The teaching staff (faculty members, instructors, lecturers, and assistants) must respect the rights of students as defined by higher education legislation and act in accordance with the regulations stipulated by both the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) and Koç University as well as applicable national legislation.
Each teaching staff should read
The normal teaching load of research track faculty consists of four courses per academic year.
The medium of instruction is English with the exception of certain designated courses and programs. Therefore, lectures including those given in the labs and problem sessions, usually conducted by teaching assistants, and the student participation must be carried out in English.
Teaching staff is assigned to teach classes by the appropriate dean. Faculty is responsible for holding the classes at the times and places scheduled for them by the Registrar’s & Student Affairs Directorate. Changes to announced class times and places are authorized only by the Registrar upon the request by the appropriate Dean. Teaching staff should not contact the Registrar directly. Teaching staff who wish to change class times or places should send their request to the College Academic Coordinators as soon as the new schedule is announced by the Registrar.
VPAA endorses the totality of the course assignments for the university. Faculty is responsible for determining that the content of their classes is appropriate to each course, as officially described in the catalogue, and for achieving the coverage indicated by that description.
Faculty is responsible for maintaining an environment appropriate to academic endeavor in the classroom and respectful of the dignity of the students as individuals. Students are expected to follow the standards described below:
Each teaching staff has the responsibility to provide a detailed course syllabus and upload it to KUSIS (Koç University Student Information System) at the beginning of the course planning period of the respective semester. The syllabus contains information on the course content, attendance policy, resources such as textbook and readers, evaluation of performance, make-up policy and academic integrity. Guidelines to create a syllabus in KUSIS are available in Appendix 19.
The probable exam dates must be announced in the syllabus, to be later updated as soon as the actual dates and times have been assigned by the instructor or the Registrar’s and Student Affairs Directorate. Please refer to the “Exams” section of this document for more information.
It is important that the syllabus complies with the legal framework and does not constitute a violation of student rights such as the right to a remedial exam under circumstances defined by Turkish Higher Education regulatory framework.
Teaching staff is expected to show up on time and use class time efficiently and effectively which is crucial to establish a positive learning environment. In addition, teaching staff is also expected not to cancel a class without a valid excuse which may undermine students’ commitment to maintain a positive attitude and attend class regularly.
Faculty is responsible for defining student learning outcomes and determining teaching and assessment methods in accordance with their expected level of learning in a course.
Teaching staff should learn how to use KUSIS in order to have access to electronic student/advisees’ records and important academic documents. KUSIS also contains valuable statistical information on the students, courses and the university that are currently available on request from the Academic Planning and Development Directorate or the Registrar’s and Student Affairs Directorate. Please refer to the appendix to view the respective KUSIS menus.
Instructor and Course Evaluation Policy and Procedures
At the end of each course, students fill in an Instructor Course Evaluation form via the KU mobile application. This serves two related, but distinctly separate objectives. The first relates directly to the instructor’s own efforts to teach effectively and provides feedback to a teaching staff about how to improve his/her teaching. The second objective pertains to administrative decisions regarding annual evaluations. Instructor Course evaluation results are reported on KUFIS (Koç University Faculty Information System).
Additionally, teaching staff has the opportunity to receive anonymous feedback from students via online mid-semester course evaluation by using the KU mobile application.
It is highly recommended for instructors to remind students to participate in both mid-semester and end-of-semester course evaluations by providing their candid responses on each item on the form.
Attendance policies may vary from one instructor to another. A course syllabus should clearly convey the expectations from students including the percentage of a student’s final grade that depends on attendance. Disproportionate attendance weight in overall grading is not recommended. In case of an approved health report or an approved absence by the Dean of Students, non-attendance cannot affect student’s grade.
The instructor determines the assessment methods and the number of mid-term exam(s), homework/papers, practice session, etc. and their relative weight of these on the overall grade. Instructor must announce the following, both in writing and verbally, at the beginning of the semester:
To evaluate exams, projects, or assignments, it is recommended that a rubric or principles be clarified on the syllabus and that all students be informed of these expectations in detail.
Midterm examinations can be held during class hours or can be scheduled by the Registrar’s and Student Affairs Directorate outside of class hours. The date and time of the midterm examinations shall be announced to the students at least two weeks prior to the examination date.
The Registrar’s and Student Affairs Directorate schedules exams based on the suggestions compiled from faculty members regarding examination dates, hours, and durations.
Final exams may only be omitted with the approval of the relevant Dean. The method of assessment that will replace the final exam shall be determined in consultation with the Dean.
Instructors cannot change the date and hour of the final exam without obtaining approval of the Faculty Executive Council, cannot give these exams on or before the last day of classes.
A make-up exam is given to students who cannot take the exam due to an excuse deemed legitimate by the instructor. Note that legitimate excuses include but are not limited to the following: health reasons, family reasons, leaves due to participation to academic and social activities, competitions etc. which are approved by the Dean of Students.
The results of mid-term exams and mid-term make-up exams shall be announced within 10 working days from the date of exam at the latest.
Exam papers should be stored for 2 years. Answer key must be prepared and kept along with the attendance sheet (signed by all students before or during an exam).
Rules for Exam Proctoring
Instructors should be present as exam proctors for their courses. If the number of students sitting in an exam exceeds 30, the instructor must work with the Faculty Dean’s Office to secure one additional proctor for the exam room. Instructors who cannot proctor their exam must inform the relevant Dean’s Office in advance.
Proctors must announce at the beginning of the exam whether supplementary materials are or are not allowed. They should mark time remaining on the board (and orally, if required). The proctor(s) should not leave the exam room. If more than one proctor is present, at least one should remain in the room at all times during the exam.
