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 (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 (pp. 38-43) 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 it, even when it is the words of your fellow classmates. If you use an image from the web or a printed source, attribute the source of that image

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 paper 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 informed and active participation in our course’s discussion forums.

Failure to engage in informed and active participation for more than two (2) weeks during 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 Informed and Active Participation Assignment Guidelines.

Classroom Behavior

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 blogs, course listserv, Blackboard forums, and other spaces – should 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.

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 your English instructor and the other instructor involved in advance.

File Management and Data Backup Policy

As part of managing your files well, you will want to keep backups of your electronic data separate from your computer’s hard drive and any portable storage devise you carry with you. Hard drives crash, computers get ripped off, laptop power cords fail, USB drives get lost (or even eaten by dogs). Despite my repeated pleas for making backup copies of all work, I have had students lose their only copies of a project for each of the reasons listed above (and by other means as well). You want to keep backup copies of your work so this does not happen to you.

Online Course Sites

We will make use of two web sites for our course, the course web site and our Blackboard site. The course web site will host the online course documents, assignment guidelines, the schedule, handouts, links to resources, etc., and the Blackboard site will primarily be used to host forum discussions, assigned readings to be distributed via .pdf, lecture videos and podcasts, and to submit assignments unless the assignment guidelines stipulate otherwise.

Students with Disabilities

Winthrop University is dedicated to providing access to education. If you have a disability and require specific accommodations to complete this course, contact the Office of Disability Serves (ODS) at 323-3290. Once you have your official notice of accommodations from the Office of Disability Services, please inform me as early as possible in the semester.

Syllabus Change Policy

This syllabus is subject to change. All changes will be announced on the course web site. 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.


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