Auburn University Directed Studies Definition and Policy

 

This policy has been recommended to the interim president by the provost and formally adopted by the President on August 10, 2006

 

Definition of Directed Readings Courses

 

Auburn University offers directed readings courses, also referred to as special problems courses or independent studies, in accordance with established policy.

Directed readings courses allow in-depth study of a particular subject by a student who is well into her or his major and, in extraordinary circumstances, accommodate scheduling issues when no other remedy is available.

Directed readings courses should not normally be used as replacements for required courses or as a solution to routine scheduling problems.

 

Purpose of Policy

 

The university is committed to maintaining the highest level of academic quality and integrity in the instructional process.

This policy is designed to bolster both quality and academic integrity by ensuring that the academic quality of directed readings courses is materially equivalent to the academic quality of other courses, regardless of format or mode of delivery.

 

Eligibility

 

To be eligible to take a directed readings course a student must be at junior level or above, and the course must be taken for credit toward the student’s major or minor; exceptions may be approved as follows:

Exceptions concerning junior standing or higher, or concerning credit toward the student’s major or minor, must be approved by the instructor and the offering department head/chair (or dean, if the instructor serves as department head/chair or associate dean), and by the dean of the college in which student is enrolled, if different from the offering college.

A student must have the approval of her/his dean and the provost to take more than 9 hours of directed readings coursework for credit over the course of her/his degree program.

 

Approval to Teach Course

 

A standard form available through the Office of the Provost Web page will specify the necessary approvals and serve as the vehicle for obtaining them. Except as permitted by deadline variations within the “Registration and Scheduling” provisions of the university’s “Academic Policies,” all necessary approvals must be obtained by the tenth class day of the semester (or fifth class day of the summer semester) in order for the course to be taken for credit toward a degree.

The form for course approval serves in the nature of a contract in which the student and the instructor affirm their understandings concerning:

 

            a. the objective of the course;

            b. the nature of the teaching-learning process and the proposed schedule of meetings;

            c. the proposed work products; and

d. the criteria that will be used to assess the work product and the grade options that will

    be available.

 

p.2, Directed Readings Policy

 

 

Information on points a through d above should be presented through a syllabus that is attached to the form for approval.

 

Academic Standards

 

The documentation consisting of the approval form and accompanying material must comply with the course description approved by the University Curriculum Committee, and must reflect essentially the same standards of academic quality expected of all courses regardless of format or mode of delivery.

An instructor wishing to offer directed studies coursework to more than three students in any given semester must receive written approval from the department head/chair (or dean, if the instructor serves as department head/chair or associate dean) no later than the tenth class day of the semester (fifth day of summer semester).

            The instructor, department head/chair, and dean affirm through their signatures on the approval form that the amount and level of credit to be awarded for the course is materially equivalent to the amount and level of credit awarded for comparable course work, regardless of format or mode of delivery.