Assignments and Standards
The Student Workload
Students reflect a wide range of personal backgrounds, ages, experience, knowledge, and maturity, and the Faculty values this diversity. You will have opportunities to demonstrate your competence in different ways; importance is attached to classroom performance, whether formal presentation or informal participation, and to written work in the form of essays or, infrequently, test or examinations. Some faculty members give tests or exercises during regular course time, and the grades achieved may enter into final course grades. Overall, an effort is made to regulate the course workload so as to equalize approximately the loads in different courses. Two minor papers are seen as equivalent to one major assignment of about 3000 words.
As a rule of thumb, each hour you spend in class should require at least two hours of preparation in the MSW program. This does not include preparation time for term papers.
Setting Due Dates and Expectations
The Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work is a professional school and meeting professional standards is part of the learning process. With the clear exception of illness, bereavement and other substantial compassionate reasons, it is an expectation that all assignments will be handed in on time. Each instructor informs the class of due dates at the beginning of each term, and as well, discusses expectations regarding attendance, assignments, participation, and the penalty for not meeting deadlines, etc. The general practice is to downgrade for lateness. Instructors have the discretion to refuse to accept late papers; if they refuse, the grades for these courses will be FZ (failure), see section on late assignments.
As early as possible in each course, and no later than the last date to enroll, the instructor makes available to the class the methods for evaluating student performance, including the relative weight of criteria. After that the instructor may not change the assignment or grading without the consent of at least a simple majority of the students in the course. Such changes must be given in writing to each student and a copy filed with the Associate Dean, Academic.
Due dates for final assignments in your courses, however, may not be set for earlier than the 10th week of term or before 3/4 of the length of the course; this SGS regulation is to ensure that the assessment is based on course work throughout the greater part of the term. In conjunction with this rule, end of term papers can not be accepted before the ninth week of the term. If for some exceptional reason you are unable to meet a due date for a class or practicum assignment you must discuss this with your instructor as soon as possible. It is an important expectation that students complete assignments on time. Do not expect to receive an extension unless there are substantial compassionate reasons approved by your instructor.
An instructor may be able to modify the due date under certain conditions, such as, illness or if a serious problem prevents you from completing your work on time. Completion of the School of Graduate Studies Extension to Complete Course Work form is required and must be supported by the course instructor and approved by the Associate Dean, Academic. Our Faculty requires that all students be treated equitably so a request for an extension can only be considered if it will not disadvantage students who have met their commitments on time. Instructors are given a date to submit their recommended grades to the Faculty Assessment Committee and this can not be changed. The student must initiate a formal request for an extension by the course due date.