ASUI President Kallyn Mai and ASUI Senators discussed with the Faculty Senate a timely feedback plan for student grades. The faculty’s Senate covered COVID-19 vaccine updates and the elimination of two minors at the University of Idaho.
ASUI Academic Affairs Officer Savannah Stroebel, ASUI Senator Kayla Nguyen and Mai presented on timely feedback and the importance of faculty alerting students to their progress in class.
“The timely feedback is that students want to know what their progress is in their academic performance in their classes,” Stroebel said. “This is a problem that has been with ASUI for a long time and we really hope to make progress with it.”
Stroebel said the goal of resolving feedback errors in a timely manner is to let students know what their grades are, while streamlining the process for faculty.
Student retention was one of the main areas of concern in the timely feedback. Mai said students would be more inclined to pursue their academic careers if they know where their rankings or grades are in classes.
“We just really need to connect with the students so that they are successful and feel their time is valuable enough to keep coming back and completing their studies,” said Mai.
Nguyen said the grade display goals would be whether by early warning or mid-term notes progress reports would be used instead.
“One goal we are aiming for is to get 70% of faculty to post early warning notes / progress reports for all students after week four and for 90% of faculty to submit midterm grades and progress reports after the eighth week of the semester, ”Nguyen said.
The presentation highlighted some students who are experiencing stress due to unknown grades. ASUI’s specific suggestions for the future included three and seven week communication points during the semester to provide students with their current progress in the courses.
Torrey Lawrence, vice president and UI provost, said the complications were due to the federal vaccine mandate. Lawrence said federal laws and Idaho state laws additionally create a complex issue over university-level vaccine requirements in Idaho.
“The State Board of Education met and ratified or approved this participation, formalized it and also approved the universities to comply with this mandate,” Lawrence said. “So we’re in the middle of a lot of talk right now and trying to figure out exactly what this means and exactly how we’re going to fix it. ”
This mandate requires vaccines for “federal contractors”, which also has an impact on the employees of the university.
Lawrence also reminded the Senate that there were still raffles for vaccine incentives, including Vandal Store gift cards and tuition money. The deadline to submit proof for the college-wide drawing is November 12.
ASUI held a meeting last Wednesday with a potential resolution to lift the mask warrant in some buildings on the UI campus. Although the resolution was not passed, Lawrence reminded professors that masks will continue to be mandatory and reassessed on November 22.
The minor in Interdisciplinary Studies and Justice at IU was voted to be removed from the programs offered to students. The withdrawal of the interdisciplinary minor came after only one student in the past 20 years had completed the minor. Currently, no students are enrolled in the program, and it has been several years since a student participated.
The minor in justice studies was chosen to be removed from the diploma catalog after members of the department identified layoffs with the minor in criminology proposed to IU. Brian Wolf, director of the sociology and anthropology department, said other minor options in the department would serve students better.