Many colleges across the country have adopted policies requiring teachers to withhold all tests during dead week, and the University of Idaho is no exception.
According to the university”s General Catalog, “no quizzes or exams shall be given in lecture-recitation periods during the week before final exam week.”
But students at the University of Idaho who have also been required to take tests during dead week anyway may need to remind their professors about official school policy regarding what the school refers to as no-exam week, said Faculty Secretary Donald Crowley.
“The idea was that students should have a week basically to try to catch up on assignments and prepare for finals,” Crowley said. “And you can”t really prepare for finals if you”re busy taking other tests.”
Despite student complaints among their peers, Crowley said complaints to the provost or department chair are rare.
Crowley said professors may expect negative evaluations by their students and a call to change their test date, but a formal penalty has not been outlined and is rarely applied.
Crowley, who taught political science at UI for 30 years, said he frequently assigned a paper due the Monday of dead week. He said the paper was probably in the spirit of the rule because the paper was not technically an exam, and the deadline was meant to help students.
“I always felt that what I did was fair and no one ever really complained,” Crowley said.
Leonard Garrison, associate director at the Lionel Hampton School of Music, said the school pays particular attention to no-exam week and upholds strict standards to maintain its policies.
“We don”t schedule concerts during that week because we don”t want those distractions, or we don”t want to compel students to go to things when they”re really concentrating on their final projects for the semester,” Garrison said.
Garrison said music performance students at the school are required to play a performance for the faculty during exam week as a capstone experience for the semester.
Garrison coordinates advising for students at the school and previously served on UI Faculty Senate.
During his time on Faculty Senate, he said they debated the difference between quizzes and exams in reference to dead week policies.
He said the senate discussed the issue of professors who use quizzes to take attendance at the beginning of their classes, and whether those quizzes should be allowed during dead week.
According to current policy, instructors are not allowed to issues quizzes.
The General Catalog permits “exams in labs, physical education activity classes, final in-class essays in English composition classes, and final oral presentations in speech classes.”
Taylor Nadauld can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tnadauldarg