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Resolving conflicts between evening exams and evening classes

Each semester, conflicts arise for students enrolled in regularly scheduled evening courses and evening exams scheduled for daytime courses. When this problem was explored by the University Academic Planning Council several years ago, it was estimated that about 20 percent of daytime courses used evening exam times, creating the potential for approximately 7000 such conflicts annually. To address this problem, in 2001 the Faculty Senate amended its 1982 policy on this matter and required that the policy be published in the Timetable. You’ll find the policy at the bottom of this page.

Conflicts continue to occur, maybe unavoidable in our large and complex university. What’s important is that the burden to find solutions should not fall on individual students nor on evening course instructors. Instead, as the policy states, solutions rest with the instructors of the daytime course holding the evening exam. Daytime class instructors are encouraged to work with their students who have such conflicts in order to allow them to attend their regularly-scheduled evening courses. Prevention is often more effective than remediation; please schedule your exams anticipating these problems, including scheduling equivalent make-up or alternative exams. When necessary, either party should seek the assistance of the departmental chair for the daytime course.

If you have questions, please contact Aaron M. Brower, Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning at 608-262-5246 or ambrower@wisc.edu

2001 Faculty Senate Policy on Resolving Evening Course/Evening Exam Conflicts:
Two evening examination periods have been established for daytime classes that require evening mid-term examinations. The first 90 minute period is from 5:30-7:00 p.m. to accommodate examinations of 90 minutes. Examinations can begin any time before or during this period as long as they end no later than 7:00 p.m. The second period begins at 7:15 p.m. and will accommodate longer exams. Exceptions to this general policy may be authorized by the academic vice chancellor.

Instructors of daytime courses who plan to give evening mid-term examinations must make a request to footnote that information in the Timetable so students will be aware of potential conflicts with evening courses or other commitments. Whenever possible the times and/or dates of evening examinations should also be footnoted. Instructors who schedule evening examinations should make every possible effort to accommodate students with unavoidable conflicts.

t is the instructor’s responsibility to assure that all students with conflicts between daytime courses with evening exams and evening courses are treated fairly and without penalty. If a scheduling conflict exists between the evening exam of a daytime course and a regularly scheduled evening course, then the evening course takes precedence over the exam. (Faculty Senate document 1585a, Nov. 5, 2001, also appearing on the Registrar website http://registrar.wisc.edu/timetable/fall/1072/exam_schedule.php)

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