Instructor and Student Responsibilities

Teaching and Learning:  Instructor and Student Responsibilities

Effective: January 3, 2011

Last Updated: Approved by EPC on April 14, 2010; approved by Campus Assembly November 9, 2010; revised by TLC March 12, 2014; approved by EVCAA May 6, 2014; revised by TLC November 19, 2014; revised by TLC 4-17-19; approved by EVCAA 5-22-19

Policy Owner: Academic Affairs

UMD is committed to providing a positive, productive, safe, and inclusive learning environment for all students and instructors. Teaching and learning at the university take place in a variety of educational settings including on-campus lecture halls and classrooms, laboratories, field sites, and online. Instructors and students have mutual responsibility to ensure that the environment in all of these settings supports teaching and learning, is respectful of the rights and freedoms of all members, and promotes a civil and open exchange of ideas.

I. Instructor Responsibilities

A. Promote a respectful teaching and learning environment.

Instructors are responsible for modeling and maintaining a respectful and productive learning environment. To this end, instructors should articulate classroom behavior expectations at the beginning of the term and reinforce them as necessary. Instructors are expected to take appropriate and immediate steps to curtail disruptive classroom behavior.  Such steps may include speaking to the offending student, asking the offending student to leave the classroom, or calling 911. A guide to help instructors respond to behavioral disruptions is located under Teaching and Grading Resources.

B. Deliver a course that is consistent with the course proposal including the course description, content, objectives, and level.

C. Provide information about courses

  1. Instructors are responsible for providing accurate and timely information about their courses to enrolled and prospective students and to the University community. 
  2. Instructors must provide a course syllabus to enrolled students during the first week of classes. This syllabus may be in written or electronic form and should contain information that students need to know in order to complete the course to the best of their abilities. The UMD Syllabus Policy describes the required and recommended content of a syllabus. Instructors are also required to provide a copy of the syllabus to the department offering the course for every course, every semester.
  3. The instructor must inform the class in a timely manner if changes to the syllabus information are made. No major change (e.g., adding a research paper or major examination) should be imposed after the second week of the semester.
  4. Instructors must ensure that all locations where class descriptions are located (e.g., class URL, UMD Catalog, department web pages) are updated as necessary to help students make decisions about course registration.

D. Provide students with access to and feedback on their work

  1. To help students achieve the course objectives to the best of their abilities, instructors are responsible for regularly evaluating student work, returning student work with clear and constructive feedback, and clarifying this feedback as needed.  So that the student can benefit from this feedback, evaluations should be communicated to the student promptly. 
  2. Term papers and comparable projects are the property of students who prepare them (see Board of Regents Policy: Copyright). Instructors who desire to retain a copy for their own files should state their intention to do so.
  3. Instructors are required to provide graded feedback to their students no later than the end of the sixth week of fall and spring terms, or earlier if possible, to enable students to assess their progress in the course prior to the deadline for withdrawing from the course at the end of the tenth week of the term.
  4. Instructors are required to provide midterm alerts to students in their 1xxx- and 2xxx-level courses who are performing at the D, F, or N level, in accordance with the Midterm Grade Alert policy
  5. Instructors must turn in grades within three business days after the last day of final examinations

E. Comply with FERPA data privacy regulations

  1. Instructors must be knowledgeable about and comply with regulations governing privacy of student information (FERPA).
  2. Instructors are responsible for maintaining security of student work including examinations both before and after exams are given. 

F. Observe scheduled class times

Instructors are expected to meet their classes at the scheduled times, to be prepared for all class sessions, and to start and end classes at the scheduled times. When instructors know in advance that they will be unable to attend particular class sessions, they are responsible for working with their academic unit to make appropriate alternate arrangements. Instructors should notify their students via email when unanticipated illness or emergencies prevent them from conducting class.

G. Schedule and observe office hours and appointment times

Instructors shall post a reasonable number of office hours per week at a time convenient for students and shall be available during such hours for the purposes of consultation with students.

H. Report scholastic dishonesty

If a faculty member decides to take action and impose a sanction that affects a student’s grade, the violation must be reported to the UMD Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, which is responsible for investigating and adjudicating incidents of scholastic dishonesty.

I. Administer student evaluation according to UMD procedures

Instructors are required to administer summative student evaluations in their courses according to UMD Procedures.

J. Adhere to the UMD Policy on Final Examinations

II. Student Responsibilities

A. Promote a respectful teaching and learning environment.

Students are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner that (a) is respectful of the instructor and other students in the classroom; (b) is civil in language, tone and behavior; and (c) is receptive to ideas and other points of view. The UM Board of Regents Student Conduct Code describes the behavior expectations of students and applies to all UM students:  “Disruptive classroom conduct means engaging in behavior that substantially or repeatedly interrupts either the instructor’s ability to teach or student learning.” Making hostile, threatening, discriminatory or disparaging remarks toward or about the instructor, other members of the class or groups of people will not be tolerated.

B. Meet course prerequisites

Students are responsible for meeting the course prerequisites prior to registering for a course unless they have permission from the instructor.

C. Be Informed of and meet all course requirements

Students are responsible for the information contained in the syllabus and for meeting all course requirements, observing all deadlines, examination times, and other course procedures.

D. Attend class

Students are expected to attend all meetings of their courses.

Students must attend the first class meeting of every course (e.g. lecture, lab, discussion) in which they are registered unless (a) they obtain approval from the instructor before the first meeting or (b) they provide notice to the instructor they must miss class in accordance with UMD’s Excused Absence Policy. Otherwise, they may lose their place in class to other students.

Students are responsible for being on time and prepared for all class sessions.

E. Be informed of and abide by UM Board of Regents and UMD academic integrity policies

Students are required to do their own assigned work. If it is determined that a student has violated either the Board of Regents Student Conduct Code: Scholastic Dishonesty or UMD’s Student Academic Integrity Policy an "F" or an "N" may be given for the assigned work and /or the course, and the student may face additional sanctions from the University. 

F. Other

  1. Students are responsible for seeking academic help in a timely fashion. 
  2. Students who need disability accommodations are responsible for working first with UMD Disability Resources and then with the instructor at the beginning of the course.
  3. Students who have concerns or complaints about a course should first meet with the instructor to articulate their dissatisfaction with and desired improvement in the course.  If the issues are not resolved, they should meet with the department head.  In unusual circumstances, the department head may be the first level of recourse.
  4. Guests, including children, may not be brought to class without prior permission from the instructor.