The following provides some useful information for faculty members.
|February 16, 2018||Junior Recruiting Meeting|
|March 28, 2018||Prospective Student Visiting Day|
|April 20, 2018||Economics Day|
|June 4, 2018||Preliminary Exam Dates|
|June 6, 2018||Preliminary Exam Dates|
|June 8, 2018||Preliminary Exam Dates|
|August 6, 2018||Preliminary Exam Dates|
|August 8, 2018||Preliminary Exam Dates|
|August 10, 2018||Preliminary Exam Dates|
A workshop for new instructors in Arts and Sciences will take place on Monday, August 29, 2016 from 3:00 to 5:00pm in Williams 301. Please note that this session is not the same as the orientation and teaching workshop for new standing faculty that you may have received information about. The workshop for new lecturers - which runs later in the day than the new faculty session - will provide participants with the chance to learn more about teaching at Penn in particular, and will be appropriate for all lecturers new to Penn regardless of experience level. Staff from the Center for Teaching and Learning will lead this practical discussion.
We encourage you to make use of the website designed to help all new instructors prepare for their first semester: Resources for New Faculty at the Center for Teaching and Learning. The site provides important basic information for instructors. It will also connect instructors to helpful resources to utilize as the semester gets underway.
If you have any questions about available resources, feel free to contact Bruce Lenthall (firstname.lastname@example.org), executive director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, for assistance.
Courses taught in the Department of Economics are covered by a common set of course management policies specified below.
Please note that course prerequisites are strictly enforced by the Department. The fact that Penn InTouch lets you sign up for a course, does not mean you satisfy the prerequisites or that you are exempt from the prerequisites. We reserve the right to drop students from courses that they enrolled in if they do not satisfy the prerequisites. We will do so up until 72 hours before the course selection period ends.
Academic Integrity Issues
Academic integrity is a very important part of student life, and the Department of Economics takes it seriously. Please carefully read the Guide for Students on Academic Integrity at the University of Pennsylvania.
If a student is found in violation of academic integrity, it is at the professor's discretion to give the student a failing grade for the assignment and/or the course. Students who are suspected of committing infractions will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.
The department reserves the right to undertake procedures that would catch breaches of academic integrity, should any arise, such as photocopying or scanning midterms or other work before it is returned, and close proctoring during exams.
Courses have individual policies regarding midterm exam attendance. Final exam attendance is mandatory and is governed by a number of university regulations, see the Provost's Rules Governing Final Examinations. Final exams can only be given on the exam date scheduled by the university registrar. No instructor can hold a final exam or require submission of a take-home exam except during the period in which final examinations are scheduled. No final exams may be scheduled during the last week of classes or on reading days. All students must be allowed to see their final exam, with an access period of at least one regular semester after the exam has been given.
In cases where attendance at a midterm or a final exam is mandatory, there are only a few valid excuses for missing an exam. They are:
- Three exams scheduled within one calendar day (for final exams ONLY!) This policy of 3 exams does not count for midterm exams given during class time.
- An exam is given outside of the regular class schedule and the timing conflicts with another class in which the student is enrolled.
- Observance of a university-recognized religious holiday.
- UPENN Business that takes you away from campus. Absence from campus on UPENN business includes, for example, athletic events in which you are actively participating. In such cases, you need to make arrangements with your professor ahead of the exam date to take the exam at another time (preferably earlier than the schedule date).
- An illness/health emergency.
- A death in your family.
- Documented disabilities that allow you to take the exam under other circumstances.
Examples of reasons that are not valid for missing an exam are:
- job internships;
- beginning fall or spring break early or returning after a scheduled exam;
- end of semester early flights; take home exams.
- any other reason you would prefer not to be at the university when the exam is scheduled.
It is at the discretion of the instructor to grant you permission to miss a midterm exam because of a conflict with a job interview. To petition such a permission you must provide documentation of the date, time, and location of the job interview.
Students are responsible for making sure, at the beginning of the term, that they can attend the exams. Registering for a course means that you certify that you will be present for the exam (unless one of the explicitly stated exceptions above arises.)
