New attendance procedure begins this fall

From Carolyn Haynes in the Provost’s office:

As you begin to prepare for the fall semester, I wanted to alert you to a new attendance procedure which will be in effect in fall 2018.

The federal government has mandated that universities confirm that students have begun attendance in all courses that count towards federal financial aid eligibility (34 CFR 668.21). Institutions must do this by verifying the occurrence of students’ “academic activity” through the 10th day of the semester. Last year, Miami received just over $104 million in federal financial aid. Failure to meet attendance regulations could result in large fines and even jeopardize Miami’s eligibility for federal Title IV financial aid.

Federal regulations (34 CFR 668.22 (l)(7) define “academic activity” as occurring when a student physically attends at least one class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students.

Because we also have hybrid and online courses, the following also count as “academic activity” when a student:
· submits an academic assignment (in class or online);
· takes a quiz or exam (in class or online);
· participates in an interactive tutorial or is involved with computer-assisted instruction;
· attends a study group as assigned by the instructor;
· participates in an online discussion as part of the course; or
· initiates contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.

“Academic activity” does not result when a student:
· logs in to an online class but has no other “academic activity” online; or
· meets with an academic advisor.

Over the summer, the Office of the Registrar will roll out a change to the photo roster that will permit instructors to notify the University that the student did or did not begin attendance. It is anticipated that the deadline for confirming this will be the end of the second week of full semester/term courses and by the end of day 3 of sprint courses.

Prior to the beginning of the fall semester, the University Registrar will send faculty specific instructions for how to mark attendance on the photo roster. Please note that this change was designed to be quick and easy so as to avoid excessive use of your time.

Suggestions for ways to take attendance in large classes:
· Give a quiz on first or second day of class. Quiz could be on the syllabus contents.
· Have students sign in at door.
· Use assigned seating charts for students, and ask TA or undergraduate associate to note empty seats.
· Ask students to fill out index cards with name and one question or thought related to the class.
· Do an online poll using an app such as Kahoot. Ask students to use their real names on the poll.

Best wishes to you on a rejuvenating and productive summer.