IIT Gandhinagar To Complete Semester Through Online Classes, Devises New Grading System
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar will complete courses from the second semester the current academic year through online classes commencing June 8 and has introduced a new grading system for the disrupted academic term.
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar will complete courses from the second semester the current academic year through online classes commencing June 8 and has introduced a new grading system for the disrupted academic term. IIT Gandhinagar’s Academic Senate approved the changes, under which no letter grades will be awarded this semester for any course, including those completed before the mid-semester.
As a pilot, a few faculty at the Institute were requested to teach remotely during the revised summer term which was advanced in view of the lockdown imposed in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
According to a statement from the Institute, the faculty found that most students adjusted well to the online format and their levels of engagement were often comparable to in-person classes.
The learning from the summer online courses are being deployed in the design of online and blended courses for the disrupted semester, the statement added.
Faculty members who taught online classes during the summer term also recently conducted a workshop on online teaching to share their experiences and best practices with the faculty.
“The primary drivers behind the new policy were to ensure completion of the semester without compromising our core academic principles and to account for differences in situations students might be in, such as internet access, mobility, etc.,” Prof Pratik Mutha, Dean (Academic Affairs), IIT Gandhinagar, said while speaking about these measures.
Within those parameters, Prof. Pratik Mutha added: “Faculty are encouraged to use the online teaching opportunity to improvise, innovate and experiment with different pedagogical approaches in their courses. We are asking them to document their approach so that the Institute can learn about practices that were successful and facilitated student learning, as well as methods that may not have worked well.”
New Grading Policy
The Institute will not be issuing any letter grades for courses in the second semester. Two new grades are being introduced - ‘P(E)’ and ‘I/F’ for all courses this semester. The Institute has requested faculty members to consider reworking their earlier grading/evaluation policies, if warranted.
The revised grading policy for the semester is designed to reflect continuous learning, ensure reasonable fairness and reflect the disruptive impact of the pandemic on the educational system, Prof Mutha added.
‘P(E)’ grade or [Pass (Emergency)] is a pass grade but will have a different connotation than the usual ‘P’ Grade and will be so notated on the transcript. The ‘I/F’ grade denotes ‘Incomplete/Fail’ but will not distinguish between ‘Incomplete’ and ‘Fail.’
‘P(E)’ grade will be awarded if the faculty assesses that a student had satisfied the requirements for passing the course. Credits earned for courses that are awarded a ‘P(E)’ grade will be counted toward the graduation requirements. Faculty members have the option to apprise students of their letter grades; the students’ official record will however only document the ‘P(E)’ grade.
An ‘I/F’ grade will be assigned if the student did not complete the requirements of the course or did not perform well enough to warrant a passing grade. All students given an ‘I/F’ grade will have one opportunity to complete the course requirement and improve their performance and earn a ‘P(E)’ grade. The deadline to do so will be communicated to students well in advance.
For M.Tech. and Ph.D. students, the grades for thesis units will continue to be either ‘S’ or ‘U’ as is usually practiced. However, any ‘U’ grade awarded in Semester II, 2019-20 will be dropped from the student’s record. Graduation requirements remain unchanged.