COVID-19 Emergency Policies Fall 2020

Housing Updates

Committee on Undergraduate Educational Policy (EPC) Updates

Extensions of Time
International Study Away
Privacy Policy
Simultaneous Enrollment
Language Requirement Deadline Extension
Course Administered Examinations
Pass/Fail Deadline

 

Due to the unique circumstances created by the COVID-19 public health emergency, housing assignments and arrangements for 2020-2021 and thereafter will depend on available capacity. It is possible that the College will have more students returning from a leave of absence or requirement to withdraw and seeking undergraduate residential housing than can be accommodated, and the College may not be able to house all returning students.  In the event there is excess demand for housing in 2020–2021 or thereafter, Harvard will establish and share a process by which students returning from a leave of absence or requirement to withdraw may apply for undergraduate residential housing.

 

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee on Undergraduate Educational Policy (EPC) announced updates to certain Handbook policies. Below are those updates.

 

July 3, 2020 Extensions of time policy

For the Fall 2020 semester, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, students may petition the Administrative Board for an extension of time up until January 15 to complete required work in a course, including laboratories, problem sets, or papers. In cases where the Administrative Board has in advance granted an extension of time, a temporary notation of EXT will be made. EXT is a temporary notation; a final grade must be given upon the expiration of the extension.

July 15, 2020: International Student Study Away.

During academic year 2020-21 Harvard College international students may earn credit for work done at a local university in their country of residence. Institutions must be accredited and able to provide an official transcript or grade report upon completion of the term. All courses must adhere to a liberal arts and sciences curriculum and may not be pre-professional in nature. Earning credit for such study away will follow the same credit transfer policies as those applicable to study abroad.

For detailed information about study away, please visit the Office of International Education website.

August 12, 2020: Privacy Policy

The circumstances of remote teaching and learning require clear guidelines about the recording of class sessions by students and instructors. Course content and materials may be covered by copyrights held by the University or the instructor, and their unauthorized use may violate such copyrights as well as the privacy of other students in the course.

An overview of the University's privacy and recording guidance is here (and in more detail here).

Instructor Recordings

Instructors are encouraged to record course sessions to provide robust options for students in distant time zones without requiring them to attend live class meetings before 7:15 am or after 10:30 pm in their local time zone, and may also record course sessions to make them available for use later in the semester.

Students and instructors have reasonable expectations of privacy in regard to interactions in class as captured in such recordings. Further, recordings in which students are personally identifiable are subject to FERPA rules governing their distribution. For these reasons, course recordings should be made available on the Canvas site behind HarvardKey login so that they are available only to registered students and other members of the course community.

Student Publishing or Distribution of Course Materials

By attending course sessions remotely and accessing course recordings, students acknowledge that they may not post, publish, sell, or otherwise publicly distribute course materials without the written permission of the course instructor. Such materials include, but are not limited to, the following: video or audio recordings, assignments, problem sets, examinations, other students’ work, and answer keys.

Students who sell, post, publish, or distribute course materials without written permission, whether for the purposes of soliciting answers or otherwise, may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including requirement to withdraw from the College. Further, students may not make video or audio recordings of class sessions for their own use without written permission of the instructor.

Students needing course recordings as an accommodation should contact the Accessible Education Office (AEO).

August 13, 2020: Simultaneous Enrollment

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Harvard courses will be offered remotely, and many will offer options for students to view recorded lectures and engage synchronously with other elements of the course. As a result of this pedagogical shift, the faculty legislated policy on simultaneous enrollment will be suspended for the duration of remote teaching and learning. Students will be responsible for developing a reasonable schedule that will allow for attendance during all required synchronous components of each course.

September 8, 2020: Extended Timing for Language Requirement Completion

In order to provide maximum flexibility to students...for the academic year 2020-2021, the College will extend the deadline to complete the language requirement by one year for current sophomores and first-year students, giving them until before the start of their senior year to complete the requirement.

