Instructors and students have different responsibilities in a classroom. Some are shared but most are not. Nobody will take of your responsibilities for you; you have only yourself to blame if you do not fulfil them.
It is your responsibility to attend class consistently, to complete the readings, to pay attention and take notes in class, and to complete assignments/be present for in-class essays. If you cannot attend a class, it is up to you find out what you missed by asking a classmate and studying their notes.
Having to go to your job or a family function is not a legitimate excuse to miss class. You are not excused from doing an assignment or completing a reading when you don’t understand the instructions.
It is your responsibility to check your Columbia College email at least once a day. That is where all official College-related information will be sent, including anything to do with our class.
It is your responsibility to do the readings before class begins. This includes the textbook as well as short articles (see Schedule, p5-6). The articles will be available on CAMS as PDFs or links. I may occasionally distribute hard copies in class. You must bring your textbook and the day’s readings to every class. You may not read course material on your phone or share with another student. There will be random, unannounced reading quizzes at the beginning of class.
Each assignment is worth a certain percentage of your course grade (see “Weight” in the table, above). Each one will, therefore, receive a number of marks out of that weight (e.g., an essay worth 10% might receive a 7.5). Your course grade is the total of all your marks. The table above shows the letter grades that correspond percentages (e.g., if all your assignments were to total 64%, the letter grade you receive would be a C+).
- A+ = 90%
- A = 85%
- A- = 80%
- B+ = 76%
- B = 72%
- B- = 68%
- C+ = 64%
- C = 60%
- C- = 55%
- D = 50 %
- F = less than 50% (fail)
- N = “incomplete” (not attending the course and/or not submitting assignments)
Late Penalties and Missed Assignments
Take-home assignments are due at the beginning of class and receive a -4% penalty if they are late by more than a few minutes. They then receive another -4% every 24 hours at the time essay was due (i.e., 8am).
If you cannot complete an assignment because of illness, injury, or personal emergency, you must visit the counsellors on the 2nd floor. They will require documented proof of the situation. Once the Counsellors have validated your excuse (and they will contact me directly), you can talk to me about a make-up assignment.
Tutoring / Writing Help
Columbia College provides free one-on-one instruction to students who have writing assignments in this or any course. You must make an appointment by visiting the tutoring centre on the 2nd floor (beside the stairwell). When you work with a tutor, you further develop your writing and revising skills. It shows a commitment to the course and to improving your writing.
Counsellors are located on the 2nd floor and are immensely helpful for academic advising as well as personal counselling. You can go to them at any time and without an appointment to ask for help with anything at all: academic issues, health problems, personal situations, etc.. Many of them are trained psychological counsellors, and your conversations with them are strictly confidential (i.e, they will not tell your parents).
On a separate note, if you are disruptive to the learning environment in my classroom, I will send you to the counsellors to obtain a note before you may return, and these meetings may or may not go in your file depending on the severity of the disruption.
Emergency Short-Term Closures
In the event that some form of emergency (such as an outbreak of Swine Flu) causes Columbia College to cancel classes for a short period, your instructor may wish to communicate with you by email. That email will provided information about required readings, assignments, and so on.
It is your responsibility to check your email regularly, which means you must set it up immediately, and you must check it once a day. The instructor cannot and will not help you with this. You must talk to IT (information technology) on the 2nd floor.
Cheating is breaking any rule set down by the College and/or an individual instructor with regards to how to complete any assignment. For example: what materials you are allowed to bring to an in-class assignment or what kinds of help you are allowed to receive for a take-home assignment.
Plagiarism is a specific form of cheating in which you place someone else’s writing into an assignment without giving them credit (e.g., by signalling who they are, using quotation marks, or citing them at the end of the essay). Plagiarism includes other people’s words (three or more) and their ideas (i.e., anything you didn’t think of yourself).
Cheating (which includes plagiarism) is a serious offence. If you cheat, you can expect to receive an F on the assignment, or an F on the course, or even be expelled from the College, depending on the severity of the offence and whether you have committed any previous offences. In all cases, the instructor will inform the Academic Board, and a letter will be placed in your file. There is an appeal process for cheating/plagiarism. That process begins when you meet with the counsellors to discuss the case.
Columbia College Classroom Code of Conduct
We expect students at Columbia College to respect the rights of other students, in particular the right to study and learn. Any behaviour in a classroom that interferes with the instructor’s ability to conduct the class or your classmates’ ability to take the class will be treated as disruptive; the penalties for disruptive behaviour are set out in the College Calendar, and include suspension and even expulsion from the College.
In general, we expect students to be attentive and courteous during class and lab time, to complete assigned work, and to accept responsibility for their own achievement. In particular, we expect the following:
- Students will arrive at all classes early so as to be ready when the class begins. This means taking a seat and getting out paper, pens, necessary texts, and so on before the class starts.
- Students will not leave the class before the instructor has finished. On those rare occasions when a student must leave a class early, he/she should seek the permission of the instructor before the class starts. If a student must excuse herself or himself during a class, the student should request permission and leave as quietly as possible.
- Students will put cell phones on “airplane” mode and place their phones in their bags. No phones should be out on the table.
- Students will not talk while someone else is speaking or interrupt the speaker. This rule includes the instructor as well as other students.
- Students will speak respectfully to the instructor and the other students.
- Students may not eat or drink during classes unless the instructor gives permission.