Committee on Courses of Instruction - Policies and Procedures

Contents:

  1. General Procedures
    1. Authority of Academic Senate Committee on Courses
    2. The Approval Process
    3. Types of Proposals Needing Senate Committee Approval
  2. Establishment of Courses
    1. Level and Emphasis in University Courses
    2. Scope and Organization of Courses (including cross-listing)
  3. Course Specifications
    1. Course Title and Description
    2. Course Classification and Numbering
    3. Credit for Courses
    4. Prerequisites
    5. Mode of Grading
    6. Instructor
  4. Summer Sessions Offerings
  5. Course Evaluations

Appendices:

  1. Expanded Course Description (ECD) Format
  2. General Education (GE) Certification
  3. Requests for Approval of Appointment of Associate Instructors to Teach Upper Division Classes
  4. Grading Variances
  5. UC Policy on Minimum Class Size
  6. On-line or Hybrid courses
  7. Policy for the Appointment of Undergraduates as Readers and Teaching Assistants
  8. Policy for the Appointment of Nonstudents as Teaching Assistants
  9. Student Facilitated Courses Policy
  10. Policy on Equitable Delivery of Instruction in a Course

Outlined below are policies and procedures developed by the Davis Division of the Academic Senate Committee on Courses of Instruction pertaining to the development, modification, and cancellation of courses offered by departments and other academic units on campus. In considering course requests, each College Committee on Courses as well as the Senate Committee will be guided by the policies described below, recognizing, however, that unusual circumstances may justify exceptions.

  1. GENERAL PROCEDURES

    1. The Regents have delegated to the Academic Senate responsibility for authorization and supervision of courses of instruction (Standing Order of The Regents 105.2-b); in accordance with this delegation, the Davis Division Committee on Courses must approve all courses or changes in courses offered on the Davis campus, including University Extension courses yielding credit, before they may be taught or information regarding them be announced in any University catalog, schedule, or other publication. Approved courses are subject to the Committee's review at any time.

    2. Departments, divisions, sections, programs, and other units offering courses (hereafter, the simpler term "department" will be used to refer to any of these units) may initiate requests for approval of new courses or changes in existing courses. Requests must be submitted via the Online Course Approval Form.
      1. An Expanded Course Description must accompany all requests, except for cancellations, internships (numbered 92), directed group study courses (numbered 98 or 198), special or independent study courses (numbered 99 or 199), and teaching assistant practicum courses (numbered 396).
      2. Instructors must carefully edit these forms for spelling and grammatical errors. The Committee strongly encourages instructors to first develop the text material using a modern word processor and then copy (using a control "c" command) and paste (using a control "v" command) parts into the appropriate sections of the form. A form with excessive errors will be returned to the department.
      3. The Remarks section of the online form is crucial. It should provide a brief rationale for the request, and in the case of change(s) to an existing course, it should summarize the change(s) and explain the reasons for them. In a case in which a package of several related requests is submitted, a "cover letter" consisting of remarks applying to the package as a whole can be placed in the Remarks section of one of the courses, with the Remarks sections of the remaining courses simply referring the reader to that of the first course.
      4. Each request is reviewed by the dean and the appropriate agencies of the department's school or college.
      5. Following dean's-level approval, graduate course requests are in addition reviewed by the Graduate Council's Subcommittee on Courses.
      6. Approved course requests are forwarded to the Senate Committee on Courses of Instruction for final action.
    3. The criteria regarding whether a proposal needs Committee approval are as follows:

      Changes that require Committee approval include:

      1. Course title, number, and unit value
      2. Transfer of course from one academic unit to another
      3. Catalog description
      4. Mode of grading
      5. Any change in learning activity (e.g., substitution of term paper for discussion section, use of a virtual discussion section, or substitution of Web notes for lectures) must be approved by the Committee on Courses before it may be listed in the Class Schedule and Room Directory. (Departments should keep this requirement in mind when planning learning activities for new or amended courses.) Courses with the flexible learning activities "extensive writing or discussion" (W-D) or "term paper or discussion" (T-D) do not require special approval when opting for one or the other, but the department should notify the Office of the Registrar of their decision as far as possible in advance of the course.
      6. Changes in the course that affect its General Education status
      7. Repeat Credit
      8. Credit Limitations

      Changes that do not require Committee (COCI) approval:

      1. Instructor.
      2. Year.
      3. Quarter, semester or session.
      4. Restrictions (including Prerequisites).

  2. ESTABLISHMENT OF COURSES

    1. Level and Emphasis in University Courses
      1. A University course should present an integrated body of knowledge, with primary emphasis upon elucidation of principles and theories.
      2. Courses of the type normally required for admission to the University and those taught by vocational schools should not be offered for credit. The University does, however, have use for courses in which development of skills and techniques is emphasized for the following reasons:
        1. As a necessary and integral part of professional training accomplished in courses that constitute a recognized professional curriculum.
        2. As a means of learning, analyzing, and criticizing theories and principles.