If you are unexpectedly ill at the time of the exam and unable to reach the instructor ahead of time, then you can give notification of your illness as soon as you are able. Do not take an exam if you are ill and then expect to have an opportunity to retake the exam because you were ill the first time and did poorly.
Students who arrive late to an exam will generally be required to hand in their exam at the same time as other students.
Course Absence Reporting
During the semester students are required to use the Course Absence Reporting (CAR) system to communicate with the instructor about course absences. CAR can be accessed using the PennPortal. This is particularly important for missed exams/assignments. If a student has to miss an exam due to one of the valid reasons listed above, the student must notify the instructor via CAR as soon as possible and state the reason for her/his absence and provide an estimate of the time period in which (s)he is unable to fulfill her/his academic obligations. Note: making false statements when using CAR is considered a violation of academic integrity and, if discovered, will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct and may result in a failing grade.
CAR is not active during the final exam period. Students who have to miss a final exam for a medical reason have to provide documentation from a health care professional.
Dropping a Course, Withdrawals and Incompletes
Students may drop a class before the end of the first five weeks of the semester by using Penn InTouch. Failure to attend a course does not automatically result in being dropped from the course. Courses that are dropped will no longer appear on a student's transcript.
UPENN provides an option for students to withdraw from courses. Students may withdraw up to the end of the 10th week of the semester with the permission of the instructor. For further details, see the College's Withdrawal from a Course page.
If a student’s work in a course is incomplete (s)he may receive a grade of “I” (short incomplete) or “II” (long incomplete). For instance, a student may request an incomplete after the deadline for withdrawal has passed and the only work that is incomplete is the course final exam or final paper; the student has experienced prolonged illness or a family tragedy during the semester. Granting an incomplete is at the discretion of the instructor. Students should work out an arrangement for clearing the incomplete with the professor as soon as possible. For further details see the College’s Incomplete Grades page.
Students who receive an F in a course may retake the course for credit. Both the new grade and the original F will be tabulated into the final g.p.a. and a credit unit will be awarded if the student receives a passing grade. For further details see the College’s Policy Governing Retaking a Course page.
Make-up final exams are to be taken only during the designated make-up exam week, usually at the beginning of the following semester.
Work should be handed in on time. Work that is not handed in on the day that it is due may, at the professor's discretion, receive less or zero credit. Professors may request that a hard copy rather than an emailed copy be handed in.
The relative weights on the different elements course work are set by the instructor. So are the rules that permit (or do not permit) dropping the lowest problem set score. If a student is permitted to drop one exam or problem set score, but misses more than one exam (for an invalid reason), then the student may receive a zero for the missed exam.
One department-wide rule is that, if the course permits dropping the lowest problem set score, a student who has entered a course late and missed the first problem set drops that one, not a later one.
Correcting Errors in Grading
Errors in grading sometimes occur; this section lays out rules and procedures for requesting a correction. The important general rule is that such a request should clearly and succinctly state the unambiguous error you believe has occurred.
Errors in grading arising from illegible or garbled answers are not subject to correction. Students who believe their work has been graded incorrectly should petition for a correction in writing to the Professor. Students should not approach either the instructor or the TA with an oral request before making their written request. Requests should be focused on the specific error and should be made within a week of the work being returned.
The entire graded work (problem set or examination) should be resubmitted; there is no guarantee that grades will rise as, statistically, positive and negative errors in grading are equally likely. If the request arises because you think different students have been graded differently, all the affected students should submit their work as a group.
Here is a suggested way to request to correct an error grading: "Dear Prof. X: I am a student in your economics 222 course. I believe that the grades on my midterm were added up incorrectly. As you can see from the exam I left in your mailbox, I have 25 on each of the four questions, but 73 on the exam. Sincerely, Z."
The College's policies governing the review of a grade apply. Please see Policies Governing Grades.
The course syllabus is an important document. Think of it as a contract between you and the students. It should specify the topic of the course, the prerequisites, the requirements for the course (exams, homeworks, class projects), provide some organizational information (time and location of lectures, recitations, office hours), and a time table for lecture topics and required readings. It is important that you specify the exam dates and grading criteria clearly on your syllabus. You should also be explicit about your rules with respect to missed assignments or late submissions. Do not change announced exam dates because students often make travel arrangements for family visits or job interviews based on the dates that you specify in your syllabus. Your syllabus should also contain a link to the departmental course policies.
