F/FW Grading Policy
F: Earned failing grade awarded to students who complete the course but fail to achieve the course objectives.
FW: Awarded to students who did not officially withdraw from the course, but who failed to participate in course activities through the end of the term. For FW grades, instructors will be asked to report Attendance Status (Stopped Attending or Never Attended) and the Attendance to Date (the date the student last participated in academically related activities). See guidelines below for the federal definition of academically related activities.
F/FW Grading Policy Questions
What documentation is needed, or what does the faculty member need to identify attendance?
What we are asking to document is the date the student last participated in academically related activities. The F/FW Grading Policy is posted above where “academically related activities” are defined. Documentation would be an attendance roster if the instructor takes attendance. Otherwise, if there is no attendance record then academic activity could be documented with a list of dates of exams the student took or assignments the student completed.
What needs to be known, and especially what defines attendance with on-line classes?
In the F/FW Grading Policy located above, there is a section that defines “academically related activities” for on-line classes.
If documentation is necessary, how long will it need to be preserved?
Documentation must be retained and available for examination in accordance with the regulatory provisions for recordkeeping for a period of three years after the end of the award year for which the aid was awarded (34 CFR 668.24). Thus, faculty are encouraged to download final gradebooks from Blackboard and Canvas at the end of the term and retain them for a period of three years after the conclusion of current academic year (e.g., through June 2019 for courses taught in Fall 2015 or Spring 2016). Storage of gradebooks need be stored in Box, a secure environment for this data. Once stored in Box delete the gradebook from your computer. If you have questions about the secure location of your gradebook contact UNO Security office at email@example.com or 402-554-2492.
How are the two categories F and FW distinguished, since the two options provided are not exhaustive of normal alternative situations?
The normal F grade will be given to students who complete the course but fail to achieve the course objectives. The FW grade will be given to students who did not officially withdraw from the course, but who failed to participate in course activities through the end of the term.
If a committee helped to develop this document, were any faculty involved?
The policy is an outcome of federal regulations that requires schools to have a procedure in place to know whether a financial aid recipient has begun attendance in all classes to be eligible for financial aid. In addition, for students that fail to earn a passing grade in at least one course offered over an entire semester, the school must determine if the student “unofficially withdrew” and financial aid funds potentially having to be returned based on the date the student last participated in academically related activities. The document was written to be in compliance with these regulations. Much discussion took place over various levels of administration to determine the most efficient way to accomplish these two federal requirements. A committee did not develop the document. The draft document was written by the Director of Financial Support and Scholarships (Marty Habrock), with input from Mark Goldsberry (Registrar), Candice Batton (Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs) and Omar Correa (Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management).
Why would this policy begin in Fall 2015 when the draft was dated 11/02/15, and updated 11/15/15?
The implementation of this new process was contingent on making the necessary functionality available in our student information system (Oracle Peoplesoft). The timeframe for these types of changes are dependent on priorities at the NU Central level (NeSIS). Once we were aware the new functionality would be available for the Fall 2015 grading cycle, the new policy was finalized and sent out.
Does the F/FW distinction need to be included in the syllabus so that students are aware?
No. This is not a new grade type. The student will not see FW, and FW will not be listed as an official grade for UNO. FW will only be seen on the grade roster, and if selected will allow the instructor to 1) select attendance status (stopped attending, never attended), and 2) select last date of attendance.
Does the grading scale for syllabi in CCMS need to be changed to reflect FW?
No, this is not a new grade type.
If the transcript only reflects the grade of F regardless of if an F or FW is given, how is the student informed?
FW information submitted on the grade roster will only be used by Financial Aid. Financial Aid will evaluate all FW grades submitted and will only contact students whose aid will be adjusted.
Does the instructor have the responsibility to communicate the F and FW distinction?
No, Financial Aid will contact students if they are affected.
What about students who withdraw from the course and no longer appear on Blackboard in the roster or gradebook?
Students who officially withdraw from a course after the drop/add period are issued a W on the transcript. Instructors do not need to enter final course grades for these students as the Registrar already has the W on file. The F/FW distinction only pertains to students who appear on the final grade roster (and therefore did not officially withdraw from the course) and who are receiving a failing grade because they did not earn enough points to warrant a passing grade (either because of poor performance on course requirements or the failure to complete/submit course requirements).
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