    2. Scope and Organization of Courses (including cross-listing)
      1. Without seeking to determine educational policy or infringe upon departmental judgment regarding course content, the Davis Division Committee on Courses of Instruction will employ the following criteria in evaluating course requests:
        1. Each course should have a clear and important place in the department's curriculum, either filling a gap or strengthening the program without duplication or needless overlap.
        2. There should not be a proliferation of courses, nor should course content be so limited, specialized, or narrow in scope that it could be better incorporated into others.
        3. The content of each course should represent a unified and integral body of subject matter.
      2. When proposed new courses include material generally recognized as falling within the province of another department, the Committee will consult the related department regarding the proposed course, the instructor, and any undesirable overlap of course with their offerings. Course requests coming to the Committee can avoid delays if a statement outlining the results of consultation on overlap with related departments is included in the Remarks section of the Online Course Approval Form.

      3. Requests to cross-list courses will require strong justification, in the Remarks section of the Online Course Approval Form, which shows that cross-listing is preferable to traditional means of simply requiring or recommending a course offered by a specific department, program, or graduate group.

        Any combination of such units may request cross-listing. It must be shown that the course cannot be presented without a significant commitment of resources from each of the cross-listing units. Expanded course descriptions should be reasonably detailed, specifying the obligations of the units involved in the presentation of the course. The specific conditions that must be met for the approval of cross-listing courses are:

        1. Course approval forms must be submitted at the same time by the collaborating units. These proposals must be identical in all respects except for the three-letter identifier (subject) code (and the course number if a common number is not available).
        2. The course proposed for cross-listing must be integral to all of the cross-listing programs.
        3. The course proposed for cross-listing must:
          1. Be regularly taught collaboratively by the units, or
          2. Be regularly offered by the cross-listing units in alternation, or
          3. Be offered by an instructor who is a member of all the units that wish to cross-list, or
          4. Be regularly supported through a significant commitment of resources

            (e.g., equipment, TAs, staff assistance, etc.) by the cross-listing units.

        4. Because courses should be designed for a particular level and taught at that level, a course may not be cross-listed at lower division and upper division levels or at undergraduate and graduate levels. (See Senate Regulation 762 or III.C.4 of this document.
        (Please note that B.3. was revised 4/99)

  3. COURSE SPECIFICATIONS

    Much of the information required in the Online Course Approval Form will be included in the General Catalog listings of approved courses. In preparing the form, departments should adhere to the following standards.