Please upload your syllabus through CoursesInTouch to the Course Search and Schedule Planning Tool for use by students when they register for courses. To do so, log on to the Courses in Touch system from the U@Penn Portal, as you do to submit grades. Click the "Syllabi" link from the Courses in Touch applications listed on the left-hand side. Select the "Choose" button for a given course section and you will be able to upload a PDF formatted syllabus. Students who are registering for courses are justifiably interested in having more specific information about courses than a generic course description. The preliminary syllabus need not be detailed information about schedules and deadlines. The Student Committee on Undergraduate Education suggests that the information most students look for include a brief list of the topics to be covered, a preliminary reding list, an initial sense of when and how students will be evaluated (e.g., a final paper, a series of multiple choice exams). We encourage you to take advantage of this new option to educate students about the courses they are exploring.
Moreover, please send your syllabus to Emily Romanello, so that it can be posted on our own repository: Undergraduate Syllabi
Here is a link to a Syllabus Skeleton for advanced economics courses.
Students who miss up to 5 days of classes will be asked to communicate with their instructors about this using the Course Absence Report (CAR) system, which is online (students access it through Penn InTouch; instructors through Courses InTouch). The system lets students send a message to these instructors to inform them of (a) missed class(es). It also makes clear to the students that this does not constitute an excuse and that they are still responsible for making up whatever work they missed.
If a student misses a midterm exam or some other assignment during the semester for a medical reason, the instructor should not ask for medical documentation directly from the student - this actually violates the student's medical privacy rights and should not, in any event, be necessary. Instructors are encouraged to have a clear absence policy on their syllabus that focuses on making up the work (or reweighting the other exams/assignments) rather than assessing the nature of the "excuse." CAR is not active during the final exam period and instructors may require documentation of illnesses from students during the final exam period.
Because of conferences or seminars, faculty may miss one class for a two-day a week class, or two classes for a class that meets three days a week, without making them up. If you have to miss additional classes, then you either must make up the class or ask another faculty member to give the class. It can be difficult to find a time for a make-up class when the class size is large. One of the make-up classes can be a review session given during reading period.
It is not permissible to ask your teaching assistant or graduate student to teach in your place if you are not present. It is permissible to have your teaching assistant teach up to two classes as long as you are present and provide feedback on the graduate student's performance.
Faculty are expected to hold two office hours at different time blocks (not both at 10am, but 10-noon is ok). TAs are also expected to hold office hours, which should not be at the same time as for the faculty member.
Additional Tutoring Services
There is a tutoring center at Penn that provides tutoring services for several of our economics courses, including ECON 1, 2, 10, 101, 102, 103, 050 as well as some other classes. Students can sign up for one-on-one tutoring or attend tutoring sessions that are held at regular times. There is no charge to the students for these services. The tutoring is provided by advanced undergraduates and by graduate students.
It would be helpful to include a link to the Tutoring Center on your syllabus or webpage so students can find it. Also, if a professor requests it, the tutoring center will provide additional services, such as scheduling group sessions with a tutor for a class or providing additional office hours.
Religious Holiday Observances
See Policy on Secular and Religious Holidays on the Provost's site.
Relations with Graders and TAs
Faculty are ultimately responsible for the actions of his or her TA or grader. Supervise your graders. Give them a detailed grading scheme and solutions and tell them how to award points for questions. Explain what is meant by partial credit. Look at the graded material before handing it back to the students. It is acceptable to ask your TA to attend your class if you think it necessary. Ask your TA about what types of issues are coming up during office hours.
Confidentiality of Student Records/Exams
Student grades cannot be posted to the internet, an office door or on a wall using their SSN or ID numbers. Neither professors nor TAs may leave bluebooks or graded exams outside their offices. Students should not have access to other students exam grades.
If parents telephone faculty, faculty may not discuss the student's performance with the parents unless they have explicit permission in writing from the student to do so. Students have the right to see their final exam. If the faculty will be gone after the final, arrangements should be made for students to be able to pick up their exams.
