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More start-up information for instructors

Posted on: Jul 27, 2016

We hope you have all had a restful and enjoyable break. Please find below some reminders as we begin this semester.


Our students increasingly cite Moodle (aka CCMS) as being a vital support to their learning. The minimum requirement for all faculty and instructors is posting the course syllabus on Moodle. Beyond that we really should be at least using the ‘Grades’ function. It is important for our students to know their progress throughout the semester and especially as they approach their final exams. The Grades function provides a record of this for them and for you. Moodle also has other functions that our students appreciate, such as posting links to articles, videos, lecture notes, etc. as well as hosting chat forums and even quizzes. If you need Moodle support please contact helpdesk@concordia.ab.ca or ask a colleague in your area with expertise.

Flow of communication

The first point of contact with respect to questions and issues for faculty and sessional instructors should always be the Department Chair. If the issue is unresolved the next point of contact is the Dean, then the VPA & Provost, and finally our President. Directing our communications in this way will help to ensure that questions and issues are addressed in the most efficient and relevant way possible.

Syllabus submission

Concordia uses a common base syllabus template. A new one is under development for the winter semester, but for now please use the CUE syllabus template located on the website under ‘online services for faculty’. Please note that each syllabus requires approval from the Department Chair or Dean before it can be released to students, which should occur in the first week of classes. Please contact your Department Chair with any questions regarding the deadline for syllabus submission in your Department.

*It is essential that we retain a central record of each course syllabus for each semester. Once your Chair or Dean has approved your syllabus, he or she will place it in a secure folder on Alfresco for long-term storage.

Final exam submission

We retain a copy of all final exams. If you have not yet done so please forward any final exams from last semester to Danielle.schalin@concordia.ab.ca. Please remember to send all final exams for this semester to Danielle Schalin once you have finalized them.


As you plan for any vacation time, including any break during reading week, it is important to let Concordia know the times you will be away. Please use the Google Form to do so (we are working on a more integrated system for vacation tracking through HR). Public holidays or times when the campus is closed do not count against your vacation time.


TurnItIn is available to all instructors for use. Please consult the POLICY before using this tool.

Start-up dates

Please remember…

– Our faculty development day at MacEwan on August 31. Registration details to follow as they become available.

– Our faculty orientation in HA015 on Sept 1 commencing with coffee at 8.30am.

– An information session for new instructors on September 1, commencing at 1.00pm.

– Classes commence on September 7.

Grade submission

It is easier to begin with the end in mind, so as we start the semester please keep in mind the requirements for grades submission.

The final grades for each class must be submitted within 72 hours of the final examination for that class, and without exception all must be submitted by December 21 at 17:00 (5:00pm). In courses without final exams grades are due on or before December 12 at 9:00am. It is very important that these deadlines are met. Our Registrar's Office works under a very tight schedule for processing final grades and no processing can be commenced until all grades are in for all courses. If you experience any difficulties while grading, please contact your Department Chair as soon as possible for advice.

All final grades require the relevant Dean's approval, on the recommendation of the Department Chair. Therefore, the earlier you can submit your grades the better for all of us as they must be approved at both levels prior to being forwarded to our Registrar.

Please submit grades via On-line Services for Staff and Faculty and contact the Concordia help desk at helpdesk@concordia.ab.ca or 780.479.9316, Monday to Friday, from 8:00am to 4:00pm with regard to any technical difficulties you may encounter with grade submission. After the grades have been correctly submitted you will receive an automated email reply advising you of that fact. Please do not assume that your grade submission has been successful unless you have received that e-mail.

The process we ask all at Concordia to follow is:

1.     When grading, please keep in mind the suggested averages below.

·      Guidelines refer to average grade in class.  Ranges given are very broad.

·      The guidelines are not rigorously applicable to very small classes or in unique circumstances (with justification).

Course Level

Recommended Mean

Numerical Equivalent


C- to B-

1.7 to 2.7


C to B

2.0 to 3.0


C to B

2.0 to 3.0


B- to A-

2.7 to 3.7


2.     Instructor submits grades to the Registrar following the usual on-line procedures for posting of grades.

·      At this point these are grades are not official and the instructor should not notify students of their final grades (eg. Moodle).

·      At this point the grades have not been released to the Registrar.


3.     Instructor also submits the following to the Department Chair for initial review.

·      Average grade for the class.

·      Number of students.

·      If applicable, instructor should note if the average falls outside recommended range 

       and provide a brief rationalization.

.      Instructors may wish to use the template found in 'online services', or an alternate distributed by the Department Chair at his/her discretion.


4.     Department Chair reviews grades.  The expectation is that grades for most courses will require only minimal review, but attention should be paid to

·      Consistency in grades between multiple sections of the same course.  This does not imply that all grades should be exactly the same for each section.

·      Grades outside of expected norms with consideration of rationalization of instructor(s).

·      If required, Chair consults with instructor(s).  Grades may be revised at this point upon consultation of the Chair with the instructor(s).


 5.     Department Chair forwards approved grades to the appropriate Dean.

·      Chair notes any grades outside expected norms and provides any needed rationale(s).

·      Grades may be revised at this point upon consultation of the Dean with the Chair and the instructor(s).


Wishing you and your students an enjoyable and productive semester.