    1. Course Title and Description
      1. The course title should be in English and should be brief and explicit.
      2. A description of the course of no more than 40 words should be included unless the course title is fully descriptive of the course content.
      3. The use of identical titles for courses offered by different departments (excluding honors, tutorials, directed group study, special study, seminar, and research courses discussed in paragraphs III-B-4, 5, 6, 7, 10, and 14 below) should be avoided.
      4. If two or more courses offered by one department have identical titles, they must have different descriptions.
      5. The preferred course designation and numbering for courses which cover a broad general subject area but have different sections is "Topics in ____" with A, B, C, etc., used to indicate the individual course segments. These section titles should be listed on the course approval form and will appear in the General Catalog and on the students' transcripts.
    2. Course Classification and Numbering
      1. UC Davis courses are classified and numbered as follows:
        1. Lower division courses are numbered 1-99.
        2. Upper division courses are numbered 100-199.
        3. Graduate courses are numbered 200-299. Courses in the 200 series are designed to help students develop as scholars, researchers, and creative artists, with the potential to create new knowledge in their fields. Courses have a strong foundation in the theory, methods and principles used in research or in the production of scholarly or creative works. Courses focus on understanding and assessing the current state of knowledge, on research and creative work, and on methodology, as appropriate considering the nature of the field.
        4. Professional courses for teachers and courses intended for TA training are numbered 300-399. Courses in the 300 series are designed to help students become teachers and educators. Courses address problems and challenges facing educators and focus on methodology in teaching, research on teaching, and current teaching practices. Courses may emphasize the development of clear written and verbal communication skills. Courses designed to educate graduate students as teaching assistants should be numbered 390.
        5. Other professional courses (e.g., Law, Medicine) which emphasize material appropriate to a specific professional curriculum are numbered 400-499. Courses in the 400 series are designed to help students become practitioners in their fields. Courses prepare students for critical analysis of problems and the use of theory to solve problems in professional practice, other than teaching. Courses may emphasize aspects of the profession such as ethics, presentation skills, and information gathering techniques. Ordinarily, the content of professional courses is guided by requirements imposed by an appropriate extramural accreditation agency.
      2. Any change from upper to lower division (or vice versa) requires a description of the changes in course content which justify the change in numbering. This information must also be provided for proposed changes from graduate to undergraduate (or vice versa).
      3. The suffix "N" should be used when an existing course is being canceled and a course with a different content is to be given its number. When a department believes students will no longer be affected (after a minimum of four years), a full Course Approval Form including the Expanded Course Description should be submitted. Under Remarks, explain that the only change is removal of the "N" suffix.
      4. A laboratory course associated with another course should be identified by an "L" added to its course number (e.g., Biochemistry 101 and 101L). Courses in sequence with "A" and "B" designations should also use the "L" to indicate a parallel laboratory course.
      5. A lower division course which gives an overview of a field of study for nonmajors should be numbered 10. This number should be reserved for this purpose.
      6. Lower division seminar courses should be similarly numbered 90-91 or 93-96. Upper division seminar courses should be numbered 190. If more than one course of this type is offered, the additional numbers 191, 193, 194, 195, and 196 may be used. Lower division seminars consisting of special topics examined in a small group setting are numbered 90X; upper division equivalents are numbered 190X. Undergraduate seminars which function as research group conferences should be numbered 190C. These courses are limited to one unit of credit and are to be graded P/NP only (no grading variances are permitted). 190C courses may be repeated for credit.
      7. Certain variable unit courses for groups of lower and upper division undergraduates are to be numbered 98 or 198, respectively, and given the title "Directed Group Study." These designations are reserved for courses whose content is not specified to any degree from one quarter to another.
      8. Lower division individual undergraduate special-study courses are numbered 99 and titled either "Special Study for Undergraduates" or "Independent Study." Similarly, upper division courses are numbered 199 and titled "Special Study for Advanced Undergraduates."
      9. A special study course for an honors program should be numbered 194H and titled "Special Study for Honors Students." This type of course is open only to honors students. Additional similar honors courses are to be numbered 195H-196H but each course should have a separate title. A regular course having special requirements for honors students must be identified in the course description and designated by both the regular number and the honors number (e.g., 165, 165H) or be listed as two courses.
      10. Internship courses should be numbered 92 or 192. Internships should have a substantial academic component. They are intended to provide students with an in-the-field educational experience as a complement to their traditional academic study.
      11. Special variable unit courses in which advanced students may receive credit for tutoring other undergraduate students should be numbered 197T (Tutoring). Tutoring in the community should be numbered 197TC. Students enrolled in 197Ts may not lead required discussion sections, required laboratory sections, required tutoring sections, or any other required activity; nor may they grade papers. Students enrolled in 197Ts may only tutor (i.e., help individual or small groups of students either outside of class or within a laboratory) or lead voluntary discussions or other voluntary activities. (AM. 10/08/03)
      12. Graduate seminar courses are numbered 290 and titled "Seminar" when the general subject varies from quarter to quarter. Graduate seminars which function as research group conferences should be numbered 290C, limited to one unit of credit, and graded S/U only (no grading variances are permitted). All 290 courses may be repeated for credit.
      13. A seminar in which the area of study is variable but restricted to some broad subsection of the general field should be given a number in the 291-297 range (preferably the lowest one available). The course title should indicate the general limitation in the field of study (e.g., Pomology 291- Seminar in Postharvest Physiology); titles for such courses need not include the words "seminar in."
      14. A seminar course which has the same general content each time it is offered should not use "Seminar" in its title. The fact that it is a seminar can be conveyed in the course description.
      15. Graduate courses that involve variable-subject group study but are not conducted as seminars should be given the number 298 and the title "Group Study."
      16. Special study or research courses for individual graduate students are to be numbered 299 or 299D. Normally, 299D should be reserved for students who have advanced to candidacy and who are involved in dissertation research.
      17. Generally, courses 92, 98, 99, 190C, 192, 197T, 197TC, 198, 199, 290, 290C may be repeated for credit when the subject matter differs. All other courses that may be repeated for credit should indicate this in the catalog description.
      18. For single lower division auto-tutorial courses, the letters AT should follow the course number, e.g., 15AT; for sequential lower division courses, such as the Spanish 1 series and the Religious Studies 31 series, the following number and letter arrangement must be used: Spanish 1ATA, 1ATB, 1ATC. Because only five characters are provided on the transcript for recording course numbers, the following number and letter arrangement should be adopted for sequential upper division courses: 101AT, 102AT, 103AT.
      19. "Teaching Assistant Training Practicum" courses should be numbered 396. Such a course is intended for use by active teaching assistants. It is a variable-unit course, allowing registration for 1 to 4 units. The Prerequisite is graduate standing, and the course is to be graded S/U only. Departments may request the creation of such a course by memo to the Committee on Courses.
    3. Credit for Courses
      1. Units of credit are assigned to courses based on the "Carnegie rule" which specifies one unit of credit for three hours of work by the student per week. Usually this involves one hour of lecture or discussion led by the instructor and two hours of outside preparation by the student.
        1. Normally two hours of laboratory or studio time (plus an hour of outside preparation) are required for each unit of credit. Proposals for these courses will require assurance in the expanded course descriptions that the Carnegie unit standard is being followed.
        2. If the number of lecture or discussion hours specified in the General Catalog is less than the number of units of credit assigned to the course, some form of additional non-classroom work, such as a substantial term paper, is required of the student. Requests for courses with fewer contact hours than the number of units awarded (e.g., a 4-unit course that meets three hours per week) must be accompanied by adequate justification.
        3. Repeating a course for credit: Normally a given course cannot be taken a second time for degree credit. When a course offering is designed to allow for substantial changes in content (typically, these are "topics" courses) it may be repeated for credit. These circumstances should be explained in the Remarks section of the Online Course Approval Form. The number of times a course may be repeated for credit must be specified in the form in the course description and will be published in the General Catalog description.
      2. The approved credit range for variable unit courses is as follows:
        90X: 1-2 or 1-4 190X 1-2 or 1-4 :199: 1-5
        92 1-15   192 1-15 : 297T 1-5 :  
        97T 1-5 194 1-5 298 1-5
        97TC 1-5 197T: 1-5 :299: 1-12
        98: 1-5 197TC: 1-5 299D 1-12
        :99: 1-5 198: 1-5 396: 1-4
      3. A department may offer more than one section of a group-study course (198 or 298) during a quarter. Unless the course description states otherwise, a student may receive credit for more than one section of a 198 or 298 course in the same quarter.
      4. Senate Regulation 762, "Credit in Courses," states, "No student, by merely performing additional work, may receive upper division credit for a lower division course or graduate credit for an undergraduate course. Related courses may share lectures, laboratories or other common content but must have clearly differentiated and unique performance criteria, requirements, and goals." On occasion, it may seem desirable for different but related upper and lower division courses or different but related upper division and graduate courses to share some lectures, laboratories, or other common content. (In no case may an identical course be given credit at both levels.) A request for such an arrangement may be approved by the Committee only if accompanied by strong justification which clearly shows that the courses in question have differential goals and requirements as evidenced by the activities of both the students and the faculty involved.
    4. Prerequisites
      1. The enforcement of prerequisites is the responsibility of the instructor and the department and left to the college to approve if the prerequisite is appropriate for the course.
        1. If no prerequisites are stated for a lower division course, it is understood that the course is open to any matriculated student whose standing is appropriate for the course.
        2. Consent of instructor is an implied prerequisite for any individual study course and need not be listed.
      2. The Regulations of the Academic Senate specify that ordinarily the minimum prerequisite for any upper division course is junior standing or completion of at least one lower division course in the same department. Upper division courses may be listed in the General Catalog with no stated prerequisite if this minimum prerequisite is sufficient. Ordinarily, it is not necessary to state "Consent of instructor" as a prerequisite.
      3. When a two- or three-quarter sequence course is designated by the same number and is shown as a single listing (e.g., Design 160A-160B-160C), each is presumed to be prerequisite to the one that follows unless the contrary is stated. When each course is listed separately (e.g., Economics 100A and Economics 100B), one course is not considered prerequisite to another unless specifically mentioned in the prerequisite list.

