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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

New Instructor Resource

Grading and marking

Marking scheme

At the first lecture, instructors must provide students with a course marking scheme or rubric that contains information about the method(s) in which student performance will be evaulated. This includes:

  • The methods of assessment (i.e., tests, exams, class participation, seminar presentations, etc.);
  • Relative weight of each of these assessment methods in relation to the overall grade; and
  • The deadlines for submitting and the timing of marking for each major form of evaluation.

It is U of T School of Graduate Studies policy that no more than 20% of a course mark can be given for classroom participation. For more information, please see the University of Toronto's Assessment and Grading Practices Policy.

Please note: In graduate courses, there is no requirement for term work to be returned to students before the final date for withdrawal from the course; however, if no work is to be returned by that date, this must be made clear in the course marking scheme/rubric.

Approval of marking scheme

Instructors must submit this course marking scheme (or rubric), as well as a course syllabi, to their program coordinator for approval at least one week before the first day of classes.

After the methods of evaluation have been made known to students (i.e., syllabus released), the instructor may not change them or their relative weight without the consent of a simple majority of students attending the class, provided the vote is announced no later than in the previous class. Any changes must be reported to the department or the graduate unit. 


The range for course grading at OISE, as with all other divisions of SGS, is from A+ to B-. Anything less than a B- (below 70%) is considered a failing mark. 

  • A+ : 90-100%
  • A: 85-90%
  • A-: 80-84%
  • B+: 77-79%
  • B: 73-76%
  • B-: 70-72%
  • FZ: 0-69%

This information is published in the University of Toronto Assessment and Grading Practices Policy. Additional policies and guidelines governing graduate activity are available through the SGS website.


Final marks

After your course ends, you will receive e-mail instructions on how to submit final marks.

Final marks are submitted to the department for approval via eMarks, the University's electronic marks system, before they are passed onto the registrar and made available for students to view online. It is imperative that you do not release final marks to students prior to this.

If you use Quercus to distribute grades and feedback to your students regarding assignments, make sure that your students cannot see or calculate their final grades before your final grades are approved on e-Marks.

Academic appeals

Students may appeal substantive or procedural academic matters, including grades, evaluation of comprehensive examinations and other program requirements; decisions about the student's continuation in any program; or concerning any other decision with respect to the application of academic regulations and requirements to a student. 

Appeals are initiated within the student's home graduate unit first. Students must file an appeal within eight weeks after the date of the decision being appealed. For more information on academic appeals, please visit the School of Graduate Studies website

Informal Resolution of Concerns

The first step in resolving a student concern is to communicate with the instructor or other person whose ruling is in question. Should the matter not be resolved with the instructor, and should the student wish to pursue the matter, the student must discuss the matter with the Chair of the LHAE Department.

The student may request that the Chair meet with the student and instructor (either together or separately) in order to mediate the concern and facilitate a satisfactory resolution. 

In this context, it is possible that, with the consent of the parties involved, informal steps will be taken (e.g., asking a third party to read a student’s paper and provide feedback) to resolve the concern.

At any stage prior to filing an appeal with the Graduate Academic Appeals Board, a student may consult the relevant SGS Vice-Dean of Students for advice and/or informal mediation. The Vice-Dean will serve as informal mediator, attempting to resolve the dispute or clarify issues.


Course evaluation

Course evaluations are completed through student email, usually during the last week of class, and instructors are encouraged to give in-class time for course evaluations to occur.

There is a standard bank of questions that will appear on your course evaluation. You will receive an e-mail halfway through semester which gives you the option to include up to 3 additional questions to your course evaluation. 

Standard questions that will appear on course evaluations 

Part A: Core institutional items

Using the scale provided, please indicate the extent to which each aspect was part of your course experience (not at all, somewhat, moderately, mostly, a great deal). 


  1. I found the course intellectually simulating.
  2. The course provided me with a deeper understanding of the subject matter. 
  3. The instructor created a course atmosphere that was conducive to my learning.
  4. Course projects, assignments, tests, and/or exams improved my understanding of the course material. 
  5. Course projects assignments, tests, and/or exams provided opportunity for me to demonstrate an understanding of the course material. 
  6. Overall, the quality of my learning experience in this course was (poor, fair, good, very good, excellent).
  7. Please comment on the overall quality of the instruction of the course. 
  8. Please comment on any assistance that was available to support your learning in this course. 

Part B: Divisional items

Scale: not at all, somewhat, moderately, mostly, a great deal 


  1. The course instructor made it clear what students were expected to learn in the course. 
  2. The course instructor demonstrated respect for diversity (e.g., race, gender, ability, religion, sexual orientation, etc) in the classroom.
  3. The course instructor encouraged students to express their own ideas in the class.