Options for Final Exams – Updated Spring ’22

Options for Final Exams – Updated Spring ’22

In light of the recent uptick in the number of students affected by Covid on campus — and the imminent start of final exams — you may want to consider how you will address student absences during finals.

Accommodating students who are isolating

If a student/s are unable to attend a final exam or complete work within the last two weeks of the term, a final grade of “O” can be used per Faculty Rules and Regulations.  

Also per Faculty Rules and Regulations, after an instructor is notified that a grade of “O” has been changed to “OX” by Student Support Services or GradSupport, “…the Faculty member in charge must provide the student the opportunity to receive a credit-carrying grade. This may be done with or without the instructor requiring a postponed final examination or other additional evaluation procedure.”

If you wish to allow students who are isolating due to Covid to take the exam remotely (and thus complete the subject this semester), and this option is in line with your course structure and goals, and considerate of the health of the student, consider the following options:

  • Provide a digital copy of the exam to the student during the scheduled exam slot. Ask the student to submit a digital version of the completed exam.
  • Have a hard copy of the exam delivered to the student during the scheduled exam slot. You can require that the student log into Zoom (or some other system) to allow virtual proctoring. You can retrieve the exam after the allotted time, or ask the student to digitally capture and submit the exam. Consider carefully the logistics associated with this option: Who will pick up and deliver the exam? Is it realistic given your class size?, etc.
  • Offer students a 24-hour window during which each student will choose a 2- or 3-hour block of time for doing their exam. This 24-hour window must include the Registrar-scheduled time. Provide and collect either a hard copy or digital version of the exam as described above.  Depending on the chosen time of the exam, it may or may not be feasible to provide proctoring.

Alternate Options and Procedures for Final Exams

  • Offer a remote oral exam to students who cannot be present;
  • Administer a make-up exam when the student is no longer required to isolate;
  • Calculate the student’s grade based on the other assessments (omitting the final);
  • Provide another subject-appropriate means for the student to demonstrate their understanding.

Due to logistical issues (e.g.,subject material/website access) and inevitable student learning loss, it is strongly recommended that you do not require students to wait until the next offering of the subject in order to take the final.

For Additional Assistance

For questions about final exam options, policies, and procedures, please contact: covidclasshelp@mit.edu or reach out to S3 or GradSupport