    5. Mode of Grading

      The Committee may request additional information on grading procedures where nonstandard teaching practices and/or assignments are involved. As options to the usual letter grade system, the following approaches may be used, as appropriate:

      1. For undergraduates--P/NP (Passed/Not Passed). Grading in undergraduate variable unit courses shall be on a P/NP only basis unless approval for letter grading in specific cases is requested by the department and given by the Committee. (Note: grading variances are not permitted for 190C.) A proposal to grade a regular course on a P/NP basis only must be approved by the Committee. A letter grade variance for 198 courses may be granted when the certain minimum criteria are met.
      2. For graduate students--S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory). With the consent of the appropriate department or graduate group and approval of the Graduate Council and the Committee on Courses of Instruction, the grades assigned in specific graduate courses may be S/U only. Regulations of the Davis Division also specify that 290C, 299, 299D courses shall be graded S/U only.
      3. For the School of Medicine: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.
      4. Deferred grading: In general, requests for deferred grading will be considered only for sequential courses and only where it is difficult or academically inadvisable to assign grades for each quarter of the sequence. Such courses should carry the designation "deferred grading" in the course description.

    6. Instructor
      1. The qualifications required of persons responsible for courses or assisting in them (including readers) are specified in paragraph 750 of the Academic Senate Regulations. Any exceptions must be approved by the Committee on Courses.
      2. A request for course approval may be denied if it does not list the name of a qualified instructor or contain a statement to the effect that the University budget includes a provision for one.

  4. SUMMER SESSION OFFERINGS

    Courses approved for offering during the regular academic year may be offered in a summer session without further approval from the Committee on Courses provided that there are no changes in the course specifications other than an appropriate adjustment of class meeting hours per week or a change of instructor. The number of such a summer session course is the same as for the regular session course, with the addition of the prefix "S."

  5. COURSE EVALUATIONS

    Registered students must be given an opportunity to evaluate courses offered for academic credit, but course evaluations are optional for Guest Lecture Seminar, Research, and Internship Courses where the course does not include a substantial project, term paper or exam.

    Delegation of Authority

    MOUs that delegate oversight of course contents to a school or college also delegate the evaluation process to the respective school or college for those courses.

    Minimum Elements of the Course Evaluation

    (Every course evaluation must contain the following two questions as written in addition to an opportunity for comments.)

    1.  Please indicate the overall teaching effectiveness of the instructor.

         (5 = excellent; 4 = very good; 3 = satisfactory; 2 = fair; 1 = poor)

    2.  Please indicate the overall educational value of the course.

         (5 = excellent; 4 = very good; 3 = satisfactory; 2 = fair; 1 = poor)


EXPANDED COURSE DESCRIPTION*

To facilitate the work of the College and Divisional Courses Committees, requests for approval of a new course, restoration of a course, or revisions of an existing course must be accompanied by an Expanded Course Description.  The Expanded Course Description includes at least the following information.

1. SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENTS: Provide a brief (100-200 word) description or concise outline of the major topics that would generally be covered in this course. The summary should include some notes about how the course content will support the General Education literacies being requested/taught.

2. ILLUSTRATIVE READING: List the text or a few (2-5) illustrative readings for this course.

3. FINAL EXAMINATION REQUIREMENT: Undergraduate courses generally require a final exam.  If there is to be no final exam in an undergraduate course (other than a lab course), provide justification here; otherwise state “Final Exam Required.”  For additional information on Davis Divisional Regulations (DDR) regarding final exams; see DDR 538.

4. JUSTIFICATION OF UNITS: State how this course meets the “Carnegie Rule” requirement of 3 hours of student work per week (30 hours per quarter) for each unit of credit.  For example, a 4-unit class must be shown to require 12 hours per week of work (120 hours per quarter).

