In order to maintain a safe and productive learning environment it is important to be explicit in terms of the expectations and policies of the classroom. Take the time to review these expectations as you will be treated as if you have done so. It is YOUR responsibility to familiarize yourself with my expectations of you in this class.

My expectations of you...

  • You can communicate well (reading, writing, and speaking)
  • You intend to participate in all aspects of this class to the best of your ability
  • You will look for ways in which the content of this course will be USEFUL to you
  • When you encounter troubles with concepts or assignments you will seek help from me
  • You want to get a good grade

Your expectations of me (I'm assuming!)...

  • My teacher is knowledgeable in the topic he/she is teaching
  • My teacher cares about my progress as a student
  • My teacher is available and responsive to questions
  • My teacher will challenge me to grow and develop

Here are a few things that can be gleaned from these expectations and need to be known up front as you enter this class:

  • We will take a fun, but serious, trip through the material of this class. This is important stuff.
  • I will respond to questions, emails and discussion postings in a timely manner...this usually means the same day, but I have a life, as I hope you sometimes it may take a day or so.
  • Grading will comply with the Grading expectations listed below...if I'm unable to do this I will communicate with all of you about it.
  • Due dates are firm in this class. If you anticipate problems in getting some work done it is up to you to communicate with your instructor BEFORE it is due to explore options.


  • As you can probably tell most of education has become very technology centered. Having and using a computer is no longer an optional part of education.
  • Both face-to-face and online classes utilize Blackboard extensively.
  • Support on how to use Blackboard is provided and it is the responsibility of the student to familiarize themselves with how the online portion of the class works.
  • It is recommended that you check into the online portion of the class daily.
  • Blackboard is used to post announcements about the class such as changes in schedules and cancellations. If you are driving a long way to come to class I suggest that you always check Blackboard before leaving home to be sure that class is still in session.
  • KVCC maintains a link listing cancellations on the main page. They also have a system that will alert you by text if one of your classes is cancelled. Use the technology daily to avoid the frustration of wasted trips.


  • One of the major concerns of students is getting feedback on your progress. Faculty will be making best effort to provide you with timely feedback on how you are doing.
  • Mid-Term warnings will be issued and explained.
  • All assignments will have a due date, and often, a due time (this is because the electronic drop boxes and quizzes require the instructor to set a time of day that the item will shut off.)
  • It is important that you get assignments done BEFORE the due date/time to receive full (if any) credit.
  • Faculty are not obligated to accept late work regardless of the circumstances...please be courteous and timely in your requests.
  • Graded online discussions will be graded within 72 hours of the time they are closed
  • Quizzes or short written assignments will be graded within 7 days of their due date.
  • Longer projects, papers, and assignments may require up to 2 weeks for grading.


Attendance Policy

Attendance is considered a necessary and essential function of the role of "student" in school. Attendance in class affords the opportunity to:

  • Engage in classroom interaction between the instructors and student and among students.
  • Contribute input which constitutes a significant component of learning.
  • Participate in activities that are essential to the learning method.
  • Avoid a significant loss to the educational experience.
  • Comply with the course syllabus and description and classroom practices and policies regarding attendance.

To this end, students are encouraged to arrange their schedules around their classes and to make best effort to attend every class session and/or participate in every online requirement for their classes. You will be graded on attendance.

Face to Face Class Attendance:

Full credit for attendance in a face-to-face class will be given when you arrive on time and prepared to be in class. This is a pass/fail and "no excuse" policy. This means that students who are in class receive a "100" for attendance that day and students who are not in class receive a "0" for that day. There are no make ups and no excused absences. Absences will be reported to to the college for each session that the student is absent.

Online Class Attendance:

Online attendance is made up of participation in online discussions and the completion of online quizzes and assignments. A student will be considered "in attendance" if they have addressed at least one of the required activities during a given week. While this may not constitute a separate grade in the course (each activity is likely graded separately), attendance will be reported to the college based on this policy.

Once again, there are no make up or excused absences from these expectations without expressed permission from your instructor. Due to the interactive nature of the online discussions, these cannot be made up for any reason.