Ways to Avoid Cheating
One possibility is to photocopy exams before handing them back to students to ensure nothing is added after they are already graded, or grade exams with a red pen and cross out blanks. It is recommended that you tell students that you photocopy exams (or a random sample of exams for a large class) to deter cheating.
Inform your TA about how to avoid cheating and about how to actively proctor the exam and address questions during the exam. Students should not be left unattended during an exam. If at all possible, either proctor the exam yourself or have your TA proctor the exam so that any questions that come up during the exam can be addressed.
Have students sit spaced apart during an exam if the seating allows. If the exam is being given in two rooms, there needs to be a proctor in each room at all times. If you have a relatively large class, you may need more proctors. In this case, please contact email@example.com with some advance notice so she can find some graduate students to help proctor the exam. Be clear about whether students are allowed to work together on assignments so that there is no misunderstanding about what constitutes cheating. When you allow group work in your class, be clear what you mean by group work and how large a group is allowed to be.
How to Deal with Violations of Academic Integrity
It is recommended that as a preventative measure you discuss the importance of academic integrity in your class and make it clear that cheating will not be tolerated. Include a statement like the following on your syllabus to make clear the consequences of cheating: If a student is found in violation of academic integrity, it is at the professor's discretion to give the student a failing grade on the assignment and/or for the course.
If you encounter a student cheating during an exam, immediately confront the student quietly and take any evidence of cheating away from the student (for example, a cheat sheet). The evidence will be needed to document the case. Also, record the names of any other witnesses. Report cheating violations to the undergraduate chair, who will contact all relevant individuals, gather documentation and report the case to the Office of Student Conduct. You will most likely be asked to write a brief letter explaining the incident.
Center for Teaching and Learning
The Center for Teaching and Learning maintains a page of Teaching Resources for New Faculty, designed to provide new faculty with some basic, important information they will need as they prepare to teach in September. Faculty who have other teaching-related questions should be in touch with Bruce Lenthall (firstname.lastname@example.org), director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, for assistance.
How Faculty Can Help Students Thrive as Scholars
Although Penn students are very talented, they can also struggle academically and personally. In this brief, the Faculty Council on Access and Academic Support, a council that advises the Provost under the leadership of the Vice Provost for Education, offers five things to keep in mind to help our students thrive, including some key resources to assist students in doing so.
Guidelines for Grading
For a typical course, we recommend a grade distribution that includes no more than 30% grades of A or A-, 40-50% grades in the B+, B, B- range and the rest C+ or below. This is only a guideline and there can be exceptions depending on the performance of the class. For example, an honors class might give a higher fraction of As. A grade of F is given only rarely. A grade of F means that the course will not count towards the number of courses required for graduation.
If a student is doing badly in a class (e.g., grade below C-), or has unapproved exam absences or did not hand in major assignments, then the university asks that professors fill out a Course Problem Notice (CPN) during the semester as soon as the problem becomes apparent. This is essentially a warning to the student of poor performance and also to the student's college advisor. To submit a CPN, go to the U@Penn Portal and click on "CIT Course Problem Notices" and enter your PennKey and password.
You are notified by email when your courses become available for Online Grading. Go to Courses In Touch and login using your PennKey and associated password.
Choose Select Courses or Course Summary from the Online Grading menu, and then select the specific course-section to be graded.
Enter the appropriate grade for each student and SAVE or SUBMIT.
- You may save at any point in time (allows for editing).
- You may partially submit at any time.
- Once submitted, only a change of grade action can alter the grade.
For details on how to Upload/Download the grade sheet in Excel and Canvas; submit a Change of Grade; check your grade spread/statistics; review the history of each transaction; and more, please refer to detailed sections of the User Guide.
UPENN provides an option for students to withdraw from courses to do so; students may withdraw up to the end of the 8th week of classes for any reason.
Use of Short and Long Incompletes
Students may request incompletes provided (1) the only work that is incomplete is the course final exam or final paper and (2) there is a health emergency or a death in their family. Students should work out an arrangement for clearing an incomplete with the professor as soon as possible.