Students are generally expected to work 2 hours outside of class for each hour of lecture or discussion, justifying 1 unit of credit per hour of lecture/discussion.  Alternatively, 1 unit could be justified by 2-3 hours of laboratory (with 0-1 hours of outside preparation); or 1 unit could be justified by 2-3 hours of studio (with 0-1hours of outside preparation).  An additional unit may be assigned for a major term paper, extensive written assignments, or a project requiring 3 additional hours per week outside work cited as 0.0 on the learning activity section of the course approval system (i.e. TMP 0.0). 

Examples for a 4-unit class:

  • “Student workload is 4 hours of lecture and 8 hours of outside preparation for a total of 12 hours per week.”
  • “Student workload is 3 hours of lecture, 6 hours of outside preparation, and 3 hours of term paper research and writing for a total of 12 hours per week.”
  • “Student workload is 3 hours of lecture, 2.5 hours of laboratory, and 6.5 hours of outside preparation for a total of 12 hours per week.”

See http://icms.ucdavis.edu/docs/LearningActivities.pdf for more examples.

5. POTENTIAL COURSE OVERLAP Overlap with existing courses must be listed and justified, by citing significant differences in prerequisites, emphasis, disciplinary perspective, or depth of coverage.  It is required to consult with the relevant faculty/department in cases of substantial overlap and to note such consultations here.  If no overlap is foreseen, state “no course overlap".

Note: Special Study Courses – DDR 535 states, “The content of a special study course shall not duplicate the content of an existing course.”


GENERAL EDUCATION (GE) CERTIFICATION OF A COURSE

Please see the Committee on General Education for information on General Education Certification. (Effective until Fall 2011. The new GE regulations will be in effect beginning Fall 2011. Please see http://ge.ucdavis.edu for more information on the new GE regulations).

Additional Committee on Courses Policies

  1. Topical Breadth and Social-Cultural Diversity GE courses must be at least three units of credit. Writing GE courses may be two units of credit. (Revised 3/27/98)
  2. Courses may be either lower or upper division courses and they may have prerequisites.
  3. Mode of grading must be letter.

REQUEST FOR APPROVAL OF APPOINTMENT OF ASSOCIATE INSTRUCTORS
TO TEACH UPPER DIVISION CLASSES

Graduate students should be appointed to teach upper division courses (numbered 100-199) as an Associate Instructor-Graduate Students (AI) only as part of their professional development. Such students in almost all cases will be in the later stages of their PhD program, and have had experience as a Teaching Assistant or equivalent. Graduate students should not, except in exceptional circumstances, be used to teach upper division courses merely to meet staffing shortages. This rule applies to the summer terms as well as the rest of the academic year.

Appointment of Associate Instructors or AI's for upper division courses must first be approved by the Committee on Courses of Instruction. Requests for approval, in line with the statement above, must contain:

  1. Certification that the student has advanced to candidacy for the PhD degree (or explanation for why an exception to this requirement is appropriate).
  2. Evidence that the student has previous teaching experience (including as a TA), and a summary of student evaluations from this experience.
  3. Certification that the student's dissertation advisor, and the chair of the department offering the course, have approved the request.
  4. Certification that a faculty member will serve as a mentor to the student, available to provide guidance and feedback.

Except in exceptional circumstances COCI will not approve more than one request for an AI appointment for a student in each year (academic year and summer sessions). A petition must be submitted for each course and quarter in which you would like to appoint an AI.

AIs should not be used to solve long-term imbalances between enrollment and staffing.

Form to Petition to Hire an Associate Instructor (AM. 8/18/08)

Submit petitions to Lisa Milbrodt milbrodt@ucdavis.edu


GRADING VARIANCES

2016-17 COCI Grading Variances Deadlines

Undergraduate variable-unit courses are graded on a Passed/Not Passed basis unless a request for a specific variance is received and approved by the Committee on Courses of Instruction. Committee approval is also necessary to change the grading of those variable-unit graduate courses that are graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory and those that are letter-graded. The Committee will forward approved variances to the Office of the Registrar. Approval is not automatic.

In every request for a grading variance, the instructor must provide the following information:

  1. The course number, section, course title, term, and CRN.
  2. An explanation of the reason for the request.

For variances from a P/NP or S/U grade to a letter grade the instructor must also provide the following:

  1. Assurance that the tests, assignments, papers, and other classwork required of the students are comparable to the work done in regularly scheduled classes.
  2. A description of an appropriate basis for determining letter grades, including the relative weights (in percentages) of all graded components..

Requests for grading variances may be made in one of two ways.

  1. Before the class meets.

    Requests must be received by the Committee on Courses before the first class meeting.

    In addition to the items mentioned above, the instructor must submit a copy of the course syllabus, in which it is explicitly stated that the mode of grading will be other than that listed in the General Catalog and (if the course is listed as P/NP or S/U) that each student will have the option of reinstating the original grading mode in the following way. By the usual P/NP (or S/U) deadline (the 25th day of instruction) the student must take a copy of the syllabus to the Office of the Registrar and file a 'Grading Variance Exception' petition.

  2. After the class has met.

    Requests must be received by the Committee on Courses by the fifteenth day of instruction. In addition to the items mentioned above and a copy of the course syllabus, a list containing the students' names and signatures must be appended to the request. All students enrolled in the course must indicate (by signature) their agreement with the change in the mode of grading from that stated in the General Catalog.