September 24, 2020: Course Administered Examinations

Due to Covid-19 dedensification of campus, all exams for Fall 2020-21 will be course-administered, including hourly, midterm, and final exams (which have previously been scheduled by the Registrar’s Office). The administration of hourly, midterm, and final examinations are, therefore, the responsibility of the instructor for Fall 2020-21; ordinarily, hourly and midterm exams should be scheduled during regular class meeting times, and, ordinarily, final exams are scheduled in the Exam Group date designated for each course.

Instructors may not schedule any exams beyond the end of Examination Period. Instructors may not grant extensions of time for written work or make-up exams beyond the end of examination period without approval by the Administrative Board.

Petitions to the Administrative Board (https://handbook.fas.harvard.edu/book/administrative-board-harvard-college) to allow students to complete make-up examinations beyond the end of the Examination Period will follow the Board’s procedures and deadlines for “Extensions of Time for Written Work.” Students who anticipate needing an extension of time beyond the end of Examination Period to complete make-ups of course-administered examinations should contact their Resident Dean to initiate the petition to the Administrative Board. Please note that, following the EPC Emergency Policies for Fall 2020, “in response to the coronavirus pandemic, students may petition the Administrative Board for an extension of time up until January 15 to complete required work in a course, including laboratories, problem sets, or papers.” https://handbook.fas.harvard.edu/book/covid-19-emergency-policies

Students granted extensions of time beyond the end of the Examination Period in two or more courses will not be allowed to enroll for the next term except by permission of the Administrative Board. Students granted extensions of time are not eligible to receive their degree until after final grades have been reported for all of their courses.

Students are responsible for learning the times of and links to exams in their courses and for arriving at their exams on time.

Accommodations

Undergraduate students with disabilities who are eligible for accommodations must have completed the registration process in advance with the Accessible Education Office, which will notify faculty of these eligibilities. Students who complete registration less than two weeks prior to an exam may not be able to receive accommodations on that exam if the accommodations are not feasible to provide in the available timeframe. Accommodations such as extended time and stop-the-clock breaks will be provided by the faculty proctors. AEO will not provide proctors, physical spaces, or other supports for accommodated exams. Students who utilize any form of assistive technology will do so independently, after consultation with the AEO, and faculty are not expected to provide laptops or software for students. For more specific information or questions about final exam accommodations, please contact aeo@fas.harvard.edu.

Examination Rules

Students should adhere to the following rules during course-administered examinations.

  • As has been Harvard College’s practice, academic dishonesty on all exams (whether hourly, midterm, final, Registrar-scheduled, or course-administered) will continue to be considered exam cheating. For violation of the examination rules or dishonesty in any examination, a student may be required to withdraw from the College.
  • During a remote proctored exam, students should ensure that they are in an appropriately private or semi-private space during the exam and that they and their workspace are viewable through the webcam.
  • During bathroom breaks, students must leave all exam course materials, calculators, and electronic devices at their desk. Students may not use computers, telephones (land line or cellular), tablets, or other communication devices during bathroom breaks.
  • Students may not communicate about the exam with other students, others in their local environment, or anyone other than course teaching staff while an exam is in progress.
  • Students may not refer to any books, papers, or online resources during an examination except with the express prior permission of the instructor or teaching staff.
  • Personal belongings must be put away and all mobile phones and other electronic devices should be turned off unless they are specifically approved for use by the course staff during the exam.
  • If there are multiple exam dates or times, students may not communicate with any other students, even those in their own exam seating, about the exam until all exam-taking dates are completed.
  • In case of an emergency during an exam, or a Zoom, power, or internet outage, students should communicate as promptly as possible with the course staff. In such cases, students should not discuss the contents of the exam or refer to any materials related to the exam until they have made arrangements with the course staff for how to proceed with the assignment.

Late Arrival to Examination

In the event that a student is late for the exam, the instructor may choose not to administer the exam and report the student as absent. Students who are late for a course-administered final exam should report directly to their instructor. In the event that a student is late to an exam due to a Zoom or internet outage, students should communicate as promptly as possible with the course staff and should not discuss the exam with any students who have begun the test. No one will be admitted to an examination more than 30 minutes after the start of the exam. Ordinarily, latecomers will not be allowed to make up lost time.

