Timely Feedback and Grading to Support Student Success

Jan. 7, 2021


To: Arizona Faculty and Instructors

From: Liesl Folks, Ph.D., MBA, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Date: January 7, 2021

Subject: Timely Feedback and Grading to Support Student Success

Dear Instructors,

It is critical to our educational mission that students are given timely feedback on their assignments, projects and exams, and I am writing to ask for your support in meeting this objective. In particular, it is essential that grades are returned promptly, preferably via the D2L online system, to allow students to make sound and timely decisions, and to permit advisors to give correct advice to students about follow-on courses. 

To support these goals:

  • I direct you to complete grading for all and any assignments, midterm examinations, and projects within two weeks of student submission of the assignment / project / examination.  

    • Please ensure TAs and graders understand the necessary deadlines for return of grades. It is the responsibility of the instructor of record to ensure grades are delivered to students within the two-week window.
    • If there are extenuating circumstances that would prevent grades being delivered to students within two-weeks, please inform your unit leader and / or academic program director of the circumstance and share the timeline for grades directly to the students.
  • I strongly encourage you to utilize the D2L gradebook and Trellis Progress systems to increase the visibility for students into their standing and for advisors and others to support students.
    • Information on setting up D2L gradebooks is available from the Office of Instruction & Assessment, please see https://help.d2l.arizona.edu/ for more information. 
  • I direct you to submit all final grades for the semester into UAccess by the UArizona-issued deadlines for the semester.

Per Faculty Senate guidelines, final grades are due no later than 48 hours after the final examination (excluding weekends). If no final exam is given, grades are due no later than 48 hours after the last day of finals. Please see this link for more information.

This guidance applies equally for non-traditional courses like independent study, individual studies, thesis guidance, and dissertation.  For more information on critical dates, please visit https://www.registrar.arizona.edu/dates-and-deadlines.

In accord with recognized better instructional practices, we recommend that instructors assign and grade low-stakes assignments between higher-stakes exams or projects to help students determine how well they understand the course material and the assessment approaches that will be used on the exam or project.

I thank you in advance for your help in ensuring that our students are always provided with timely feedback to aid their learning objectives.