Course Policies

Attendance is required. Students can miss no more than two classes before participation grades are adversely affected. I do not need notes, emails, or explanations for absences. Students are expected to use their own discretion. After the second absence, participation grades will be lowered by one full letter grade per absence. Please remember to get class notes from a peer if you are absent. If you miss more than 6 classes after you enroll, you will fail the course. If you are having a major life crisis and need some flexibility on this policy, please come see me to work something out.

Punctuality is expected. As a courtesy to your colleagues and professor, please come to class on time. Lateness will be noted and affect final participation grades.

 Electronic devices like cell phones and laptops are not permitted during class, unless a specific exception has been made. Digital readers like kindles and iPads are permitted only for the purposes of accessing the assigned readings. Anyone caught using electronic devices for purposes not related to the course (Facebook, texting, tweeting, IMing, etc.) will be marked absent for the day and will not receive credit for attending that class session. I know that many of you prefer to take notes on a computer, but I have found that it is very difficult to resist the temptations of the Internet and that students are more engaged and focused when they are not on laptops. I ask that you give this policy a fair chance. If you find that it is getting in the way of your learning, I will be happy to revisit the laptop policy mid-semester. Students with a documented disability who need laptops will be able to use them throughout the semester. Also, I make an exception on mid-term and final review days when laptops are permitted for note taking.

Late Work will be penalized. Papers will be lowered by one full letter grade for each day they are late.

Email is a welcome way to communicate with the instructor. I will be happy to answer quick questions about course assignments, readings, or anything that may be unclear to you. If you have a more involved question or you need to discuss your work, you should come to see me during office hours or schedule an appointment. Please remember to keep your emails to professors professional. You don’t begin an email to a professor by saying, “Hey” or “What’s up?” Rather, you should begin by writing, “Dear Professor X” and then politely stating your query. Furthermore, it is important to note that I may occasionally email the course through Blackboard, which goes to your AU email account. You are expected to check your email on a daily basis or to have your AU email forwarded to an account that you check often.

Office Hours are held each week, unless otherwise noted. Students may stop by office hours at any time for help, or you can schedule an appointment to meet outside of office hours. Each student is expected to come to office hours at least once during the semester. Office hours are a great place to brainstorm about your digital participation project.

Success in this course is achieved through hard and consistent work. I do want students to receive good grades and will do everything possible to make that happen for those willing to put in the time and effort. However, students who do the minimum to meet the course requirements should not expect an above average grade. (And, clearly, those who fall short of the course requirements will receive below average grades.) I am always willing to listen to student feedback and to adjust the course to meet students’ learning goals. If you have a need or a suggestion on how to enhance your experience in the course, you should not wait until the end of the semester to voice it.

Academic Integrity is consistent with the standards of academic conduct and set forth in the university’s Academic Integrity Code. By registering, you have acknowledged your awareness of the Academic Integrity Code, and you are obliged to become familiar with your rights and responsibilities as defined by the Code. Violations of the Academic Integrity Code will not be treated lightly, and disciplinary actions will be taken should such violations occur. Please see me if you have any questions about the academic violations described in the Code in general or as they relate to particular requirements for this course.

 Other Expectations:

  • Each class meeting will include a reading assignment and/or viewing assignment. These assignments should be completed BEFORE class and students should be prepared to discuss and answer questions about the reading.
  • Each student is expected to actively participate in class.
  • Students are expected to stay seated and focused throughout the entire 75-minute class period. If you have an emergency, please get up quietly and do not disturb the class. Students who leave class more than three times during the semester will see their participation drop. Students are not permitted to leave the room during exams.
  • When we read a novel or story from a specific country, I expect students to have looked up where that country is on a map and to know a few basic facts about that country. You should know, for instance, what the major European language spoken there is, when that country gained independence (roughly) and from whom, and what the capital city is named. This is where Wikipedia is awesome: everything you need is there. You don’t need to know any specific names of political leaders or dates but rather very general background information and geography. Occasionally, I’ll give a quick reading quiz and ask you for some of this info. There will be a geography portion of the mid-term and final as well.