Absences for Course-Administered Exams

In accordance with Massachusetts law, students who are unable to participate in an examination as a consequence of their religious beliefs shall be provided with an opportunity to make up the examination, without penalty, provided that the make-up examination does not create an unreasonable burden on the College. It is the responsibility of the students concerned to provide instructors with the dates on which they will be absent because of a conflict with the religious holidays they will be observing.

If an instructor is satisfied that an absence for a reason other than religious observation is necessary, the instructor may elect to give a make-up examination before the last day of the Examination Period. The responsibility for such decisions during the term and until the last day of Examination Period rests with the instructor only, and not with the Dean’s Office, the Registrar’s Office, or the Administrative Board.

Any make-up examination that cannot be administered before the last day of the Examination Period, however, requires the approval of the Administrative Board https://handbook.fas.harvard.edu/book/administrative-board-harvard-college. Petitions to the Administrative Board to allow students to complete make-up examinations beyond the end of the Examination Period will follow the Board’s procedures and deadlines for “Extensions of Time for Written Work.” Students who anticipate needing an extension of time beyond the end of Examination Period to complete make-ups of course-administered examinations should contact their Resident Dean to initiate the petition to the Administrative Board. Please note that, following the EPC Emergency Policies for Fall 2020, “in response to the coronavirus pandemic, students may petition the Administrative Board for an extension of time up until January 15 to complete required work in a course, including laboratories, problem sets, or papers.” https://handbook.fas.harvard.edu/book/covid-19-emergency-policies

Instructors may also elect to offer an alternative assignment instead of a make-up exam, with the understanding that any course work turned in after the end of Examination Period would require approval of the Administrative Board as outlined above. If neither a make-up exam nor an alternative assignment can be offered, the final evaluation of the student’s work in the course may be determined from the remainder of the course work.

Medical Circumstances

Students who provide notice of their inability to take an exam for medical reasons may not be penalized for their absence from course-administered examinations provided that they have communicated with their instructor in a timely manner. In cases when a student is ill before an exam has begun, students are expected to write to their instructor and Resident Dean to request a make-up exam for medical reasons within the 24 hours before the exam is scheduled to begin, absent extenuating circumstances (for example, a student is hospitalized and unable to communicate).

The instructor may elect to give a makeup examination or elect to offer an alternative assignment instead of a make-up exam, with the understanding that any course work turned in after the end of Examination Period would require approval of the Administrative Board as outlined above.

If neither a make-up exam nor an alternative assignment can be offered, the exam may be omitted, and the final grade may be calculated based on the remainder of the course work. Regardless of the manner in which a student’s exam absence is resolved, whether through a make-up exam, alternate assignment, or waiver of the exam, the student cannot be penalized for the exam absence due to illness.

Medical documentation will ordinarily not be required as part of petitions to the Administrative Board for extensions of time until January 15, 2021. Students who anticipate needing to petition the Administrative Board for a further extension of time beyond January 15, 2021, however, should discuss with their Resident Dean what documentation may be necessary.

Illnesses During the Examination

Any student who becomes ill during an exam should report the illness immediately to a member of the course staff. Students will be instructed to seek care as appropriate. Students may not discuss the contents of the exam or refer to any materials related to the exam until they have made arrangements with the course staff for how to proceed with the exam. If possible, the instructor should allow the student to resume the exam when the illness has subsided. The instructor may also elect to give a makeup examination, offer an alternative assignment, or evaluate the student based on the remainder of the coursework, as outlined above under Medical Circumstances.

October 14, 2020: Extending the Deadline to Change Grading Status

For Fall 2020, the deadline to change the grading status of a course will be extended to Monday, November 16, or the eleventh Monday of the semester. Students will continue to be required to complete 84 satisfactory letter-graded credits for their degree, and first-year students and sophomores will continue to be expected to take three letter-graded courses per semester.