There are two types of incompletes allowed on the grade sheet: a short incomplete (I) and a long incomplete (II). A short incomplete must be completed within the first 4 weeks of the next semester, while a long incomplete must be completed by the end of next semester. It is departmental policy that students who miss the final exam for valid reasons should be given a short incomplete. The short incomplete automatically becomes a fail after the first 4 weeks of the next semester (and so you need do nothing if the student misses the makeup without a valid reason). If you wish to give an extension for a student to hand in papers, etc., please use the long incomplete. There is also a category on the grade sheet called no show. That should only be used for students who disappeared from your class early in the semester (prior to the 5th week) and are still listed as being registered.
To access a class list, go to the Class Mailing List Service page. That page contains an introduction to class lists and a menu to request a class list. To proceed you will need:
- Penn Net ID and Password
- The class department code, class number and section number, i.e., ECON101-001-05c this info is mandatory.
Note that only the instructor listed in the system can activate a class list. If you were assigned a TA for your course, they should be added so that they may activate your class list through IRQDB. If they cannot, please let Emily Romanello know so she can check to see if their name appears in the system.
The class list will not be available if:
- The instructor does not have an email address in Penn's Directory.
- SRS does not have an instructor listed for the course. Please check with me (Emily Romanello) if the information for a course is inaccurate.
If you continue to have problems activating a class list, please contact: Postmaster@sas.upenn.edu for assistance.
You may also access a class list with email addresses and pictures off the web in the SAS Institutional Research Data Base (IRQDB). To access this list, you will also need to have a Penn Net ID and a Password. The CLASS LIST function in IRQDB is under Courses InTouch (CIT). CIT is an application that houses both Class Lists and the Course Problem Notice (CPN). Faculty may access CIT and CPN either via the U@Penn Portal in the section labeled "Student Advising & Administrative Resources" or via CoursesInTouch.
In addition, since many of you are now using Canvas for your course material, you will need to fill out the online form if you would like to have Canvas set up for you. This applies to anyone who teaches courses above Econ 2.
Classroom Setup and Support
Staff from SAS Computing Multi-Media Services will check the Econ 1, 2, and 010 lecture rooms each Monday and Wednesday to make sure that everything is working correctly. Canvas is already set up for Econ 1, 2, and 010. Sites for recitations will be created as soon as we have confirmed RIs.
Canvas sites are not created automatically. Canvas sites are created when the instructors request them. You can request a site ahead of time -- often almost a semester ahead of time, if you wish.
In general, the easiest and most convenient way to request a Canvas site is to use our online form.
This form allows you to select from several options, and gives you the opportunity to select materials from a previous site to be copied automatically into your requested site.
Information about how to get started with Canvas is available at
You can also request your Canvas site by visiting:
If you have trouble with AV equipment or have special requirements, you can contact Multi-Media Services at 898-4947 or send mail to email@example.com . Erin Fallon is the manager. Most other IT support needs, including any problems concerning websites on the Econ server should be directed to Social Science Computing firstname.lastname@example.org .
Information on Scheduling Central Pool Classrooms is maintained by ISC Classroom Technology Services.
When requesting a room for a Review Session, please use the online request form. Please be aware that all review sessions must be done during weekday hours. We will not allow weekend review sessions or makeup classes as security guards need to be obtained and they are costly.
ALL requests for change in classroom are submitted using the Course Classroom Change request form located on the Classroom Finder.
Please be sure that you notify Emily Romanello as well of a possible room change request.
Please be sure to add Emily Romanello and tel. #8-7702 so that we are aware of the request.
Also, please remember that the computer classrooms in MMETS and McNeil
building seat only 20 students.
Course Feedback for Instructors - (Midsemester Evaluations)
Penn offers the Course Feedback for Instructors system (CFI). This is a customizable online questionnaire that instructors can use to get feedback from their students about their teaching. The system allows instructors to select the questions they want to ask from a bank of questions or to write their own, and to solicit student input at any point in the semester after the end of the add period. Results are completely confidential - no one except the instructor has access to them - so that instructors are free to seek whatever feedback they find most useful.
For instructors seeking nuanced student input, this system can help provide feedback mid-semester or more tailored and detailed end-of-semester feedback than possible through Penn's standard course evaluations alone. To protect the anonymity of student responses, CFIs are only possible for classes with five or more students.
