Exam/Midterm Disruption Task Force to hold focus group for faculty tomorrow

The Exam/Midterm Disruption Task Force is continuing its efforts to examine and resolve the disruptions of midterms. This includes developing longer-term strategies for mitigating occurrences while taking immediate action where possible.

Student input has been sought via direct e-mail as well as through focus groups. On Friday, Nov. 27, a faculty focus group will be held to continue gathering input from the community. As space is limited, course directors interested in participating should contact Laura Bevacqua to RSVP for the group.

The task force is committed to acting while deliberating. To that end, specialized support has been provided to address midterm disruptions for select courses that appear to have been targeted in the past. Professor Avi Cohen of the Department of Economics in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies is no stranger to such disruptions.

“Like many economics tests over the past year, the first midterm for the 750 students in my ECON 1000 sections was disrupted by multiple fire alarms," says Cohen. "With advance planning by the Registrar’s Office and York Security, the second midterm went off smoothly. While I am pleased for my students, no student or instructor should have to worry about fire alarms.”

The task force has also circulated a series of invigilation recommendations to course directors which were modelled after those used during official exams. Academic colleagues at the University, including associate deans of three Faculties and the former chair of the Senate Committee on Curriculum & Academic Standards, were involved in the creation of these recommendations, along with the Office of the Registrar and Security Services.

“Any individual who pulls fire alarms or makes bomb threats as a means to disrupt midterm tests is engaging in a criminal act," says Joanne Duklas, University registrar and task force chair. "It is essential that we stand together as a community against such behaviour.” 

Community members with information regarding a person or persons engaged in disrupting midterms are urged to report the matter to Security Services immediately.

For more information on the work of the Exam/Midterm Disruption Task Force, see YFile, Oct. 28