Emergency Campus Closure - Instructional Plan

Case Study:
How to accommodate students completing a lower-division course during an impending campus closure in response to COVID-19.
My campus leadership informed students that

  • there are no cases in our community
  • classes are not cancelled
  • if they wished, they could complete the remainder of the quarter online

Faculty were given flexibility in how to deliver the last week of instruction and final exams.

Course Context:
Research Methods in Psychology
    440 students.
    4 exams with MC and written responses (drop the lowest)
    8 homework with MC and written responses

The students had already completed 80% of the graded work; I had plenty of information on their performance. I did not want to add to the campus increased demand for online proctoring. I had no room to increase the workload for TAs - they really do work 20 hours per week over the term. 

I wanted to allow all of students who were happy with their grade (already earned an A, taking it P/NP and already earned a P, aiming for a C and already earned a C) to choose to remove themselves for the remainder of the quarter. I wanted to add a take-home test that wouldn’t encourage cheating or intellectual property looting. I wanted to allow the struggling students the same opportunity to drop the lowest exam grade and demonstrate that they have learned this material.

1. I will continue to offer the class normally until I am told not to
2. I allowed students to choose to reduce the number of required exams to 2 (out of 3) rather than 3 (out of 4). 
3. I am offering a take-home exam. To reduce cheating, it will be ‘find a recent article and summarize it.’ Easy to assign but a burden to grade.

Student Responses:
9% of the class intend to continue per the syllabus
57% are ending now
20% want to sit one more in-person exam (they had already missed an exam or want to raise their grade)
14% are interested in the take-home exam

I am expecting ~30% of the class to sit the midterm. This will mean that there is plenty of space in the classroom and reduce the grading load on the TAs. I am expecting ~20% to submit a take home exam. 

Here is how I presented the options to the students