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Coursework

  1. Preparation for Classes
  2. Absences
  3. Textbook Purchases
  4. Classroom Performance
  5. Written Requirements
  6. End-of-Semester Requirements
  7. Return of Papers and Exams
  8. Evaluations of Students
  9. Student Evaluations of Courses and Instructors
  10. Assignments for the First Week of Spring Semester

1. Preparation for Classes
Instructors may expect an average of two hours of preparation from students for one hour of class time in courses of two or more credits.  One-credit courses require a total of three hours of student time, inclusive of preparation.

2. Absences
Attendance is a significant factor in evaluating student performance.

3. Textbook Purchases
Students are responsible for obtaining required reading for all RRC courses. Whether the student buys such books, borrows them or uses them regularly in an institutional library is at the student’s discretion. Before each semester a list of books recommended for purchase is posted online.

4. Classroom Performance
Classroom performance is a significant factor in evaluating student performance.

5. Written Requirements
Instructors shall design their course requirements to promote the purposes of the RRC curriculum, as outlined above. Written work during the semester should not exceed the regular time allotments for preparation.

6. End-of-Semester Requirements

A. All requirements for a course should be stated explicitly in the syllabus that is distributed by the first course meeting.

B. There should be no mid-semester exams unless the projected time required for their completion falls within the hours-per-week guidelines of course preparation.

C. No classes should be held during Reading Week.

D. All end-of-semester written requirements (with the exception of [e] below) should not exceed 10 pages, should ask students to work with readings that have already been assigned for week-by-week preparation, and should not require additional research. Papers and take-home essay exams should not be assigned in text courses or Hebrew language courses.

E. Each year students may be required to write one 15- to 20-page research paper in the spring semester in place of the end-of-semester requirement in one course. In the senior year, the research paper is assigned in the fall semester. The paper should be core-related in some way, and its nature should allow students to choose either to focus on one core-related course or to span several of them. The department chair has the discretion to make such an assignment, and the chair then coordinates student proposals for papers. The department chair should not, however, assume that the paper will focus on the Civilization Seminar. The paper will be read and evaluated by the department chair and by other instructors whose course areas are included in the paper.

F. Department chairs are authorized to consult with instructors of core-related courses about the nature of course requirements and to coordinate the requirements of all core-related courses in order to achieve an appropriate quantity of work as well as an appropriate mix of projects. It is the department chair’s responsibility to ascertain that students are neither overburdened nor underworked.

G. Instructors of courses that are not core-related shall not assign research papers.

H. Instructors are urged to construct all other major assignments, class presentations, in-class and take-home exams, in a way that considers how the projects relate to the development of rabbinic expertise.

7. Return of Papers and Exams
When students submit required work for a course on time, instructors are expected to submit grades and evaluations and to return written work with comments three weeks after work is submitted or three weeks after the last day of the semester, whichever comes last.

8. Evaluations of Students
Evaluations shall be completed by the instructor and returned to the registrar no later than three weeks after the end of each semester.

9. Student Evaluations of Courses and Instructors
Each instructor shall distribute course evaluation forms during the final class meeting of the semester and shall allot 15 minutes of class time for students to complete the evaluation form. They shall be collected by a student volunteer who will submit them to the registrar.

Instructors shall not see course evaluations until after they have submitted evaluations of students to the registrar.

Course evaluations shall be kept on file by the vice president for academic affairs and shall be reviewed routinely by the instructor and the vice president for academic affairs and/or the vice president for student development, who reviews course evaluations that are included in his/her purview.  The chair of the Limmud Committee will also have access to the evaluations. At the discretion of the vice president for academic affairs, other members of the RRC community may, upon request, see the evaluations.

11. Assignments for the First Week of Spring Semester
Unless a syllabus is submitted to the library and distributed to students and/or posted on the Internet by the date set as the deadline, an instructor cannot expect students to prepare for the first week of classes in the spring semester.