Welcome to college. Some of you may be experienced students who understand the purpose of the classroom and the roles of the students and instructor, but some of you may need to be reminded of some of the ground rules. This document is meant to make clear my expectations around student conduct in the classroom before any problems arise. It is my hope that having read this document we will then be able to proceed without any question or conflict over conduct.
In addition to the guidelines listed below please be advised that further information is available in The Student Handbook and at the George Brown website. There is also relevant information included in the Course Outline.
Respect each other by listening when a classmate is speaking, by addressing statements or ideas you disagree with in a calm and reasonable manner without attacking or belittling the speaker and by offering help or support when you are able to do so.
Distractions take a person’s attention away from the task at hand. When you speak to another student you are distracting them, but you are also distracting the students around you. No-one has the right to interfere with another student’s learning.
Distracting me when I am teaching interferes with the entire class. Please keep in mind your reason for being in the classroom.
Late arrivals are the greatest source of distraction in a classroom. In addition to disrupting the group with noise and movement, the late student frequently has no idea what is going on. This means that the student will ask questions that are not relevant to the rest of the class or slow down the progress of a group by needing extra explanation or preparation time.
Class will begin on the hour except in the case of morning classes for which a brief grace period will apply – those classes are more likely to go to the end of the period. The door will be closed at quarter past the hour and will only be opened to admit late arrivals at an appropriate time. Students who arrive late are entirely responsible for the work they miss.
Please note that if you have a legitimate reason for arriving late – a daycare drop-off for example – you should let me know in advance so that I can make note of it and allow you entry.
KNOW YOUR DUE DATES
Assignments are due AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS.
Late arrivals on days when assignment are due are generally because students HAVE FAILED TO COMPLETE THEIR PROJECTS ON TIME. Mark due dates on your calendar for the day before the actual due date. Have all work printed and ready to hand in on the day before it is due.
Late arrivals on days when work is due are no less distracting than late arrivals on any other day and will be treated the same way.
Work may be handed in to my mailbox at any time, but be sure to have it marked for day and time.
If you are going to be away for a class please let me know. You will be responsible for making up the work, but I need to know that you are making an effort to keep up. Students who miss more than three classes without contacting me may be removed from my class list, which may result in missing marks or an F for the course. Please make the effort to let me know that you will be away.
Please contact me with any questions or problems. I prefer to see students in office hours as email is a much less effective tool for working out the skills and questions that arise in a communications course than a face-to-ace meeting. For general problems and questions you may want to make use of the COMM 1007 Forum.
I will do my best to contact students in advance if I am sick or if I have to miss a class because my kids are sick. Please take a moment to check the forum or your emails before leaving for class. I will generally update the forum or send out a message 10-12 hours before class depending on the situation and emergencies notwithstanding.
Please note regarding student attendance that while one absence does not tend to affect one’s marks, two or more absences are tied to lower than average grades.
Nobody is responsible for your work but you. It is up to you to make up missed work. It is up to you to contact me during office hours or by email with questions or problems or to speak to me about something that is preventing you from doing your best. It is up to you to inform me of days you are going to miss. It is up to you to use the forum to catch up on missed work or to communicate with other students. It is up to you to manage your time so that work is completed on time and up to the expected standard.
DON’T BRING FOOD TO CLASS
The college policy, although not always enforced, is that there is to be no food in the classroom. Coffee, water, juice, etc Is fine, but please eat meals before or after class. If this means you have to get up earlier to eat breakfast before class, then get up earlier.
ABSOLUTELY NO ELECXTRONIC DEVICES ARE TO BE USED DURING CLASS
• NO CELL PHONES
• NO LAPTOPS
• NO PDAs
• NO ELECTRONIC DEVICES OF ANY KIND
There is nothing more distracting for you, for other students or for me than the constant use of electronic devices. If I see you texting (sending or reading) in class you will be asked to leave. If your phone rings during class you will be asked to leave. If you have a whispered phone call during class you will be asked to leave.
Some people can’t imagine life without their device and have invented reasons for having them. I’m willing to consider your reasons. If you think you need a phone with you in class, or if you think that you can only take notes on a laptop then you may apply to me for an electronic device dispensation, which will allow you to have your device and use it within limits. This is a privilege given on an individual basis and may be rescinded. It will also determine where you will be able to sit in the classroom. To apply you must do the following:
Write a clear, properly formatted letter to me outlining your need for the device and demonstrating to me that you understand the appropriate use of the device during class time. Keep in mind that I am an English teacher and this is an English class, so try to pay attention to grammar, spelling, etc.
Some in-class work may benefit from the use of electronic devices. I’ll let you know when they may be used.
Please note as well that students given laptops as part of their accommodations are exempt from the above, but must use their devices appropriately.
OTHER INFORMATION ON CONTACT AND OFFICE HOURS
• I will be available for office hours at 3pm on Mondays and Fridays. Please feel free to drop in and talk to me about your work. I can also be available by appointment at 11am on Tuesday and Wednesday.
• If you want me to look at a document prior to submission I will only do so during office hours. Please plan your time accordingly and keep me up to date on your progress.
• Please note that I will not be using WebCT this semester due to previous technical and administrative difficulties. I have however been using forums and discussion groups and found them very effective. You can find the forum for this semester at: https://comm1007-2012-2013.canadian-forum.com/
• Under that forum you will find sections for important dates, class notes, open discussion and grammar and usage issues. I’ll be talking about the forum in class so please pay attention and take notes. Here is some of the basic information you need to know.
• You must register to use the forum. Please do so as soon as you can. Please use the name you want me to use in class as your handle. You can add an initial or numeral if necessary.
• I am always looking for moderators for the forum. There will be specific responsibilities, but once these have been completed you will be paid for your work in marks. Please speak to me if you are interested in being a mod.
• Everyone has to contribute to the forum at least once. You may post class notes, ask or answer a query, post something useful in the grammar and usage area, it doesn’t matter, but contribute something.
• I will be administrating the forum twice a week, so don’t expect me to respond at other times. The purpose of the forum is to connect students directly so that you can advise one another when I am not available. I will correct any incorrect information and address outstanding queries or problems.
• Please don’t email me through the forum, for direct contact please use my GBC email. Also, read the note on email following this section.
• Due dates, assigned work and sick days will be posted to the forum, so check back at least once a week.
• I will answer emails between 8-6 Mon-Fri.
• Contact me to inform me of an absence, to ask a specific question that cannot be answered via the forum, or to pass along some important or personal information. Email contact can also be made by appointment in certain situations.
• Please do not send me an email to ask what you missed in class, to ask how to spell something, to ask about a format or usage issue or to ask me to edit a document. The forum can be used for most of these concerns.