14.06.2017

Course attendance at the Department of Language and Communication Studies

There are courses in the curricula where achieving the learning goals and assessing the students’ knowledge and skills require close interaction between the teacher and the students as well as among the students. In these courses active attendance is required to complete the course. The curricula state how much attendance is required for each course.

The following rules concern all courses that require attendance:

  • When a student registers for a course, he/she agrees to complete the course as appointed in the curriculum and the syllabus (see Degree regulations § 17).
  • Attending the first meeting of the course is a requirement for completing the course and ensuring a place in the group. In case of illness or other acceptable reason for absence, the student must inform the teacher in advance if he/she is not able to attend the first meeting.
  • The student must inform the teacher if he/she is not going to complete the course.
  • If the amount of absences extends the allowed amount stated in the curriculum, the teacher has the right to remove the student from the course and reject the coursework, regardless of the reasons for absences. If the student is going to be absent, it is good to contact the teacher as soon as possible.
  • The student is responsible for acquiring the course material and preparing for the next lesson.
  • The teacher is not obliged to create any extra assignments but can do so if he/she wishes.
  • If the absences affect the course grade, this should be stated in the learning goals and assessment criteria for the course.

If the attendance policy of any course deviates from these rules the teacher must inform the students in writing at the beginning of the course.

 For the student:

  • By planning your studies carefully, you can avoid overlapping courses and overloading yourself.
  • Whenever possible, it is polite to inform the teacher or coordinator of the course about the absence in advance.
  • When preparing for the meeting after your absence, contact your classmates and find out what has been done during your absence and complete the required homework.
  • The following reasons for absences are not allowed: holiday travels, work, overlapping courses.      
  • Be prepared to compensate for your absence with extra tasks, even if there is an acceptable reason for your absence.

For the teacher:

  • Overlapping courses are one of the most significant factors slowing down studies. Thus there must be strong reasons why attendance is required in a specific course; these should be explained to the students as well.
  • If your own attendance policy deviates from what has been described above or you would like to introduce more specific rules, please provide the students with these in writing at the beginning of the course.
  • When planning the attendance policy for a specific course please try to ensure that a student’s progress in her/his studies is not slowed down due to absences. Possible means to avoid this:
    • alternative option to complete the course (e.g. independent study)
    • compensating tasks, e.g. a learning diary of the missed meetings
  • Absences can only affect the course grade if this makes sense in regard to the learning goals and/or assessment criteria for the course. If this is the case, this should be mentioned in the learning goals and in the written assessment criteria for the course.
  • The following reasons for absences are allowed:
    • illness of oneself or one’s child
    • issues related to one’s life situation (e.g. maternity leave, military service)
    • in some cases, issues related to studies (e.g. teaching practice as part of teacher training, language training, other occasional overlaps)
    • participation in administrative meetings organized by the university  
  • The following reasons for absences are not usually allowed: holiday travels, work, overlapping courses.      
  • Even if the absence is for an acceptable reason, the teacher has the right to ask the student to complete a compensating task.
    • The workload of the compensating task should not be unreasonable.
    • The compensating task should be such that it does not involve too much extra work for the teacher.
    • There is no obligation to give feedback for the compensating task.
  • If the amount of absences extends the allowed amount stated in the curriculum due to illness or another acceptable reason, it is advisable to negotiate with the student about alternative possibilities to complete the course.