Attempts to cheat must be stopped by proctors and reported to the course instructor immediately. Please see the “Reporting Students” section in this text (below) for further information. If there is any doubt about cheating during an exam, the proctor should first address the students and change his/her seat.
Grading and Post-Grading Procedures
Teaching staff is responsible to maintain an objective and consistent attitude in grading.
Exams and homework/paper grades are announced by the teaching staff.
While posting the grades of all students in a course, the names of students must not appear. Alternatively, the student should see only his/her grade.
In cases in which homework is returned after being graded, papers should not be placed in front of the instructor’s office door. Instructors should make an effort to respect and protect students’ privacy regarding assignment and exam grades.
A+ grade should only be awarded when it reflects exceptional performance, and given to only very few number of students, if there is any.
Dealing with Objections to Grades
Students can object to the evaluation grades, final evaluation grades, final course grades and letter grades given within the semester within one week from the date of their announcement. The objection should be made in writing to the instructor who teaches the course.
If the student’s objection is rejected by the instructor, if a decision has not been made within two weeks or if the new grade given by the instructor is not seen to be sufficient, the student can apply to the dean of the faculty or the school directorate in writing. The dean or director assigns an evaluation commission consisting of at least two teaching staff. The academic title of the members of the commission should be equal to or higher than the academic title of the instructor who received the grade objection. The executive council of the faculty or the school in which the student is registered makes the decision, taking into account the written opinion of the commission by re-evaluating the objected issues.
The student may object to the University Executive Council in writing against the decision of the relevant faculty/school executive council, if the application is rejected by the relevant faculty/school executive council, if a decision have not been made within four weeks or if the new grade given by the relevant council is not seen to be sufficient. The University Executive Council requests an additional evaluation report if necessary and finalizes the objection within four weeks.
The instructor who received the grade objection, the members of the evaluation commission and the faculty members who are assigned to do an additional evaluation report cannot attend to the part of the faculty/school executive council or the University Executive Council meeting where the grade objection is discussed.
In case the letter grade is required to be changed due to the change of the grade in accordance with the above paragraphs, the instructor determines the new letter grade based on the precedent average when the letter grade is determined by the grade distribution, by applying the criteria applied for the letter grade.
Office Hours and E-mails
Teaching staff is expected to keep regularly scheduled office hours each week for students and advisees. The number of hours scheduled should reflect the teaching load, number of advisees and class enrollment. Office hours should be flexible enough to provide reasonable access to students who may have class conflicts. Teaching staff is responsible to provide students with the schedule of his/her office hours via the course syllabus.
The instructors are expected to read all e-mails sent by students and to respond within a reasonable time to keep students motivation and engagement high for their course(s). It is especially important to answer students with questions not covered in the syllabus and those clearly struggling to understand the matter in question.
Make-up and Final Remedial Exams
The excuse presented by the student who missed the examination is evaluated by the teaching staff and in situations where this is deemed reasonable, the student is given a right to a make-up examination for mid-terms and finals. In situations where the teaching staff does not accept the excuse, the student can apply to the Executive Council of the College they are registered to.
The Health Center is authorized to evaluate and accept the health reports. Teaching staff of the courses for which the student is enrolled in, receive notification of the student’s name and date of approved absence via email. Students with health reports approved by the Health Center must be offered a make-up exam.
In addition to the approved health reports, the following legitimate excuses include but are not limited to the following: health reasons, family reasons, leaves due to participation to academic and social activities, competitions etc. as approved by the Dean of Students. Students with such legitimate excuses should be given the right to take make-up exams for the exams they could not take. Make-up exam dates can be determined with the communication between students and the instructor, or alternatively can be conducted on the “Make-Up Exams” days announced in the academic calendar.
If the student does not take the make-up examination, the student shall not be given the right to take a new make-up examination.
If there is a final exam/assignment in a course, students who received an F are entitled to a Final Remedial Exam (“Bütünleme Sınavı”) on the date determined by the Registrar’s and Student Affairs Directorate. A student’s petition to take this exam may only be rejected if his/her overall grade is so low that even a perfect remedial exam score would not yield a final passing grade (i.e. a grade above F).
Advising is an integral part of teaching. Teaching staff are responsible for knowing the KU curriculum, including the core program, academic rules and regulations, and University and College/School requirements and procedures, which apply to their advisees, as well as with the University’s service and support departments to be able to refer students to the services. Academic advisors shall provide guidance and advising so that students can select courses that align with their interest and talents. Special attention should be given to first-year students who often experience adjustment problems which reflect on their performances.
In case of plagiarism (see Disciplinary By-Law Regarding Students of Institutions of Higher Education: Article 5, Article 7) or improper conduct (e.g. disruptive behavior in the classroom) the instructor should report the student to his/her Dean.
Teaching staff should include in their syllabi VPAA guidelines that address plagiarism and classroom misconduct (cheating in an examination, providing help to another student, attempting to cheat, partially or completely plagiarizing homework or papers, project and laboratory work without properly acknowledging the source or collusion on the homework/paper, project and laboratory work).
Instructors are expected to verbally emphasize these guidelines in the first class. For written assignments, instructors and students may use the Turnitin platform to avoid plagiarism.
In case of classroom misconduct that prevents instruction, the teaching staff should first warn the class and the disruptive student(s). Both plagiarism and misconduct are subject to disciplinary action. If a teaching staff decides to report a misconduct in the class or any evidence of plagiarism in a student’s assignment or exam, s/he must file a detailed note with relevant evidence to the Dean explaining the incident as soon as possible.
At the end of a semester, Incomplete (I) grade is given to students whose plagiarism or misconduct report are still being processed.