- Grading System
- Posting Grades
- Final Grade Reports
- Change of Grades and Deferred Grades
- Appeal of Grade
- Grading Guidelines (Faculty of Public Affairs only)
The University uses the following letter grade scale, and percentage equivalents, which should be used to calculate final course grades:
PLEASE NOTE: If you calculate grades in a way that deviates from the University grading system, such as by curving the grades (a practice that is discouraged), the alternative grading scheme must be carefully detailed in the course outline and clearly communicated to students at the beginning of the course. Instructors are also advised to confirm in advance with their Faculty’s Associate Dean that any proposed alternative grading scheme is appropriate and consistent with University regulations.
The following additional final course grades may be assigned by instructors:
GNA Grade not available. This interim notation is assigned only after consultation with the Dean’s Office, and indicates that the grade for this course is not available. This notation is replaced with the appropriate grade for the course as soon as it is available. Note that this notation is not to be used as a temporary mark as a result of informal deferrals. In those cases, you must calculate a final letter grade based on a mark of 0 for any unsubmitted work.
SAT Satisfactory performance in an ungraded program requirement or option. This grade can be assigned only in courses that are designated to be graded on this basis.
UNS Unsatisfactory performance in an ungraded program requirement or option. This grade can be assigned only in courses that are designated to be graded on this basis.
IP In Progress – this grade should only be assigned when: At the undergraduate level, an undergraduate thesis or honours research essay has not been completed by the end of the period of registration. At the graduate level, a graduate thesis, research essay, independent research project or comprehensive examination has not been completed by the end of the period of registration. The IP notation may also be used at the graduate level when a research seminar has not been completed by the end of the period of registration provided the research seminar has been approved by Graduate Faculty Board as being eligible for the use of this notation. In the case of re-registration in any of the above courses, the IP notation will remain; a final grade will normally be assigned in the final period of registration. Where there is no re-registration in any of the above courses, the IP notation must be replaced with an appropriate notation or grade within the prescribed time period, or be replaced by a notation of WDN.
You are encouraged to make grades on coursework available to students exclusively through the Brightspace gradebook as this is the official mode of communicating results to students. You should refrain from posting final letter grades on Brightspace until they have been approved by the Dean. Course outlines must include a note to the effect that grades are tentative until approved by the Dean. Encourage your students to check their final grades on Carleton Central, as final marks are no longer mailed out. To protect confidentiality, please do not post grades on your office door or release grades to students over the telephone or by email.
Final grades are submitted electronically through the E-Grades system. All final grades have a submission deadline and meeting this deadline is essential to the timely generation of Academic Standing decisions and the efficient handling of graduation. If for any reason the deadline must be missed, you must establish alternate arrangements through your chair/director, and the Associate Dean (Academic) of your Faculty must be informed in writing.
NOTE: If students have not submitted assignments in time for you to meet the deadline, please submit the grades anyway. You can assign an interim grade to such students, calculated by assigning a grade of F or of 0 (zero) to the deferred work, and then calculate a grade that reflects work submitted up to that point. If the students in question subsequently submit the missing assignment(s), you will be able to change their final grade using the Change of Grade function in the E-Grades system. Please DO NOT enter a grade of GNA or IP for such students; those notations are only to be used in special circumstances as noted above.
Visit the E-Grades web page to access documentation and training materials on the E-Grades submission/approval process.
The Change of Grade function in the E-Grades system provides a means for mistakes in the grading process, informal appeals, and assessment of approved deferred term work to be rectified within an appropriate period of time. Legitimate reasons for change are required. As of Fall 2020, instructors may enter grade changes in E-Grades for up to six months following the end of the examination period. After that time, requests for grade changes must be sent with an explanation directly to the instructor’s Chair/Director to be forwarded for approval to the appropriate Associate Dean.
The Deferred Grades function in the E-Grades system allows instructors to post grades when formally scheduled deferred final examinations and take-home examinations have been completed.
A student has a right to have his or her grade reviewed, and an instructor has an obligation to conduct such a review. If this informal process fails to resolve all outstanding issues, a student may file a formal appeal of grade with the Registrar’s Office. That formal appeal is decided by the faculty Dean, whose decision is final. The relevant academic regulations are reproduced below:
Academic Regulation 3.3.4 specifies the rules and procedures regarding informal appeals. Instructors should be aware of the following:
- Wherever possible, both during the term and after, concerns about the grading of student work should be settled informally between the student and the instructor. As a result of this informal appeal, the original grade may be raised, lowered or left unchanged.
- Students have the right to have questions regarding their grades addressed and to view all material, including material that has not been returned such as final examinations. In cases where a student has concerns regarding the determination of their final grade, the instructor shall provide the student with a list of their grades on all components of the course and a description of how their final grade was calculated.
- Students should initiate this process within seven working days of the day on which the official grade in question was made available. The informal appeal process should address the concern within 15 working days of the day on which the grade was made available through Carleton Central.
A student may submit a formal appeal of grade when the informal appeal process has not addressed their concerns. The appeal must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office with required supporting documentation, normally within 20 working days of the day on which the grade was made available to the student, or the informal appeal process was completed (if applicable). The resolution of an appeal of grade is the responsibility of the Dean of the Faculty offering the course. The appeal must be specific to one or more graded components of the course and/or the calculation of the final grade.
On receiving a formal appeal from the Registrar’s Office, the Faculty Dean may decide not to proceed with the appeal if, in the opinion of the Dean, reasonable grounds have not been established as a basis for the appeal. Circumstances that may result in a decision not to proceed may include, for example, cases where the Dean determines that the informal process has adequately addressed the student’s concerns or where the Dean determines that a reasonable expectation of error or bias in the original grade has not been established. If the Dean decides not to proceed with the appeal, the student will be informed of the reasons for the decision.
In proceeding with an appeal, the Dean may assign reassessment of the work to one or more qualified readers other than the instructor. In this case, the identity of the reader(s) will not be made known to the appellant and the identity of the appellant will not be made known to the reader(s). After due consultation, the Dean, as chief academic officer of the Faculty, will assign the grade. The decision of the Dean is final. As a result of this formal appeal process, the original grade may be raised, lowered or left unchanged. The student will be given a concise explanation of the decision.
The Faculty of Public Affairs publishes a set of grading guidelines, to provide guidance to instructors about the expectations relating to grade distribution in undergraduate programs.
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