General Policies & Other Information

1.    Introduction:
I am providing this page of information to help students understand the policies and procedures that I consider essential for students.  The purpose is to provide a base of common knowledge which will help eliminate most routine questions and problems.  Then, students can concentrate on learning and the instructor can focus on helping students learn.  You are to read the following items and then print off the agreement form located at the bottom of this page, sign it, and return it to me the next class period.  It may become necessary to update these policies during the semester.  Changes will be announced in class.  Students are responsible for these changes and should check this site periodically for any changes.
 

2.   Teaching Style:
I follow a methodology of teaching called learner-centered instruction.  The concept shifts the role of the instructor from a lecturer to a facilitator and the student's role from passive to active learning.  I see my job as helping students learn by providing them with a base of information and multiple methods of receiving the course information and then guide them as they develop their own interests.  The students are in charge of and responsible for their own education.  It is important for you as the student to understand that that you are here to learn and I am here to help you learn.  You are not here to just get a grade.  Getting a grade is an evaluation of the process that is required as part of my job description. 

Students also need to understand that the focus of my work is to help students to learn and not to be a bookkeeper.  I gladly will answer any and all questions about the course material.  Any Questions that are not about the course content will be gladly answered by making an appointment with me or by coming to my office hours.I strive to make the experience of taking a class from me to be scholastically energizing and worthwhile.  I thoroughly enjoy teaching so I have created these policies for those who concentrate on issues other than their learning and my teaching (helping you learn).  Students should refer to this page and the course syllabus for issues such as point values for assignments and homework, the recording of grades, etc. 
 

3.   Use of Scantrons:
In many of my courses, I use scantrons to aid in the grading process, especially for the final exam.  Students who have not used them before can easily find how to correctly mark a scantron by reading the directions located on the scantron.  It is important to mark your answers correctly to receive full credit. 
If you incorrectly mark an answer and cannot erase completely, simply apply "white out" to cover the incorrect answer.  In all cases, you must use a #2 lead pencil to mark your answers.  Ink cannot be read by the machines so always bring a pencil to each examination.  You are accountable for marking the scantron correctly.
 

4.   Tentative Schedules and Syllabi:
All schedules and syllabi are tentative.  I reserve the right to make changes to the schedule and to the syllabus as I deem necessary.  All changes will be announced in class.  Students missing classes are responsible for those changes regardless of their class attendance. Therefore, be sure you can trust the student to tell you all that you missed when you ask "Did I miss anything important?"
 

5.   Listening:
Listening is a skill.  Students are expected to listen to what is being said during class time.  Reading notes of other classes, playing games on the computer, etc. will distract you from hearing/seeing the material presented.  The result is that I must repeat information multiple times thereby slowing down the class unnecessarily. Therefore, any student who is intentionally not paying attention will be asked to leave the classroom. 

Additionally, it is distracting to me to have students talk among themselves while I am lecturing.  If you do not understand something or are not sure of what is going on in the classroom at any given point in time, ask me, not your neighbor.  By asking your neighbor questions, you are now responsible for two people not being able to pay attention to what is happening in the classroom.  A simple rule to follow, that you learned in kindergarten, is to not talk while the teacher is talking.  In other words, simply follow normal social graces.  You will clearly know when it is OK to talk to each other such as when you are working in groups, when there is wait time because of the computer processing information, etc.  Use common sense and consideration for those you are interacting with.

In some classrooms there are printers.  It is also distracting to have students print out materials while class is in session.  Do not print out materials prior to or during class times or when we are on break between hours.
 

6.   Save Your Work:
Have your bookwork up to date.  If you have any problems with your grade at the end of the semester, you will be required to produce your work, the grading sheet, etc.  Never throw away any materials from this class until the semester is over and you are satisfied that the grade you received is correct.  Keep backup copies of all your work.  You would not be able to say to a boss in your workplace that you lost 16 weeks of materials but you still want a raise.
 

7.   Attendance:
Attendance is the best way of knowing what is going on in the class.  Unnecessary absences will impede the learning process.  Be to class on time since announcements occur at the beginning of the class and I typically state at the opening of the class what will be covered for the day and how it relates to previous materials.  Students consistently late for class will be asked to support their reason for being late.  Arriving late is disruptive to the other class members and me.  Students who consistently arrive late without a valid reason will be asked to arrive on time or not come to class.  If you must come to class late due to issues such as work, please bring documentation from a superior that is verifiable when you know that your lateness will be reoccurring.
 

8.   What's My Grade?:
Students often ask what their grade is throughout the semester and especially just before final examinations.  It is the student's responsibility to keep track of his/her scores.  At any time, the numerator is the total points earned by the student and the denominator is the total possible.  I do not weight scores by categories so a simple calculation will give the information wanted.  For example, if you received a 88 out of 100 points on the first exam and a 92 out of a 100 points on the second exam, your score would be (88+92)/200 = 90%. 

Please do not ask me "What's my grade?".  In essence, what is being asked is how little do I need to study to keep a grade.  My emphasis is on student learning, not grades.  Again, students need to keep in mind that I feel that students' primary reason to attend college is to learn.  Grading is just an evaluation of what you have learned required by the institution.  If you learn, the grade will be there. 

I will take class time at the end of the semester, typically the last day of instruction, to reconcile what I have recorded with what you have recorded and correct any discrepancies.  Again, be sure to keep all homework, quizzes, examinations, projects, etc. so if a discrepancy occurs, you can produce the missing document(s). 

If a bona fide reason exists that you need my copy of your grade, please submit a request for your grades in writing.  I will return the information to you as quickly as possible, but not to exceed 1 week.

Remember, there will be no make up of exams except under extreme circumstances. The only exceptions will be drastic conditions such as prolonged hospitalization, ongoing cancer treatments (which really did occur in the mid 1990's), etc.  Typically, these students will take an incomplete and finish the coursework in the following semester.
 

9.   Conduct in Class:
I am the teacher, you are the student.  The relationship in the classroom is to be based on mutual respect.  Students will, at times, disagree with how I teach the class.   I base my teaching style on my belief that how I teach will benefit the student in the long-run.  You are welcome to discuss this teaching style at any time during the semester as long as it is non-emotional and logical. 

I reserve the right to ask a student to leave the classroom because of his/her improper conduct.  Serious infractions will be dealt with in the following manner:
a). first offense: student will be given written warning about the misconduct.
b). second offense: student will be asked to leave the classroom and he/she will be dropped from the course.  To be readmitted to the course, the student will have to file a formal document as outlined by each institution.  No student will be readmitted to the course without going thru the specified process.

I must reiterate, the classroom dynamics are based on mutual respect and that I am the teacher, you are the student.

10.                Text Box: Examples:
Harry Potter
Acct 201-01
Homework #3
Ch-3, Ex-7
or
Harry Potter
ITK 306-01
Milestone 1
Labeling and Stapling Homework and Exams:
All assignments,  homework, scantrons, exams and emails handed in/submitted must be uniquely identifiable .  This means that you must put your full name, the course and section number, and the assignment name or number in the upper right hand corner.  (See the examples to the right.)  If you are handing in multiple pages, they must be stapled in the upper left hand corner but do not staple multiple assignments together.  Following these directions simplifies the recording of grades which in turn, increases the integrity of the grades recorded.If you are submitting information such as a quiz via email, you must put CourseName,CourseNumber-AssignmentName/Number-StudentName in the subject area of the email.  For example: Acct201-Quiz3-Potter, Harry.  Items handed in that do not follow these instructions may be penalized or refused.
 

