Online Learning Campaign
Online learning needs to improve. This semester has been extremely challenging, and uOttawa students have been trying to overcome a financial insecurity crisis, caused by a dearth of student jobs and the end of government assistance for many domestic students, a mental health crisis, which is ongoing on campus and has been exacerbated by recent events, and a global health crisis, which is affecting us all.
It’s abundantly clear that, this semester, the quality of courses & access to content has decreased. At the same time, the overall workload has dramatically increased. Students not living in Ottawa are also struggling to keep up with synchronous classes, and some professors are teaching above the maximum allotted time. These challenges, combined with the difficult world we live in, has made online learning inaccessible for the vast majority of the student body.
In light of these challenges, we, the undersigned students, call on the University of Ottawa to make the following changes to help fix online learning:
COMPASSIONATE, MODIFIED PASS-FAIL GRADING
The University should:
- Automatically convert any grades that constitute a ‘Fail’ to the Not Satisfactory designation, for both the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 semesters;
- Permit the optional conversion of one (1) 3-unit course per semester to a Satisfactory designation, for both the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 semesters.
The University should:
- Issue a guideline to professors through the Teaching & Learning Support Service urging them to reduce the number of assignments for the Winter 2021 semester, while maintaining a flexible & compassionate approach to grading & deadlines;
- Issue a guideline or amended academic regulation encouraging professors to not exceed the regular maximum of time for the lecture component of their courses.
- Issue a guideline and continue to provide resources requiring professors to record synchronous lectures or components of their courses where possible, with the notable exception of courses that discuss sensitive material or that must protect student privacy.
- Work with uOzone and professors to identify ahead of time which courses will have synchronous components, allowing for students living in different time zones to pursue different options where possible.