This web page will serve as an amendment to the syllabus for the STAT 432 during the COVID-19 altered Spring 2020 semester. Please read this carefully. Now would also be a good time to re-familiarize yourself with the original syllabus. This is a long and possibly confusing document. A thread has been created on Piazza for you to ask questions that can clarify anything that is not made clear here.

Your instructor believes the following to be true:

With this in mind, we have chosen to alter the course. We do so with the hope that the changes are fair, are supportive of students, add certainty to students’ lives, and promote a continuation of learning. While we realize that there is no perfect way to accomplish this, we feel that the following changes are a good faith effort to do so.


Going forward, we will provide three grades for this course:

Your final reported grade will be whichever of these grades is best. No action is needed to select an option. At the end of the semester, your grade will be calculated using all three methods. Whichever is best will be reported.

Grading Option #1

This grading option includes: Exam I, all quizzes, and Graduate Quiz 01 for graduate students.

If you are an undergraduate, your Quiz sub-score is:

\[\texttt{Quiz = min(100, (Q01 + Q02 + ... + Q10) / 10)}\]

If you are a graduate student, your Quiz sub-score is:

\[\texttt{Quiz = min(100, (Q01 + Q02 + ... + Q10 + GQ01) / 11)}\]

Your grade under this option is:

\[\texttt{(0.50 * Quiz + 0.16 * Exam-I) / 0.66}\]

Lower Bound

As of March 27, at 6:00 PM Champaign time, a lower bound grade has been uploaded to Compass. (Yes, Compass. Please see the note at the end of this document about that.)

For this grade calculation, we have imputed possible missing assignments (that you have not done yet) as follows:

  • \(\texttt{Q08 = max(Q08, 75)}\)
  • \(\texttt{Q09 = max(Q09, 75)}\)
  • \(\texttt{Q10 = max(Q10, 75)}\)

Your letter grade corresponding to this score can now be found on Compass. This is the worst possible letter grade you can achieve in this class. If you score higher than 75 on quizzes 08, 09, or 10, this grading option will improve, but we wanted to give you a baseline now to provide some immediate relief.

Grading Option #2

This grading option includes: Exam I, Exam II, all quizzes, and both graduate quizzes for graduate students. This option is created to make Exam II a no-risk exam. Exam II can only help your grade, it cannot hurt it.

If you are an undergraduate, your Quiz sub-score is:

\[\texttt{Quiz = min(100, (Q01 + Q02 + ... + Q10) / 10)}\]

If you are a graduate student, your Quiz sub-score is:

\[\texttt{Quiz = min(100, (Q01 + Q02 + ... + Q10 + GQ01 + GQ02) / 12)}\]

Your grade under this option is:

\[ \texttt{(0.5 * Quiz + 0.16 * Exam-I + 0.16 * Exam-II) / (0.82)} \]

Your letter grade for this option will be posted to Compass on April 28, that is, before the Credit / No Credit deadline. Please be aware of the Credit / No Credit policies, in particular, that a C- is necessary in order to receive credit.

Grading Option #3

This option is simply the original grading scheme found in the syllabus.

Exam I Grades

Please recall that your percentage for Exam I that is displayed on PrairieLearn is not your Exam I percentage. Your actual Exam I percentage is your points earned, divided by 43.


All current deadlines stand. All future auto-graded assignments (Q09, Q10, GQ02) will have a 110% deadline of April 27. Their 100% deadline will be reading day, Thursday, May 7. Because the analyses include human grading, their originally scheduled deadlines will stand.


The analyses will likely use a slightly different format than that described in the syllabus, with changes meant to reduce the amount of logistics that students need to navigate. Details will be posted to the Analyses section of the course website as the analyses are released.

Exam II can take place any time on Thursday, April 16 between 12:01 AM and 11:59 PM, Champaign time. (If this day will not work for you, and you plan to take Exam II, please notify David ASAP.) This 24-hour window should make time zones a non-issue. Exam II will be a two hour exam. (If you are a DRES student and plan to take Exam II, please notify David ASAP.) The exam will be administered via PrairieLearn. We will not be using a proctoring service. Details will be posted to the Exams page of the website in advance of the exam.

With these changes in mind, and especially the grading changes, David will alter his content creation efforts to prioritize, in order:

The idea here being that we want to get everything needed to complete the assignments for Grading Option #1 ASAP.

Continued Learning

We understand that these changes allow for students to effectively discontinue participation in the course at various times, including immediately. This is by design. We feel it is appropriate to help you free up your time as it may be more useful in other courses, or simply be better spent taking care of yourself during this time.

However, we would be incredibly disappointed if anyone felt they did not learn the material as well as they would have liked. To that end, we offer the following:

In particular, we sincerely hope that all students participate in the data analyses, as those are in many ways the most important assignments of the semester as they tie all of the course concepts together.

Continued Flexibility

While these changes are considered final, we anticipate continued guidance from the University about how to handle this rapidly changing situation. Should the University alter their policy, we will try our best to maintain these alterations, but will ultimately defer to University policy if necessary.


The switch to Compass is incredible unfortunate (as it is generally a difficult to use product) but the roll-out of Canvas at UIUC has not been smooth. Without getting into details, it was simply much faster to spin up Compass to get you your grade information.

Apologies if you get multiple emails about this document, but we wanted to be absolutely sure all students are aware of these changes.