If you are interested in setting up a CFI for your class or classes, visit CTL's Course Feedback for Instructors page to get started.
Course Absence Report System (CAR)
The University is implementing a new service to help instructors manage student absences. The service is called the Course Absence Report system (CAR). The purpose of this system is to facilitate communication between instructors and students when a student misses class. The system allows students to inform instructors about absences and makes it easier for instructors to manage information about absences in a course.
We are providing this service because the Student Health Service will no longer provide notes for students who report illness that caused course absences. They have done this to free up appointment time for students who need more serious medical support and to limit the sharing of sensitive health information.
Once the CAR system is operational, the College Office will no longer send absence notifications for College students who miss five days or less of class. These students will be referred to their course syllabi and instructors for information on course absence policies. The College's CaseNet academic support team will continue to work with students experiencing significant personal or academic issues that occasion longer-term absences.
We believe that this change will encourage students to take responsibility for their academic work when they miss class. We encourage you to focus on how (or whether) students can make up work missed rather than on the reason for the absence. This will prepare them better for the adult work world. The best practice is to have a course absence policy that describes how missing class is managed, explains how absences might impact grades, and trusts students to act responsibly when they miss class.
Recording of Lectures
Students sometimes request faculty record lectures because they cannot attend (often due to religious holidays). This is NOT mandatory and is at the discretion of the faculty. If you would like to have a class videotaped or recorded, fill out the Audio/Video Recording Request Form.
Since resources are limited, this should be done early prior to major holidays.
Placing Books on Reserve
Here is information on how to reserve or place course books on hold at any of the UPENN libraries. You can reserve materials or books, journal articles, etc., which is required for a Penn course when requested by faculty for teaching.
The contact information depends upon the library in which the material is located.
At the Lippincott Library, the contact is Adele Chatelain at email@example.com
Penn Course Review Scores
Penn course review scores (recent and historical for all instructors and courses) are available to students and faculty at Penn Course Review.
Faculty Taking Students Out to Lunch
Once a term you can host a class to eat at one of Penn's Residential Dining facilities. Visit the Host Your Class for Lunch (Or Dinner) page and follow the links there to sign up for the program.
Some of you may be aware that students frequently post course material (homeworks, homework solutions, exams, lectures, notes, etc.) on Course Hero, a note sharing website.
One of our faculty had some success in having them remove material from the site. For those of you who are interested in doing the same here, here is how to proceed:
1) Type or write your name in big friendly letters on every document distributed in class along with a statement that says the material is not for distribution beyond the class.
2) Have a sentence on the syllabus to the effect that material they obtain is not to be shared with those outside of the class.
3) None of this will prevent a student from posting it to Course Hero, however, it does make it easy to identify on their site (e.g., you can search for econ 101 + vohra).
4) Find the offending documents and then follow their procedures for having them removed. This is straightforward. Your name on the document establishe you are the copyright holder and the injunction against distribution makes it clear that it should not have been posted. They pull the documents immediately and then give the individual who submitted a chance to challenge.
5) All material should be removed...at least on Course Hero. After typing your course # on Google, you should not find any non Course Hero site that contained the same items, even on the fourth search page. However, one does need to check the site periodically.
Instructors use CPNs to alert students individually to potential problems that could impede their academic success. Access requires login with a PennKey and password. Please encourage instructors to use this application even if they are also giving evaluations through grades on assignments or exams. Students are not always able to infer from grades alone that they are doing poorly. The CPN can deliver this message unambiguously. Also, a copy of the CPN is sent to a staff person in the College Office. While the College will not intervene in the event of a single notice, a series of notices for one student can help advisors detect a larger problem for which intervention is warranted.
Note that the CPNs are integrated with the Class Lists and On-Line Grading on the Courses in Touch site.
- New Faculty Orientation & Annual Reminders 2017-18
- Course Absence Forms
- Canvas Sessions and Office Hours
- Host Your Class Information
- Non-Reimbursable Items List
- Travel expenses to Non-Residents Aliens or Foreign Nationals
- Preferred Travel Agencies
- Penn Travel and Expense Management
- Penn Arts & Sciences Forms
- W9 and C12 Forms