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    Stefan Jeglinski

    I’m getting students asking me variations of the following question: “if I take a zero on the final and I still have a total course score above 60, can I pass the class under the new P/F option for this semester.”

    I don’t know if our Great Leaders thought through all the system-gaming strategies that our expert students would come up with, but I have some questions/comments that I hope can be answered or confirmed:

    0. First, I will always recommend that students take the final exam; it’s too risky to play these silly games.

    1. Students must TAKE the final, we know that, otherwise they get an AB (if they would have passed, and for a student like this, that may be a question). But they could open the final and submit it for a zero if they wanted to!

    2. The P/F option at this link looks more like for courses that normally could be taken with a P/F option in the pre-covid epoch; I’m not sure it’s relevant?

    3. Most important: I’ve heard that the P/F grade at UNC is actually a P/F/D; IOW, I have been assured (by a colleague that actually went here as an undergraduate and claims to be a victim) that if your course score is in the D range, that you will actually receive a D instead of a P/F. I have been unable to verify this rumor or otherwise find a written description of it. Even if it is true, does it still apply to our new P/F option? This alone would suffice to determine how I would answer the student, but I have to find it in writing somewhere.

    Thanks for any comments!

    Kelly Hogan

    Hi Stefan,
    Congrats on making it to the end of Spring 2020! Let me try to address your comments and questions:
    The strategies put in place with P/F options helped us prepare (back in early March) for whatever the rest of the semester might have looked like. I think of it as a win that many students didn’t get sick, have family members affected, had access to internet, overcame distractions etc.

    0. Yes, all students need to take the final exam. It is up to them whether they put their best effort into it or not.And it is up to you where the line is drawn for a failing grade.
    1. Yes, as instructors if we see someone missed the final exam but can pass the class, we assign an AB. This will be effort and paperwork for all involved, so it is best to tell all students they must attempt the final exam if they want a grade in the course.
    2. The current policies on courses that would be declared pass/fail will be suspended for the Spring
    2020 semester.
    3. A grade of “D” is clearly defined as a pass this semester:

    Hope that helps. If there are student that are pressing you on their particular situation, please refer them to academic advising.

    Stefan Jeglinski

    Thanks Kelly! For some reason I never got a notification that you answered. I did find the emergency grading document (courtesy Jen W-W) and was just back here to post that answer and now see your reply – thanks for taking the time.

    So far, only a very few students have approached me on this, but I suspect there are more out their lurking and calculating. If only they put this much analysis into the course 🙂

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