead of time and test out any media devices that you may need. If you encounter any technical problems during class, you can contact Classroom Support.
In addition, the department owns four rooms in Sequoia Hall that are regularly used for office hours, make-up exams and meetings. These are Room 105, The (Girshick) Library; room 220, 'The Fishbowl'; room 207, Bowker Seminar Room; and room 200, the Classroom (only scheduled by the department from 4:15pm onwards). To reserve time in 105, 220 or 207, please use the department's Room Request Form.
You are not required to have a midterm exam for your course. If you are holding one, you should inform students of the date during the first week of classes and ensure it is noted on the syllabus and on Canvas. Midterms are generally held during the fifth and sixth week of the quarter, at the same time and in the same location as one of the regular classes.
Final exams are scheduled by the Registrar's Office, which also assign the rooms: the final exam policy is available from their site as well as the exam schedule for any quarter. If this is the first time you are teaching the course, check with the SSM early in the quarter to see whether the default for the course is to have a final exam. This can be changed according to your preference. You can also choose whether to have alternate seating for the students, i.e., an empty seat between each of them.
Alternatives to University-assigned final exams (in three-hour time slots) include take-home exams, take-home papers, projects, final class presentations and in-class exams during the one- to two-hour regular class period. If an alternate space is needed, contact the SSM. If you need to schedule an exam time outside of the pre-assigned time slot, note that you cannot do so during the End-Quarter Period. For take-home exams, the earliest you can require that the students submit their work is the scheduled end time for your course's assigned final exam time slot. The latest submission time could be at the end of the overall final exam period.
Summer Final Exams: Note that the process for obtaining a room for final exams in summer quarter is different. While there is still a schedule set by the Registrar's Office, rooms are not automatically assigned and so you must request one from the SSM.
Consistent with Stanford's Honor Code, 'The faculty on its part manifests its confidence in the honor of its students by refraining from proctoring examinations’. Some instructors (or TAs) choose to remain in close proximity to the exam room (eg on a chair in the hallway) for the duration of the exam so that they are available should students have questions or need clarification. At the very least, the instructor/TA should be available for a few minutes at the start and end of the exam, and at intervals during the exam. If they return to another location, they should ensure that students know where to find them.
Exam Schedule Accommodations
In general, faculty members are discouraged from giving final examinations earlier than the published and announced times. If faculty nevertheless decide to administer early examinations, the questions should either be completely different from those on the regularly scheduled examination or the early examination should be administered in a highly controlled setting. An example of such a setting would be a campus seminar room where the examination questions would be collected along with students’ work and students would be reminded of their Honor Code obligations not to share information about the examination contents. Giving students easy opportunities to abuse the integrity of an examination is unfair to honest students and inconsistent with the spirit of the Honor Code. Note that, per the Honor code, 'administered in a highly controlled setting' does not extend to proctoring: 'the faculty on its part manifests its confidence in the honor of its students by refraining from proctoring examinations'.
Note that the process for obtaining a room for final exams in summer quarter is different. While there is still a schedule set by the Registrar's Office, rooms are not automatically assigned and so you must request one from the SSM.
To view your exam schedule:
- Login to AXESS
- Select: Teaching Tab
- Select: View Class Schedule
- Select: Term
- Select: View Weekly Exam Schedule
(If your course is not set to have a final exam, you won't have this link.)
In any quarter, if a student requests an alternative testing environment based on a disability, please review Exam Accommodations for Students from the Office of Accessible Education. If students request alternate arrangements for any other reason, please confer with the SSM.
"Blue books" are notebooks generally used for students to write out their answers during midterms and finals; your TA can supply these. If you don't have a TA, ask the SSM.
Retention of Exams
Per the H&S guidelines, exams that are not collected by the student at the end of the course should be kept for at least one quarter. In cases where the student received a grade of “I” (Incomplete) or “GNR” (Grade Not Reported), exams should be retained for one year. Note that these are only guidelines, and the final decision is at the discretion of the instructor.
Faculty usually have at least two hours per week of assigned office hours, as should TAs for any course. You may use your own office, or if you prefer an alternate/larger room you may request one via the department's Room Request Form.
Crosslisted courses, for example Stats60/Psych10, have only one primary department (in this case Stats). The department chair approves all crosslisting requests, whether Stats is/would be the primary department or not. Considerations for crosslisting requests include TA availability and whether the course may count towards the instructor's teaching load for departments in question. Please consult Stanford's Standards for Crosslisting Courses.