Change is a constant process everywhere and PACE is no exception. Starting in January, we are making two changes to our courses that will directly impact instructors. After conducting surveys of instructors and engaging in focus group discussion both in house and with instructor groups, we are making changes to attendance tracking, and late assignment penalties.
Effective January, 2018, attendance is no longer required for any PACE course. (With the exception of seminars)
Instructors may want to continue to track attendance for their own purposes, particularly as it relates to participation grades, but there is no requirement to submit this information to PACE. It is essential that instructors still notify PACE administration of any concerns regarding student attendance (late arrivals or not attending classes) on an ongoing basis to allow for timely intervention for any issues.
Late Assignment Penalties
For all courses starting after January 4, 2018, in all programs, there is no longer a late penalty for assignments.
Instead, students who are late without a valid, pre-approved reason, receive a 0. This change is being introduced to better reflect the workplace; when a supervisor asked for work to be completed, it must be done on time or explained why it is late. It is also designed to prevent an issue that occurred this past year with students manipulating the due dates of assignments in such a way as it impacted their eligibility for graduation and instructor workload.
This change is not intended to punish students that have a valid reason. Instructors should act in that role of a supervisor and if there is a valid reason for an extension, such as a medical issue or death in a family, make adjustments to the due date – with best practice saying that this should be communicated in writing so as to have a paper trail!
The new late policy is included in the student handbook, January, 2018, edition, which can be viewed on the PACE website. Students who cannot meet a deadline must contact the instructor no less than 24 hours in advance of the deadline to ask for an extension, providing a legitimate reason.
Instructor feedback has been helpful in helping to grow and improve our programs and we will communicate some additional changes for the Spring term in the coming months. We are currently reviewing feedback from instructors about participation grading, grammar and spelling, and other assignment components with a view to improving expectations across all programs over the coming year.
Your help in improving our systems, and in delivering our courses, has been invaluable in 2017. Thank you for being a part of the PACE team, best wishes for the New Year.