The “No Excuse” Policy

While I am deeply dedicated to your success as a student and as a person, and I understand that “life” can get in the way of your goals, I am also deeply committed to ensuring that my grading and interactions with you are fair and equitable.  To this end, I have developed a policy that I call my “No Excuse” policy.  Portions of this class, whether conducted online (mainly discussions) or in class (attendance) simply cannot be “made up” in any way.  As adults, you entered into a “contract” to take this course understanding the demands that it will make on your time and external commitments. 

Therefore, I do not incorporate any process of “make up” for specific aspects of this class that require your “presence” (such as online discussions and class attendance).  If you miss class or miss participating in any graded online discussions you simply cannot make it up regardless of the reason why you missed them.  It is not for me to judge the decision you made to not attend or participate therefore I do not place myself as a judge in these circumstances: determining which “excuses” are valid or not.

Consider this course as you would a “part-time, hourly job”.  You get “paid” when you are “here” and you would certainly not expect to get paid if you were not “there”.

This includes medical and disability issues related to your ability to take this class.  Accommodations for medical and disability-related conditions need to be verified through the Dean of Students (see below) but apply only to “non-essential” aspects of the course.  Attending class and participating in online discussions are considered essential aspects of the course and are not subject to accommodation.

For example:

Let’s say you broke a leg while skydiving in Peru and you didn’t get back home in time to participate in class.  If you missed a live class or missed online discussions during that absence, you could not make that up (because participation in these aspects of the course are time dependent and essential to the class).

However, if you missed an online test during that time, I might be able to make accommodations for you to take the test at another time (since being available during a specific time period is NOT essential to taking the test---though an alternative test may be created to ensure that you don’t benefit from others having already taken the test!)

If circumstances arise that impact your ability to meet the ESSENTIAL aspects of this course (class attendance, participation in online discussions, lack of access to the internet), you need to contact me immediately so that we can do what we can to find the best solution for your circumstances.


Clear and direct communication is vital for instruction and learning to happen. The following policies and guidelines are to assist in meeting this goal. These policies apply to ALL forms of communication including verbal, non-verbal, and written (email, discussion, and others) communication.

  • All communication must be respectful and honor individual differences and perspectives.
  • All communication must be professional and should not be considered casual conversation.
  • ALL communication in class will be respectful to your fellow students and to the instructor.
    • Disruptions of class will be dealt with swiftly. This is to ensure that the integrity of the learning environment is maintained for all individuals present.
    • Comments, behaviors, and "attitude" deemed to be unfit for academic settings or which create an environment that is "unsafe" for others will not be tolerated.
      • You will be provided with ONE warning (provided the infraction is not severe - as determined by the instructor).
      • Your SECOND violation will result in an immediate FAILING grade in the class and disciplinary action WILL be enacted.
  • Communication can occur in many ways, in class, on the phone, etc. The preference is that we utilize the communication tools within Blackboard to communicate about questions regarding the class and for class announcements...even for the face-to-face classes.
  • Class discussions (both face-to-face and online discussions) are considered confidential and private and should not be shared outside of class. Be sensitive that this is a learning environment and people should feel free to explore diverse ideas, opinions, and activities.

Written Documents

  • Most of the writing that you will be doing in this class will be with a word-processing program (such as Microsoft Word) and you will be submitting your documents electronically through the Blackboard interface.
  • You must have reliable access to a computer with an Internet connection (preferably a fast one) with a reliable word-processing program (preferably Microsoft Word).
  • It is recommended that you purchase MS Office Suite, as it is the standard file type for all courses at KVCC.
  • “File Format” refers to the type of file that your word-processor produces. Each product (Microsoft Word, Microsoft Works, Pages, WordPerfect, etc.) has a unique “File Format”. The acceptable file formats for this course include the following:
      • Microsoft Word (.doc)
      • Microsoft Word (.docx)
      • Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt)
      • Microsoft PowerPoint (.pptx)
      • PDF
  • The PDF is ideal in that it is a universal format that allows any word-processor to communicate with any other word-processor. To save a file as PDF you simply open the file and select “Save As” from your file menu. Click the pull-down menu for the file format options and select PDF or Portable Document File.
  • When you submit a document for an assignment ALWAYS include a title page with your name, date, course, and the name of the assignment and it must always be submitted as a single document...i.e. cut and paste the title page into the rest of your document.


