Instructor Quick Guide

Three strategies, three key dates

Whether you’re tenured or adjunct, there is a lot on your plate as a faculty member. That’s why we made supporting success as easy as one-two-three with these strategies and dates to remember.

Dates to remember

  1. Pre-semester: Plan for your chosen early feedback date and identify how you will promote an inclusive community of learners.
  2. Early feedback date: Submit administrative withdrawal requests, add Student Engagement Roster feedback.
  3. End of semester: Include FN reporting in final grade reports.

Take a deeper dive

Report attendance and provide feedback

Class attendance is critical to student success and has administrative importance to the campus. Instructor-provided feedback also gives students a clear path to success in your class and beyond. At IU Indianapolis, the Student Engagement Roster (SER) unites efforts to report attendance and provide feedback in an easy-to-use platform.

Before the semester begins, identify the administrative withdrawal period, and make plans to submit Student Engagement Roster feedback at the same time as completing the Administrative Withdrawal Roster. Find instructions, tips, and copy-and-paste feedback options with these SER resources.

Benefits of the Student Engagement Roster
  • Centralizes class feedback for students
  • Enables efficient group reporting for faculty
  • Integrated with Canvas assignment scores for easy filtering
  • Provides holistic insight to students’ experiences for support offices like advising and learning centers
  • Makes actionable referrals to support resources and experiential learning opportunities
Dos and Don'ts of administrative withdrawal
  • Do use it for students who have missed more than 50% of course meetings and/or activities within the first 25% of the course duration.
  • Don’t use it for students who are showing meaningful effort but are struggling with course material.
  • Do use it to officially report “some attendance” or “no attendance.”
  • Don’t use it without first trying to check in with the student.

What IU Indianapolis students have to say about the Student Engagement Roster

81%read instructor-provided feedback

74%say SER feedback helps them feel positive about the instructor and learning environment

Promote a sense of belonging and mattering

As a faculty member, you can create a class environment where students feel like they belong and matter—factors we know promote student retention.

Consider these light-lift ideas:

  • Talk about your classroom as a community. Use inclusive language like “we” and “our,” and clearly state that you want your class to be a community of learners who look out for each other and celebrate one another’s successes.
  • Create formal structures for interdependence and connection. For example, peer circles (small groups of randomly assigned students who are encouraged to check in on each other outside of class once each week) make the learning community tangible to students. Generally, such circles are self-sustaining once arranged and may only take one instructor check in around week four to ensure they are still operating. 
  • Include the IU Indianapolis Bias Incident Reporting Form in your syllabus and describe it to students in class. Let students know bias is not tolerated in your class or on campus, and direct them to this form in the event they do experience or witness incidents of bias.
  • Collect mid-semester feedback from students about their course experience. When students feel heard, they know their voice matters and they feel more connected with the class. This feedback can provide you with valuable insights on adjustments that could increase student learning and comprehension. “Search “Midsemester Student Feedback” in Canvas Commons for a ready-to-go quiz template. To learn how to integrate it into your Canvas page, view this video.

Report FN or FNN grades

Sometimes, students earn an F grade due to poor performance. Other times, they may disengage and stop attending throughout the semester; in those cases, an FN or an FNN grade is the most appropriate.

An FN is best practice when a student attended class at least once, but their general lack of attendance is the basis for their failing grade. When awarding an FN grade, be prepared to provide the student’s last date of attendance or participation; this may be the last quiz or assignment they completed or, if you take attendance, a more exact date. If you do not take attendance, the last date that the student accessed the Canvas site for the course may be used.

An FNN grade is most appropriate when a student has never attended class.

As we collectively aim to advance the IU Indianapolis 2030 Strategic Plan metric to decrease DFW rates, reporting failing grades appropriately can help us distinguish our progress. This information is also required by auditors to comply with federal financial aid regulations.

Put it all together

  1. Select the date within the administrative withdrawal request window that works best for you to snapshot student attendance and performance. Target that date as your early feedback date.
  2. Add this date to your syllabus and inform students from the start of the course. Consider adding a no-credit course assignment requiring students to check their SER just after your early feedback date.
  3. Determine a performance marker (e.g., total Canvas average, specific early assignment grade, etc.) you will use to segment student feedback into exceeding expectations, meeting expectations, or not meeting expectations. Plan to use these as your SER filters for quick group reporting.
  4. Plan your community-promoting strategy.

  1. Submit any applicable students for administrative withdrawal.
  2. Submit SER feedback using your pre-identified filters for segmenting your roster. Remember that your feedback is viewable via advising tools and can prompt additional support for students.
  3. Include at least one overall engagement indicator and one encouragement or recommendation indicator in your SER feedback to give students actionable guidance. Consider using these copy-and-paste comments for narrative feedback.

When reporting final grades, enter FNs or FNNs for any students whose noncompletion of the course resulted in their failure. Last dates of attendance are required for FN grades but do not have to be exact; they can be “best guess” estimations.