ACTG 244 COURSE POLICIES CHANGE
REQUIRED IN RESPONSE TO THE UNIVERSITY’S MANDATE TO
CONVERT TO SELF-STUDY ON-LINE FORMAT
LECTURES AND COURSE MATERIALS
Classroom lectures and in-class meetings are discontinued for the remainder of the semester. However, the professor will provide videos containing the recorded lectures on the course material. Additionally, the professor will also provide expanded “Professor’s Notes”. These notes should be considered “Required Reading” and study material for each of the remaining units. Homework and practice problems will continue to be assigned, and answers provided where possible, given the professor’s limited time. Self-Assessments will also continue to be provided, along with solutions where possible, given the professor’s limited time. You are welcome and encouraged to watch videos as many times as you feel desirable. I am purposely keeping them short to cover only a fraction of a normal class day’s lecture so you can replay only the material you need to review.
As mentioned previously, the course content will be limited to the most major concepts necessary to claim credit for passing an accounting course. This will not necessarily lighten the course effort or rigor, but will reduce the amount of material needed to master. It becomes even more important that you master these basic concepts.
Group Meetings are no longer required. HOWEVER, group work is still encouraged, and strongly recommended. Your group members can greatly enhance your learning. JMU is providing WebEx conferencing tools free of charge to all students so they can hold on-line meetings. Get started with this video.
Technically, the JMU School of Accounting rule limiting calculator use to the Casio calculators during exams is still in force. However, I have no way of enforcing this rule. You are on your honor not to use any tool to cheat on an exam.
There will now be SIX (6) Exams in this class, each worth 100 points. HOWEVER, only the five highest scores will be counted. Your lowest exam score will be dropped. Exams will be taken during your assigned class times, but will be taken on-line using the Canvas Quiz feature.
Course grades will be assigned by dividing the total of your five highest exam scores by 500 points, following the percentages outlined in the original syllabus: 90% or above = A, 80% to 89% = B, 70% to 79% = C, 59% to 69% = D, 58% and below will be an F.
Exam 1 second chance, and Exams 2 through 5, will all be given on-line during scheduled class time, per the new schedule posted on the course webpage on March 29. The exams will be given via Canvas’ QUIZ feature. The Quiz feature is found on the course Canvas Main Page, listed on the left side of the browser window. It will be each student’s responsibility to find the exam and start it at the beginning of the scheduled time. The exams may be broken into parts to permit students to take a short break between parts, but students must still finish the exam by the 75-minute window or the allowable time on each part, whichever is shorter.
ABILITY TO REVIEW QUESTIONS BEFORE SUBMITTING
As requested by many students, to help increase the exam scores the “Lock Question” feature will be disabled for our exams. This enables students to go back and check their work within each part of the exam if they finish a part early. Unfortunately, this disables the ability to see which questions you missed, and the correct answers, making the exams “non-disclosed”. After polling numerous students, they were in unanimous agreement that since the Final will no longer be comprehensive, having the ability to go back and check answers was worth the loss of knowing what you missed.
Your first attempt at Examination 1 was completed prior to Spring Break. A second-attempt quiz will be given on-line on March 30. The two attempts will be averaged together. If this average is higher than your original Exam 1 score, the average will replace your Exam 1 score. If the average is lower than your original score, the original score will be retained. If you missed the first attempt, the second attempt will be your Exam 1 score. The second attempt is optional. If you do not take the second attempt, your original Exam 1 score is retained.
Exam 2 will occur on Monday April 6 and will cover units 10-12. These three units were covered in the classroom before Spring Break. Exam 3 will occur on April 15 and will cover units 15 and 16. Exam 4 will occur on April 22 and will cover units 16 and 17. Exam 5 will occur on April 29 and will cover units 17 and 18. Exams will be taken on-line during your assigned class times,
Exam 6 will be held during Final Exam Week, and will cover ONLY Units 18 and 19. It will not be comprehensive. Thus, it will not count double for a missed examination. (A second chance exam is given for those students who missed Exam 1, and missing any other exam will result in a zero score for that exam which will likely be your lowest score and will be dropped and not included in your course grade calculation.)
CONNECTIVITY ISSUES AND THE CANVAS CLOCK
Students may encounter connectivity issues while taking the exam. If you are in the middle of an exam and lose your connection, simply log back in, and Canvas should take you right back to where you were when you lost connectivity. Unfortunately, the clock does not stop, so log back in as soon as possible. It is NOT possible to “reset” an exam, and you only get one try at an exam. So DO NOT “take a quick peek” or “once-over” before you are ready to actually start your clock.
NON-DISCLOSURE OF EXAMINATION RESULTS
Each Exam score will appear in your Canvas Gradebook shortly after you submit your exam. The examination results, including which questions you missed and the correct answer, will not be provided. The ability to go back and check your work was considered by the student sample as being preferable. Since the FINAL is no longer comprehensive, not knowing what you missed will have no effect on your course grade, whereas having the ability to check your work might improve your grade.
CREDIT/NO-CREDIT OPTION TO AVOID IMPACT TO YOUR GPA IF YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR GRADE IN THE COURSE
Please carefully read and re-read the March 24 letter to students from the University Provost’s office regarding the credit/no-credit option, if you do not want this semester’s grades to impact your GPA. The university has set the deadline for choosing credit-no-credit option to May 18, which provides you the maximum flexibility – you will still be able to elect the credit/no-credit option AFTER you receive your final course grades this semester, so you can make an informed decision. (Some institutions call this the Pass/Fail option. Since some programs may not count a “Credit” (or Pass) grade towards their major requirements, you should consult with your academic advisor before making a decision.)
WITHDRAWALS FROM THE COURSE
The university has extended the Spring 2020 Course withdrawal deadline to April 24. This will give you a couple of weeks to acclimatize to the on-line course delivery method and assess your ability or desire to continue in the course. If you elect to withdraw before April 24, you must do so yourself through MyMadison. Withdrawal will not reduce tuition charges, but will result in a grade of “W” and will have no impact on your GPA. Consult with your advisor before making a decision.
WITHDRAWALS FROM THE UNIVERSITY
If you decide to withdraw from all courses, you should contact the office of the Dean of Students to begin the process: phone 540-568-6468.
TIMING OF EXAMS
There should be no conflict between our exams and any other university activity. If you have another professor who demands that you take his or her exam or assignment during one of my exam times, please provide me with the professor’s name, course number and title, and the time of the conflict.
CONDOLENCES AND APPRECIATION
Please accept my condolences and sympathy at these changes. I did not sign up for this, and I know you did not either. These changes are sure to displease many, and there is probably no one who is pleased at all of them. I am doing my best to help the largest number of students. Many decisions were made several levels way up the ladder from me, but I believe that JMU Dukes are equal to almost any challenge presented them. This is unquestionably a tough semester, the toughest I have endured in my 33 years of teaching (28 at JMU), but I know together we can get through this. As the meme says, ‘This too shall pass. It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.” I appreciate your understanding. I am working (as well as many other faculty) to provide the best education possible under the circumstances, and I am going out of my way to do everything I can to help you earn a positive outcome from all this pandemonium. Thank you for your cooperation.