COVID-19 Update: March 23, 2020 | 7:30 pm

To our U of T Engineering graduate students

As I mentioned in my email on Friday, I want to share the plan for adjusted final assessments and grading that are specific to graduate courses. We have heard the concerns from students about timing of final assessments, worries over unreliable internet access, and questions around ensuring that accommodation and accessibility needs can still be met.

As always, our Faculty’s primary aim is to support our students to complete this term by providing you with the best possible learning and assessment experience that we can. Due to the advanced nature of the materials covered, graduate courses typically have significant flexibility in terms of modes of assessment and usually have a greater emphasis on projects. Consequently, we are asking instructors to develop alternatives to final exams, now called final assessments, that let students best reflect their learning in each course, using guidelines that include:

  • In the development of these plans the Faculty expects that all course instructors will consult with students in their courses in appropriate ways.
    • Instructors will then put the proposed option to a student vote. With the approval by a simple majority of those who vote, the course can move forward with the proposed plan.
  • For consistency, the Faculty suggests that courses use one or a combination of the following approaches for the final assessment:
    • Take-home exams,
    • Assignments,
    • Report, essay, project, presentations
    • Quercus online quizzes
  • In designing their plans, instructors will consider solutions that support Academic Accommodations and Academic Integrity.

For this Winter 2020, the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) has extended the deadline for students enrolled in graduate courses to drop their course (full year and winter courses) without penalty until April 25, 2020. Unlike in undergraduate programs where it was already an option in place, the option to include on transcripts a letter grade as normal, or opt for a Credit or No Credit (CR/NCR) does not currently exist in graduate programs at U of T and at most universities in Canada. SGS is currently investigating this option to make this available in some graduate courses in a retroactive manner as it cannot be implemented immediately in our systems due to regulatory issues and processes related to changing academic programs.

I’ll keep you updated should we get additional details from SGS.


Christopher Yip
Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
University of Toronto

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