Students who make arrangements for submitting work after the course is completed will be given a letter grade reflecting the work they HAVE done.  I will not be submitting grades of “I” or “Incomplete”.  When the student has completed the work that is missing I will then change the final grade accordingly.  Considering the structure of this class I anticipate that I will be rarely making these sorts of accommodations and they will only be made under extreme circumstances…do not assume that a request for an incomplete will be approved. Faculty always reserve the right to not accept missing work.

Late Work

One of the key skills that one learns through their college career is task and time management.  You have to learn to balance your life obligations and your school commitments.  Each of us has only 24 hours a day to do what we need to do, so the difference between success and failure often comes down to how well you manage your time.

While you have to manage your time to get your work done, we, as instructors, need to manage our time in order to get your work graded and to provide timely feedback (where the REAL learning happens!).  It is important that you submit your work by the due dates provided in the class so that your instructor can grade this work in a timely fashion.

If, for some reason, you are not able to get your work done, you must contact your instructor as soon as possible.  This means you have to contact your instructor BEFORE the work is due, not after the due date.  It is the sole discretion of the instructor as to if they will provide you any extra time to do any work.  We are NEVER obligated, outside of official accommodations for disability, to provide extra time for you to get your work done, so do not consider this a “right” that you have under whatever circumstances you have encountered.

Hint:  If you have unintentionally overlooked a due date for an assignment, your best course of action is to complete the assignment and send it to your instructor right away.  Explain your circumstances and simply request that the instructor look at your work and provide feedback even if they are not going to award you any grade for the work.  It is STILL the sole discretion of the instructor to award credit or not, but this method will demonstrate more commitment on your part and may influence that decision.

In Class Behavior

The classroom is a relaxed, but professional environment. It is important that the activities, conversations, dress, and behaviors of all students maintain this standard.

  • You are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the material we will be going over. This means that you have any materials that you are required to have and that you have read any required material. Failure to be prepared will lower the quality of the entire class and will affect your grade.
  • If you have had a long night and are too “sleepy” to be in class...stay home. You must be ready to participate in the class if you are going to be there.
  • No eating is allowed in class (although non-alcoholic drinks are OK).
  • Set your cell phones to vibrate and do not answer them in the class. If you are expecting an important call, sit close to the door so your leaving the class will not interrupt the class.
  • There is absolutely no text messaging or instant messaging allowed during class. Students found to be doing so will be asked to leave the class and will be subject to embarrassment.
  • Unless you have specific permission from your instructor or an accommodation based on disability or medical issue, you cannot use your computer in class. If you DO have permission, your use must be restricted to taking notes and related class work. Should it be found that you are using your computer in other ways, your use of the computer will be immediately suspended.
  • When you are in the class you are to be involved in doing work for THIS class not any other class. If you are found working on other class material you will be marked absent and may be asked to leave the class.
  • Tape recording of classes is OK with permission from your instructor and the rest of the class.
  • Participation in all class activities is expected and your behavior is to be courteous to the diversity within the class.
  • Adult guest (no children should be in the class) will be expected to participate in any activities that are going on in the class.

Online Behavior

The online environment represents an extension of the classroom and all the above rules apply...where applicable.

  • Online communication will be respectful and professional at all times.
  • “Flaming” or attacking someone online is strictly prohibited and will result in your suspension from the use of Blackboard.
  • Online discussions are to be taken seriously and should be explored as an excellent opportunity for are expected to grasp this opportunity to maximize your learning in this class.
  • Keep in mind that discussion boards are public forums. Discussion of personal issues, diagnoses, trauma, etc. are not prohibited, but be knowledgeable that whatever is posted in the discussion boards is viewable by the whole class.
  • With the above in mind. What is said in the discussion boards STAYS in the discussion boards. If people open up about their thoughts, opinions, and feelings, it is done with the assumption of confidentiality among the students in the class.
  • Reading instructions for detail is a very important skill for online learning. Be sure to read ALL the instructions and documents that I place online.
  • Without the advantage of a weekly class to remind you of due dates and assignments, an online class can become neglected. Manage your time and your activities to ensure that you get work done for this class. Failure in my online class is mostly due to a lack of QUANTITY of work, not a lack of QUALITY.

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