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Policies

The following policies are relevant to all of my courses and complement Northeastern's Academic Policies and Procedures. More specific details might be found in your syllabus.

Expectations

In order for this to be a successful experience for all of us, you will have to meet high expectations. The energy and effort that you put into your assignments and participation will show. Put simply, none of us wants to read bad (i.e. lazy, hasty, or apathetic) papers, and nobody wants to sit in a classroom where no one has done the homework or has anything to say.

Respect

Respect means being prepared for class. It means showing consideration for every member of the class, regardless of their beliefs, appearance, or ability. It means paying attention to your classmates and offering them useful advice that will help to make them better communicators, and it means receiving criticism with an open mind. It means being honest and responsible. It means arriving on time and packing up your bags after the end of class. It means putting effort into your work in a manner that shows respect for the instructor, the class, and yourself. I will hold you to this expectation and you should ask the the same of me.

Academic Integrity

Cheating and plagiarism (passing off someone else’s idea as your own) is subject to University procedures and carries serious penalties, ranging from an “F” for the course to expulsion from the university. Unfortunately, I've had to take these actions in the past and will do so again if need be. If you are worried about whether you are attributing information to your sources correctly, ask or err on the side of caution.

Collaboration

This class will involve serious collaborative learning. You will be provided with opportunities to respond to your peers as they also work through the communication process. I see my role as both your instructor and a facilitator and collaborator in this process. Thus you will learn to be a good reader and editor of your own work, and of the work of others -- these are all skills that will help you be successful beyond the university.

Devices

While we sometimes use devices in class as part of an activity, the default policy is for devices to be silenced and put away. (Interestingly, as noted in my tips for note-taking, handwritten notes can lead to better learning.) If you want to use a device during the course, email me a proposal with your intended usage (see this example). Note, device users might also be called upon you to perform tasks such as looking things up or taking collaborative notes. At any time, I might ask you to immediately send me your notes (especially if I think you are distracted) and I can also rescind device privileges.

Attendance

Missing more than three classes over the course of the semester will harm your grade. University accepted excuses (i.e., religious holidays and valid permission from the Office of Athletics) must be communicated to me beforehand and assignment due dates will not be changed. (That is, you may turn an assignment in early if need be.)

Participation


The participation grade is not a “gimme.” Discussion is critical to the learning experience. Thus students will be assigned a grade based on the quality and quantity of their participation. Your engagement through your thoughtful contributions and respectful listening (in class or online) is crucial to your and everyone else’s success in this class. Not only do you need to show up on time and be prepared to think, you need to listen reflectively to your peers, offer constructive feedback, and make a conscious effort to respect and learn from difference. The failure to consistently and constructively participate will result in a poor participation grade. Moreover, if you arrive more than 10 minutes late you will be considered absent for that class period.

Late Work

I do not accept late work. In other words, turn in an assignment one minute after class ends you will get a 0. You may, however, turn work in early. So pay close attention to the class schedule in order that you remember due dates.

Grades

In my assessment philosophy a "B," for example, is not a subtraction from an initial state of an "A," but rather recognition of good and thorough work. A "C" is satisfactory. You are welcome to consult with me at any time during the semester about your grade. Please see my assessment rubric to learn more.




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