This update is provided for archival purposes only.

Public Health guidance and University of Waterloo operations may have changed. For the most up-to-date information, please visit one of the following COVID-19 information pages:

Science update: Strategies for completing winter 2020 courses amidst COVID-19: Addendum 8

Thursday, April 23, 2020

This message was originally sent to instructors in the Faculty of Science by Marlee Spafford, associate dean, undergraduate studies.


This message addresses some Winter 2020 exam and grade questions and makes a request of Spring 2020 instructors regarding academic integrity.

Winter 2020 Self-Declarations and Grades

  • Quest self-declarations by students are not considered COVID-19 disclosures by the University, thus instructors have no obligations to follow Health & Safety’s COVID-19 disclosure guidelines
  • DNW and NCR grades cannot be submitted in Winter 2020 because they are not eligible to be converted to CR/NCR by students; very few have been submitted in Science thus far (I’ll be in contact with instructors who have submitted these grades to discuss alternative grades)
  • Students can submit CR/NCR requests for INC and IP grades; however, the RO will hold these requests until numeric grades are submitted, at which time, students will be asked to confirm their request

Spring 2020 Academic Integrity Priority

Academic integrity remains an important value during remote learning.

  • Instructors are asked to take the following steps in addition to including the normal boiler plate information regarding academic integrity and Policy 71 in their course outlines (see the Faculty of Science Course Outline Template or the online course outline repository, Outline):
    • Attach an ‘honour pledge’ to each individual test and indicate the following information in Spring 2020 course outlines:
      • Students will complete an honour pledge at the start of each test (suggested wording):
        I declare the following statements to be true:
        • The work I submit here is entirely my own.
        • I have not used any unauthorized aids.
        • I have not and will not discuss the contents of this test until after the submission deadline
        • I acknowledge that the typical penalty specified in Policy 71 for a first offence of premeditated cheating is zero on the test, course failure, suspension and disciplinary probation
  • Instructors (and their TAs) are asked to bring forward suspicions of cheating during tests to me, Barb Moffatt or Sam St. Amand
  • Warn students that a number of companies falsely present themselves as tutoring services when they are actually cheating services. Students need to understand that they place themselves in jeopardy of Policy 71 allegations when using online sources and that their use often leaves an identifiable trail.  The Office of Academic Integrity provides helpful resources to students, faculty and staff regarding how to maintain academic integrity.

I hope this information assists you.