In 30+ years of teaching, I’ve learned a few things about how to make a class work.  Here is a summary of my expectations — things that we can all do that help us all learn:

  1. Be considerate with technology:
    1. Educational research shows that using computers to take notes reduces student learning.
      • For details, see HERE, HEREHERE, and HERE.
      • You can find a guide to the Cornell Method of note-taking HERE and can download a PDF guide HERE.
      • Those with documented learning issues should see me.
    2. Unless you are a parent, please turn off all cell phones, pagers, text-messengers, etc. and deposit them in the basket at the front of the room before class starts.  If you are a parent or have other special responsibilities, let me know beforehand.
  2. Come to class on time.  If you wake up late, it’s okay to come in your pajamas, eat your breakfast, or whatever.  Just be here, contributing and paying attention.
  3. Don’t leave before the end of class.   You don’t have to meet with other professors, register, answer phone calls, pee, etc. during class time.  This class is your first priority during scheduled class hours.  Please plan ahead. If you leave class early, don’t expect to return unless you have checked with me beforehand.
  4. Policy on Late Work
    Work turned in late makes my life very difficult.  It also robs your fellow students of your in-class contribution.  There are, however, occasions when you have to make a choice. There will, however, be consequences, as follows:

    • Most work is turned in on Moodle site by the deadline marked there.  This work is “on time”.
      • Turn in this work using the Homework Dropbox folders.  See this site’s Assignments page for details to see which ones qualify.
      • Some work is turned in on paper.  This work is “on time” if I receive it before 5 minutes after the start of class.
    • All other work is late.   This includes work that for which you have missed the Moodle deadline.
      • You may give me late work personally, or you may give it to the SOAN Secretary in the SOAN Department Office.  If the latter, you must get it time-stamped. Otherwise I count it as ‘submitted’ when we pick it up — sometimes a few days later.
      • Don’t expect emailed work to be counted as ‘on time’.   I’m old enough to work best with paper copies.  Humor me.
    • Late work loses 1/3 grade for each 24 hour period after the time it is due.  E.g.:
      • Work that I receive less than 24 hours after it is due is marked down 1/3 grade.  (A “3.0” becomes a “2.7”.)
      • Work that I receive more than 24 hours but less than 48 hours after it is due is marked down 2/3 grade.  (A “3.0” becomes a “2,3”.) Etc.
      • I make exceptions for parents and others who need special accommodations.  See me beforehand if this is the case.
  5. Policy on Academic Honesty:
    • The University has an Academic Honesty Policy, which you can find in the latest University Catalog.  (21ff of the 2018-19 version)
      • The short version: Do your own work, cite your sources, don’t try to cut corners.
    • Details about how infractions are handled can be found at the University website.  (You’ll have to hunt.  They keep moving the page, which breaks all the links.)
  6. Other University Policies:
    Like many modern bureaucratic organizations, our university develops new policies at an astounding rate.  This year (2018-2019), I received 4 major new student/classroom policy documents in the week before classes began.  That’s too many to include in a syllabus.  (The world needs more trees.)

    • Please check the Policy section of the Moodle site for this course.  I shall post the most important policies for your perusal.
    • Please review the University’s own website for policies and policy changes.  This page seems to be reasonably complete — but no guarantees.  You can often find policies at MyRedlands.
  7. Commitment to Universal Learning:
    • I am committed to the principle of universal learning. This means that our classroom, our virtual spaces, our practices, and our interactions should be as inclusive as possible.  Mutual respect, civility, and the ability to listen and observe others carefully are crucial to universal learning.
    • Any student with particular needs should contact the University’s Academic Success and Disability Services Center at the start of the semester. Bring whatever paperwork they give you, so you and I can work out the details of any accommodations you may need for success in this course.
    • Any student who is having trouble studying because of lack of  food, housing, money for books, and so on can find aid at the Student Life Office or through the  Academic Success and Disability Services Center .  If you are comfortable doing so, you may also speak to me about your situation and I will see what resources I can help you find.