    If the course is listed as P/NP or S/U, the agreement must note that each student has the option of reinstating the original grading mode in the following way: by the usual P/NP (or S/U) deadline (the 25th day of instruction), the student must take a copy of the syllabus to the Office of the Registrar and file a 'Grading Variance Exception' petition.

Revised 8/04

Submit requests to Lisa Milbrodt milbrodt@ucdavis.edu


UC POLICY ON MINIMUM CLASS SIZE

The Academic Senate Office receives a number of calls each year asking for guidance on the University's policy on minimum class size. Although this matter is not within the purview of the Committee on Courses, this information is provided here as a convenience to departments. The full account of the policy on minimum class size norms is available in President Hitch's 3/14/73 memo to Chancellors. What follows is an excerpt of the key points.

Minimum class size norms for lower division courses: 12
Minimum class size norms for upper division courses: 8
Minimum class size norms for graduate courses: 4

Exceptions to these norms may be allowed in certain circumstances, including:

  1. The course is required for the degree and cancellation would delay the graduation of students who wish to enroll.
  2. The course is required for the degree and it must be offered at a specified time in order to maintain a proper sequence of courses.
  3. It is a new course and the enrollment potential remains to be developed. If enrollment in a class falls below the norm for two successive offerings, it should only be offered again after review and serious consideration by the department chair.

These policies do not apply to independent study, research courses, or thesis work.


ON-LINE OR HYBRID COURSES

There is a growing interest in offering courses that use the World Wide Web and other Internet technologies. Some courses are taught entirely on-line and others are 'hybrids' or mixtures of on-line and in-class activities. In response, the Committee on Courses of Instruction has designed two additional "Learning Activity" codes to be used in course approval forms. These are WVL (for on-line activities that replace standard lectures) and WED (for on-line activities that replace standard discussions). The Committee expects that instructors will use one or both of these codes for all courses in which one or more hours/week of lecture/laboratory/discussion in one or more class sections are replaced by on-line formats. The Committee does not require the use of these activity codes if the on-line material merely supplements regularly scheduled lecture/laboratory/discussion sections.

The Courses Committee recognizes that 'on-line lecture' and 'on-line discussion' may often be inadequate (that on-line activities may do other things besides mimicking regular lectures and discussions), and we do not intend that the listed activities restrict what instructors do. But rather than add new activities, we ask that instructors select WED or WVL and then describe the activities more fully under Course Format. This description must include:

  • the nature of the activity and an estimate of the time required by a typical student to complete the activity. This should be done for all major activities in the course.
  • instructor contact hours. Describe how the instructor interacts with students and for how many hours per week or quarter.
  • how the course unit value conforms to University of California statewide regulation 760 (1 unit equals 30 hours of student work.) In a 4 unit course, for example, the instructor must explain under course format how the average student will work for 120 hours (12 hours per week in a 10-week quarter).
  • examinations. The Committee requires that midterm and final examinations (generally required in all undergraduate courses) be proctored to ensure that the person taking the examination is the
    student receiving credit. Examinations must be given in a traditional classroom or an Academic Senate approved testing center (as listed below). Exceptions must assure that examinations reflect individual student work and that a student's rights are protected under Academic Senate Davis Division Regulation 538.

    1. Current list of testing centers
      1. UC Davis testing center
      2. Other UC testing centers
      3. Consortium of College Testing Centers approved by the National College Testing Association (NCTA) - http://www.ncta-testing.org/cctc/

    (Revised 11/2012)

Faculty should be aware that the Registrar normally would not assign regular classroom space for sections with on-line learning activity codes. Furthermore, for courses without traditional lecture/discussions components, the instructor needs to coordinate with the Registrar the dates and times of any "in class" examinations. The Registrar will inform instructors within the first 3 weeks of the quarter of the room assignment(s) for the midterm examinations. Final examination times for on-line-only courses will be assigned the "TBA" time slot.

The suffix “V” should be used to designate completely online courses.
The suffix “Y” should be used to designate hybrid courses. 


Web-based Learning Codes:

WVL - On-line lecture - a fully-integrated on-line course with interactive text, graphics and/or executable programs; on-line student access to the instructor(s); measures to assure compliance with copyright laws.

1 unit for each ~ 30 hours per quarter of both on-line interactions and related off-line activities; the overall workload should be approximately that of any corresponding off-line course.

Examinations must be in a class setting at times listed in the Class Schedule and Registration Guide; exceptions must assure that examinations reflect individual student work and that a student's rights are protected under Senate Regulation 538.

Grades may also be based upon electronically submitted materials such as homework, research papers, and general participation (not more than 10% of the total grade, unless approved by the Committee).

WED - On-line Discussion - on-line discussion groups using list-processor or moderated e-mail, news groups and/or chat rooms; on-line student access to the instructor(s); measures to assure student privacy and civility in these activities.

1 unit for each ~ 30 hours of electronic discussion group related activity.

Grades for on-line discussion groups will normally be based on electronically submitted materials such as homework, research papers, and participation.


POLICY FOR THE APPOINTMENT

OF UNDERGRADUATES AS READERS AND TEACHING ASSISTANTS

This appendix defines when and how a department may hire an undergraduate as a Teaching Assistant or Reader. Departments may not avoid the intent of this appendix by assigning the duties of a Teaching Assistant or a Reader to appointees working in other titles. For example, Readers may not be assigned leadership of Discussion Sections or laboratories; tutors and post-graduate researchers may not be assigned the duties (such as leading discussion sections or grading papers) of Teaching Assistants and Readers.

