Faculty - Course Management

Faculty manual

Download: Faculty Manual

Minimum class size

The minimum class size for most LPS and summer courses is nine enrolled students. LPS will monitor advance enrollments and will notify departments and instructors of courses that do not have sufficient enrollment before the beginning of the term. Instructors should meet these classes for the first session to see if additional students enroll. LPS will make a final decision about running the class after the first meeting so that students have time to find another course.

If a scheduled course does not have the minimum number of enrolled students and LPS and the instructor agree the class should run, LPS will pay the instructor to offer the course on a $500 per capita basis. When paying on a per capita basis, we will use the number of students who are officially enrolled at the end of the LPS drop/add period. Instructors choosing to teach their course on this basis need to maintain a regular class schedule; payment is not for supervising independent study.

Courses@Penn & Pennant Reports

Class list and online grading

  1. Courses@Penn: class lists, Course Action Notices and online grading

    Instructors who would like to view their class list should use Courses@Penn, which can be accessed: https://courses.at.upenn.edu

    Please note that you will need to have a PennKey username and password to access your class list.

    Courses@Penn also houses the Course Action Notice (CAN) function.  CAN will provide instructors with an easy mechanism to alert students to potential problems in a course, in time for the student to take steps to correct the problem and obtain the appropriate support.  Based on each school’s configuration, the system can also inform the student’s academic advisor(s) to ensure proper follow-up as needed.  The greatest use of this system is expected to be at the undergraduate level, although the system is available to any instructor and any school at Penn.  A pre-requisite for effective use of this process is a valid email address for every student.

    Courses@Penn is also used for submission of all final course grades and for change of grades.

  2. Pennant Reports

    Pennant Reports is a tool you can use to gather student data from the University’s Data Warehouse. Access requires a PennKey ID and password and you must be listed as the instructor of record for your course. You can use Pennant Reports to review your teaching history. 

Classroom location and requests for changes

After LPS has contacted instructors to notify them that their class will be rostered in an upcoming semester, LPS will request information regarding AV and classroom needs. Since demand for seminar rooms and rooms equipped with A/V equipment is strong, instructors should submit their room requests early. Classroom assignments appear on the Course and Room Roster website. Usually, it’s available about 4 weeks before the first day of the term.

If it becomes necessary to change a classroom because of inadequate seating or because some feature of the classroom makes it undesirable for a particular course, please go to the Central Pool Classroom Search website and click on Course Classroom Change. All changes in room assignments are processed through this link, and only the instructor or the department may execute the change. If you make a room change within 1-2 weeks of the beginning of the term, a notice of the room change must be posted on the door of the original classroom.

Canceling a class meeting

If you should find it necessary to cancel a class, contact your department and ask them to post a note on your classroom door. You are obliged to reschedule that class at the convenience of all the students. Classes may not be rescheduled during Reading Days. LPS expects that you make every effort to make up missed classes, either by rescheduling them or by using newly developed technology or resources that the university has available to meet with your students virtually. We also expect that you will be in contact with your classes about the manner in which you to intend to make up any missed classes.

You may request a classroom for a makeup class.

You can find some wonderful suggestions on technology to use to make up contact hours at The Teaching Options for a Snow Day webpage from SAS Computing.

Course evaluations

Penn course evaluations are now all conducted online. The new online system will be similar to the old pencil-and-paper system, with two primary differences:

  • Students will no longer fill out the form in class. However, we encourage professors to remind students in class to fill out the form; our experience suggests that response rates are significantly higher when professors repeatedly ask students in class to complete the online form. 
  • The course evaluation period will now begin in the last week of classes and extend until grades are submitted. To view their grades online, students must either complete the online evaluation or actively opt out of it. Faculty members and graduate teaching assistants are therefore urged not to share final grades with students before those grades are officially submitted, since knowledge of final grades could affect students’ course evaluations.

See questions and answers about the new online evaluation system.

The LPS curriculum committee will review course evaluations regularly to ensure that LPS classes and instructors meet the highest standards of excellence. Course evaluations scores are one of the factors LPS will consider when deciding whether to roster a course proposed by an instructor in the future.

If you have any questions about online course evaluations, please contact one of the following: