Lateness: Lateness with assignments is generally unacceptable, as it places extra burden on us to keep track of your assignments above and beyond what we do for the other students in the class. It is also unfair to the other students, who are each making their own sacrifices and commitments in order to complete work on time. If you have a true hardship in completing an assignment on time, you must seek written approval from Prof. Portwood-Stacer, in advance of the due date, to extend the due date for a reduced grade. If you fail to turn in an assignment by the due date and time, and have not received approval from me, you will receive a zero on the assignment.
Missed activities: In-class activities cannot be made up due to absence. However, if you contact me at least 24 hours in advance of your absence and arrange to complete the activity on your own outside of class and submit it by class time, you can receive credit. This only applies to activities – quizzes cannot be made up in any case.
Email: We will make every attempt to answer emails promptly. Please allow 24 hours for us to get back to you. If you include “CSMT” in the subject line of your email that will alert me that you have a class-related issue. I encourage you to consult this syllabus and any documents distributed in class before posing redundant questions (particularly if you have been absent from class). You are much more likely to receive a response from faculty and staff when your correspondence is professional and courteous. I prefer to be addressed as Prof. or Dr. Portwood-Stacer (Prof. P-S is fine)!
Evaluation/grading: Requirements and expectations will be made available for each assignment ahead of its due date. This course is very easy to do well in if you are careful to meet each requirement (which includes completing every assignment and submitting it on time). Students who demonstrate that they have put considerable effort and thought into the assignments will earn good grades. The key word here is demonstrate: your work should indicate to the reader—be it professor, grader, classmate, or public audience—that you have put both time and intellect into it. Grades will be posted in the course Blackboard site as promptly as possible. You should check them periodically to make sure there are no clerical errors – these will be easier to rectify the sooner you notify us.
Attendance/Participation: You are allowed 4 absences, no questions asked. This includes both excused and unexcused absences. After that, any absences will result in a one-percent reduction in your course grade per absence. Your participation grade is assessed above and beyond your attendance; just showing up to class will not earn you any participation points. Spending class time on your laptop or cell phone engaged in non-class activities will negatively affect your participation grade. You may think we don’t notice, but we do.