Some departments and programs occasionally find that the availability of qualified graduate students who are willing and able to serve as Teaching Assistants (TAs) or Readers has not kept pace with the growth in enrollments in certain courses. Faced with this circumstance, departments and programs may hire qualified undergraduates to fulfill these instructional duties rather than restricting enrollments in courses. This appointment of undergraduate students to TA and Reader positions is permitted by exception to policy.

The general merits of appointing undergraduates to instructional positions and the numbers and trends of such appointments should be monitored and reviewed periodically by the Committee on Courses of Instruction. In addition, regular reviews of individual undergraduate instructional programs should evaluate the impact of using undergraduates in instructional roles as Readers and/or TAs.

Reader

 c.Tasks assigned to undergraduate Readers must be limited to evaluating individual student performances on assignments that can be objectively evaluated based on clear scoring criteria and grading keys; such scoring criteria and grading keys should be established as written policies. Readers are not permitted to grade when such grading requires qualitative assessment of thinking or writing. Readers may not conduct scheduled lectures, discussions or laboratory sessions. Readers may not participate in the assignment of final course grades.
1. The hiring unit must follow a process of application and selection that is consistent with the processes for selecting graduate students for Reader positions and which gives first priority to graduate students. In addition, available Reader positions must be posted on the Graduate Studies web page and advertised in those departments/programs where qualified graduate students might be available.
2. An undergraduate must have completed the course or its equivalent for which he/she will serve as a Reader with a minimum grade of "A-". In addition, the student must have an overall GPA of 3.0 and must have attained junior status. Exceptions to these criteria may be permitted with sufficient written justification.
3. The duties, training and supervision of undergraduate Readers must generally conform to the treatment of graduate Readers. The following conditions deserve special attention in the case of undergraduates:
  a. Hiring units should establish and implement adequate training procedures for Readers. Training should include explanation of policies concerning confidentiality of student work and grades.
  b. Undergraduate Readers must work under the direct supervision of a faculty member.
4. Undergraduate Readers may receive academic credit for 197T if approved by the department or program.

Teaching Assistant

1. It is expected that the appointment of undergraduates as TAs will be approved only under rare and compelling circumstances. The hiring unit must follow a process of application and selection that is consistent with the processes for selecting graduate students for TA positions and which gives first priority to graduate students. In addition, available TAships must be posted on the Graduate Studies web page and advertised in those departments/programs where qualified graduate students might be available. Any request for an undergraduate to a TA position must certify that the position has been broadly advertised and that no qualified graduate students can be identified for this position.
2. Undergraduates may not be appointed as TAs to replace striking graduate or other instructional staff.
3. In the event that a qualified graduate student cannot be identified for a TA position, a request for an exception to policy to appoint an undergraduate must be approved by the Academic Senate Committee on Courses of Instruction. The hiring unit must forward application materials and a request for this exception to policy to the Academic Senate Office for approval. The request must be in writing and must outline the nature of the course and the TA duties, the compelling circumstances leading to the request and the qualifications of the prospective TA. In order to ensure prompt action, the Committee has delegated authority to approve the request to the Chair of the Committee. The Committee will notify the Office of Graduate Studies when exceptions are approved.
4. An undergraduate must have completed the course or its equivalent for which he/she will serve as a TA with a grade of "A". In addition, the student must have an overall GPA of 3.5 and must have attained senior status. Students meeting these eligibility criteria normally will be approved for appointment. Exceptions to these criteria may be permitted with sufficient written justification.
5. The duties, training and supervision of undergraduate TAs must generally conform to the treatment of graduate TAs. The following conditions deserve special attention:
  a. The Chair of the hiring unit must ensure that the duties assigned to the undergraduate TA are appropriate in light of his/her academic background.
  b. Undergraduate TAs must work under the direct supervision of a faculty member. The undergraduate must meet with the faculty member in charge of the course at least once per week to discuss problems and pedagogical issues.
  c. Undergraduate TAs must be provided with appropriate training programs such as those conducted by the hiring unit or the Teaching Resource Center. Additional training to overcome the lack of experience of the undergraduate TA must be provided as appropriate. Training should include explanation of policies concerning confidentiality of student work and grades.
  d. Course evaluations by students must be gathered for each undergraduate TA and copies of these evaluations must be forwarded to the Committee on Courses of Instruction.
  e. In accord with APM 410-20(a), undergraduate TAs may participate in grading if the instructor both establishes objective criteria and closely supervises the grading. Undergraduate TAs may not be responsible for determining the final course grades.
6. Undergraduate TAs may receive academic credit for 197T if approved by the department or program.

Approved by the Committee on Courses of Instruction
October 30, 2001

Form to Petition to Hire an Undergraduate TA

Form to Petition to Hire an Undergraduate Reader

Submit petitions to Edwin Arevalo emarevalo@ucdavis.edu



POLICY FOR THE APPOINTMENT
OF NONSTUDENTS AS TEACHING ASSISTANTS


Departments and programs sometimes cannot find sufficient numbers of qualified graduate students who are willing and able to serve as Teaching Assistants (TAs). When this occurs, departments and programs may hire qualified nonstudents to fulfill these instructional duties rather than restrict enrollments in courses. This appointment of nonstudents to TA positions is permitted by exception to policy, and the appointment of nonstudents as TAs will be approved only under rare and compelling circumstances.


