Academic Honesty

Students are expected to abide by the Student Code of Conduct and the Student Conduct Code Academic Misconduct Policy as presented in the online Student Handbook. Students are also expected to have read and understand the English Department’s guide to The Correct Use of Borrowed Information.

In short, plagiarism in all its forms (including but not limited to word-for-word copying, the mosaic, and uncited paraphrases), cheating, unauthorized collaboration, submitting work produced in whole or part by others, and other forms of academic misconduct will be prosecuted as per the guidelines in the Student Handbook and Winthrop University’s Academic Misconduct guides. Instructor imposed sanctions might ranging from a zero for the assignment to a failing grade for the course.

In practical terms, this means that you should produce the work you submit and acknowledge your engagement with the ideas of others. If you consult an encyclopedia for information, cite it. If you find an idea in something you read, even if you do not copy the text word-for-word, cite it. If you use someone else’s words, put quotes around them and cite them, even when it is the words of your fellow classmates. If you use an image, video, audio clip or other form of media from the web or another source, attribute that source even if the content is in the public domain or otherwise does not request or require attribution as part of its distribution license.

You should acknowledge sources from the start; plagiarism is plagiarism whether it is in a first draft or in the final product. If you are unsure whether or not you should cite something, ask your instructor. If you do not have time to discuss the issue with your instructor, cite first and ask later, or, at the very least, include a brief note with your assignment to indicate the issue in question.

For the purposes of this course, collaboration is not collusion (unauthorized collaboration) and collusion is not collaboration. When you collaborate, you discuss; when you collude, you pass off as yours work that is not your own. While having someone rewrite or “fix-up” your project for you is collusion, having someone peer-review or proof-read your work is not. To avoid collusion, ask yourself this question: is this person pointing out for me problems to rewrite and/or correct myself, or is this person rewriting and/or correcting these problems for me? The former falls under collaboration, the latter under collusion. While issues of academic honesty are far from simple, there are three simple things you can do to avoid most problems: Do you own work, cite your sources, and ask when you are unsure.

Attendance Policy and Participation

Because attendance in an online course without a set meeting time is tricky, attendance will be practiced through Participation Posts.

Failure to engage in Participation Posts during any three (3) weeks of our course will result in a grade of N if the student withdraws from the course before the withdrawal deadline; after that date, unless warranted by documented extenuating circumstances as described in the Withdrawal from Courses section of the Student Handbook, a grade of F or U shall be assigned.

For more information on what counts as informed and active participation, please see the Participation assignment guidelines.

Conduct in Class Spaces

The policy on student academic misconduct is outlined in the “Student Conduct Code Academic Misconduct Policy” online. Our online classroom environments – including but not limited to our use of Slack, Twitter, Blackboard, and other spaces – are intended to provide safe environments for exploring ideas and challenging assumptions. Students are expected to listen respectfully to the voices of other individuals and to share their own opinions and values in a positive, respectful manner.

Students and the instructor are expected to treat each member of the class with respect and civility. Classroom behavior that a reasonable person would view as substantially or repeatedly interfering with the conduct of the class will not be tolerated in this course. Students who engage in disruptive behavior will be subject to sanctions as specified in the Student Conduct Code.

Course Site vs. Blackboard vs. Slack

The course web site will host the online course documents, assignment guidelines, schedule, handouts, links to resources, etc., and the Blackboard site will primarily be used to distribute course readings via .pdf, post Weekly Reflections, submit assignments (unless the assignment guidelines stipulate otherwise), and to record grades via the grade book.

We will use Slack as a discussion space for our Participation Posts, general discussion, and general questions. Slack is a powerful communication platform with growing popularity within and outside the tech industry, and is an example of the kinds of communication platforms used in corporate and non-profit workplace environments. We’ll be using Slack rather than Blackboard’s discussion forums for a few reasons:

  1. Blackboard’s discussion forums represent a 1990s-era communication platform. While still in use, nested or threaded discussion forums are more common to the comments section of the open web rather than as communication tool for groups and institutions.
  2. Because different platforms offer different features and because it is quite common today to collaborate and work across organizations and institutions as well as with others within your organization and institution, becoming comfortable working with and across multiple platforms is important. On a project you might find yourself using a program like Slack for general messaging, Basecamp or Wunderlist to manage group to-do lists and tasks, DropBox or Google Drive to share files, Git/GitHub for distributed revision control of documents and code (essentially, a system that allows one or more individuals access to all drafts of a document as well as add to, revise, or fork those documents), Google Hangouts or Zoom for video conferencing, and Twitter and/or WordPress to share ideas and promote your work with people outside your group.
  3. Slack’s interface is based upon features found in many popular social media platforms while offering a closed environment (i.e., discussion is only available to those registered with our team account); therefore, our use of Slack will allow us to practice using an important communication medium in a closed environment.
  4. Slack offers multiple ways of access. Whether you want to access Slack from a web browser in a computer lab, from a standalone application on your laptop or desktop, or from you iOS or Android mobile device — or from all of the above — Slack has you covered.

Duplicate Submission of Assignments

You may not submit an assignment for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course unless you obtain the explicit written permission of both instructors in advance to beginning the project.

File Management and Data Backup Policy

As part of managing your files well, you should keep backups of your electronic data separate from your computer’s hard drive and portable storage devises. Hard drives crash, computers get ripped off, laptop power cords fail, USB drives get lost (or even eaten by dogs). Despite including such policies in syllabi for well more than a decade, I have had students lose their only copies of a project for each of the reasons listed above (and by other means as well). So, please, keep backup copies of your work so this does not happen to you.

As part of a larger file management and data backup system, I strongly advise obtaining and using a cloud storage service such as Google Drive or DropBox, particularly one that automates the backup processing, keeping files both on your computer and in the cloud.

If you are new to the idea of cloud storage the following two articles compare some common could storage services, many of which offer free versions:

Grades, Incomplete

Grades of incomplete will only be at the discretion of the instructor in light of a valid, documented reason. The instructor reserves the right to raise the grade if incomplete work is completed within one year, or by an earlier date specified by the instructor.

Late Assignment Policy

You are required to submit all assignments to me on their due dates, submitted as per the assignment guidelines.

Participation and Weekly Reflection posts will not be accepted late. Late submissions of other assignments will be penalized 5% after the first 24 hours, 10% after 72 hours, and 25% after a full week. No work will be accepted after 10:00 PM, May 3 without prior arrangement.

Students with Disabilities/Need of Accommodations for Access

Winthrop University is committed to providing access to education.  If you have a condition which may adversely impact your ability to access academics and/or campus life, and you require specific accommodations to complete this course, contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at 803-323-3290, or, [email protected] Please inform me as early as possible, once you have your official notice of accommodations from the Office of Disability Services.

Syllabus Change Policy

This syllabus is subject to change. All changes will be announced on the course web site, Blackboard, and Slack. The course web site will reflect the most up-to-date version of the syllabus and will be the one we use to resolve any questions or issues.

Writing Center

The Writing Center provides support for all students in all Winthrop classes free of charge. It is located in 242 Bancroft (x-2138). Check its web page (http://www.winthrop.edu/wcenter/) for current hours.