11. Clarity in Communication:
Students also need to understand that, for example, when a students sends an email to me such as this one:

Subject: homework
To temulli@ilstu.edu
I'm having issues with the homework. I was sick on Wednesday and I am not sure what I am supposed to be doing. Should I wait and talk to you Wednesday and possibly turn it in on Friday? Thanks. Emily

...there is no last name, no school name, no course number, no section number, etc.  If I were to give out information and have the wrong Emily, I would be violating the privacy of the second Emily. 

12.                For some assignment, additional requirements may be needed such as dividing notebooks into milestones, including a table of contents, etc.  Those additional requirements will be added to the individual assignment sheet so that you clearly know what you are responsible for.
 

13.                Keep Track of Dates and Times Yourself:
Please look up any information that you can rather than relying on me to do it for you.  I do not keep dates and times in my head well; I write them down and refer to my own notes as necessary.  For example, if you need to know when and where the final exam is, look it up on the institution's home page.  I do try to put the date and time of the exam on the course schedule but the ultimate responsibility is for you to look up the information as it is available.  If you do not know what section of the course you are in, look it up on the web or refer to your class schedule.  Please do not be offended when you ask these types of questions and I say "You can look that up yourself."  If in fact you can not find that information, then I will gladly help you.
 

14.                Due Dates:
As mentioned above, no late homework will be accepted.  This policy, of course, means that a due date is established for each assignment.  These dates will on the assignment sheet, on the course schedule, or will be randomly collected in class.  For some classes that have assignment or tutorials for every week, a generic date will be set such as "All tutorials are due 1 week after they are assigned."  In case that date is a holiday, assignments will be due the next class period we meet after the holiday.
 

15.                If you miss a class period, do not panic!  Studentís trade names and phone numbers the first day of class.  Call or email these students to find out what specifically was covered and assigned in the class that you missed.  Be sure that you prompt this person to give you complete and accurate information.  If you are unsure of what to do, for example: what accounting homework is due for the next class, do more rather than less.  The worst case scenario is that you will be over-prepared for class.  It is the responsibility of the student to get back "up to speed" due to missed class(es) by coming to see me during office hours or by making an appointment. Students can also email me and ask additional questions but the email has to be properly labeled and the questions need to be specific and not subject to ambiguity ("What did I miss?" or "Did I miss anything important?" are not valid questions.)  See also #15.
 

16.                Email is the easiest method of getting information to me. Although I check my emails regularly, no guarantee is given or implied that I will be able to return your email as quickly as you might want.  Have names and phone numbers of other students from this course available so that you have other resources for asking questions.  Additionally, when an email comes to me that does not provide me enough information to properly answer the question asked, such as not telling me what course or which institution the student is referring to, I will probably send back a message saying "See course policies" or "Not enough information given".  My intention is to avoid needless excess work on both your part and mine trying to clarify the situation.  Although what you are typing may be clear in your mind, each message needs to be able to "stand on its own". 
 

17.                The purpose of your coming to class is to learn.  It is my ethical responsibility to the student and others who pay for this economic opportunity to limit distractions from learning.  Therefore, you will not be allowed to read a newspaper, text message, listen to music such as from an iPod, etc. while in my classroom.  Those violating this policy will be asked to leave immediately.  The student should also recognize that his/her actions (reading a paper, etc.) are disrespectful to the instructor which, in itself, should be reason enough not to do it.  See also item #5.
 

18.                Some students may have complaints with any given class and that is to be expected.  Every instructor has a different teaching style and every student has a different learning style.  I will be happy to respond to any difficulties that you are having whether it is with the coursework, me as the instructor, time issues, etc.  I cannot fix a problem that I do not know about.  Therefore, it is imperative that you come to me with any problems that you are having.  If you have not previously discussed the situation with me and my superior in turn contacts me, I will ask my superior to instruct you that you must first talk with me before I will take any action to help you and the situation at hand, further delaying the goal that we all want to achieve. 

18.

Please click on this link to print out the agreement form. Sign and return this form to the instructor at the next class meeting.