1. The hiring unit must follow a process of application and selection that is consistent with the processes for selecting graduate students for TA positions and which gives first priority to graduate students. In addition, available TAships must be posted on the Graduate Studies web page and advertised in those departments/programs where qualified graduate students might be available. Any request for a nonstudent to a TA position must certify that the position has been broadly advertised and that no qualified graduate students can be identified for this position.

2. Nonstudents may not be appointed as TAs to replace striking graduate or other instructional staff.

3. If a qualified graduate student cannot be identified for a TA position, a request for an exception to policy to appoint a nonstudent must be approved by the Academic Senate Committee on Courses of Instruction. The hiring unit must forward application materials and a request for this exception to policy to the Academic Senate Office for approval. The request must be in writing and must outline the nature of the course and the TA duties, the compelling circumstances leading to the request and the qualifications of the prospective TA. In order to ensure prompt action, the Committee has delegated authority to approve the request to the Chair of the Committee. The Committee will notify the Office of Graduate Studies when exceptions are approved.

4. A nonstudent must a) have a bachelor's or higher degree in the course's discipline or a closely related discipline; b) have completed the course or a closely related course and received a grade of B+ or higher; c) have an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.3; d) be of sufficient quality that he or she would be accepted in the department's graduate program. Nonstudents meeting these eligibility criteria normally will be approved for appointment. Exceptions to these criteria may be permitted with sufficient written justification.

5. The duties, training, and supervision of nonstudent TAs must conform to those of graduate TAs.

Petition to Hire a Nonstudent TA

Submit petitions to Edwin Arevalo emarevalo@ucdavis.edu

Approved by the Committee on Courses of Instruction
February 9, 2004


Policy on Student Facilitated Courses

Committee on Courses of Instruction (COCI), UC Davis

COCI has established four new course numbers – 98F (intended primarily for lower division students), 198F (intended primarily for upper division students), 199FA, and 199FB – that may be used by any department to offer student-facilitated courses. These new courses provide a formal structure and a consistent campus-wide process by which undergraduate students may receive academic credit for developing and teaching credit-bearing courses for other students. These new courses are all designated as variable-unit, to be offered for Pass/No Pass grading only, and final exams are optional for all of them. Each department must seek one-time approval to offer these courses through the regular course approval process; the authority to approve subsequent individual offerings of the courses is delegated to the departments. Guidelines for the content of these courses are included in this policy. For simplicity, this policy describes the policies and procedures for an individual student teaching a course, but the same process could be applied to courses taught by groups of two or more students.

The numbers 98F and 198F designate courses taught by undergraduate students under the supervision of a faculty mentor, who serves as the instructor of record. A student teaching a course 98F or 198F must have completed and passed one quarter of course 199FA under the supervision of the same faculty member, and must be concurrently enrolled in course 199FB, also under the supervision of the same faculty member, as described below.  The faculty instructor of record is responsible for working with the student instructor to ensure that the course is effectively and fairly delivered. The faculty member is expected to attend and observe at least 50% of the class meetings and should provide regular feedback to the student instructor about her/his teaching. The faculty member must also be available for consultation by the students enrolled in the course 98F or 198F. Student evaluations of the student instructor at the end of the quarter are optional but recommended. In any case, at the end of the quarter, the faculty member should work with the student to assess the course.

The number 199FA designates courses in which students intending to teach a course 98F or 198F work with a faculty mentor, who serves as the instructor of record, to develop and plan the course they will offer, typically in the quarter immediately following the one in which they are enrolled in course 199FA.  The number of units is determined by the number of hours of work by the student in accordance with the Carnegie rule (one unit = 30 hours of work per quarter). It is expected that one or two units will be appropriate and sufficient in most cases, but regardless of the total number of units, a minimum of 10 hours per quarter will be devoted to meetings between the student and instructor to discuss plans for the course to be led by the student. In addition to details of content and format, the student and faculty member should establish expected learning outcomes and planned methods of assessment of the course. It is the responsibility of the faculty instructor of record to work with the student instructor to ensure that the academic rigor, number of units, and expected workload of the proposed course are appropriate and that the student is fully prepared to teach it. 

The number 199FB designates courses in which students teaching a course 98F or 198F enroll during the same quarter that they are teaching the course. The course provides academic credit to the student instructor for delivery of the course and associated preparation.  Departments should include the wording “STU FAC” in the course short description so that the student’s transcript is clear that (s)he served as a course facilitator.   In addition, the student instructor is expected to meet for at least one hour each week with the faculty mentor (instructor of record for the course 98F or 198F) to discuss the course and receive constructive feedback and suggestions from the faculty mentor.

Template for Developing a Student Facilitated Course

Approved by the Committee on Courses of Instruction
May 8, 2014


Policy on Equitable Delivery of Instruction in a Course

Effective immediately, the Committee on Courses of Instruction (COCI) will not approve any proposals for course offerings in which the same modes of delivery are not guaranteed to be available to all students enrolled in the same course, including, but not limited to, establishment of separate on-line and face-to-face sections for the same course, simulcasting of lectures in overflow rooms, and over-enrollment of courses on the assumption that a certain percentage of students won't attend lectures. All courses in which such practices are continued or newly implemented, whether on a trial or a permanent basis, will henceforth be considered out of compliance with COCI's policies.

Approved by the Committee on Courses of Instruction: March 23, 2016