PoliciesThe following policies and procedures apply to almost all my classes.
Students are expected to come to class on time, to be prepared, to participate and to remain for the entire session.
Students will an excessive number of absences, or who regularly come late or leave class early, may be asked to drop.
Many students underestimate the importance of attendance. Every class that's missed makes it more difficult for a student to succeed. A student in freshman Calculus recently described the difficulties he had because of classes he missed during an illness. Click Here to read what he has to say about attendance.
Generally, ordinary homework problems will not be graded, although on occasion a graded homework assignment may be given. In those cases, the graded homework assignments will be treated equivalently to quizzes. There also may be a number of both individual and group projects that will be collected and graded.
Documentation for Group Projects
Each group will create a written report, which may include charts and sketches if deemed appropriate. The report must include the names of all team members.
An electronic copy of the text must also be submitted to the instructor by electronic mail. The electronic copy should be in plain text (ascii). It should be in the body of the email message, not an attachment. Optionally, groups may submit their projects electronically as html, but that should still be in plain text. The only exception is that if any graphics are included, they may (indeed, must) be sent as attachments. Note it is likely that some information in the written report will be lost.
Alternative: In place of submitting the electronic copy directly, students may create a web page and communicate the url for the web page.
The reports should be prepared so that they would be understood by students with backgrounds similar to those of the students in the class. No prior knowledge of the project should be necessary to fully understand what the assignment was. The report should not contain a reproduction of this sheet; the report must be understandable simply because it is clearly written.
Reports should be mostly self-contained in that they generally should not require the reader to check outside sources, or to trust outside sources, to verify any information. If any formulas are used, they should be explained and, if not generally known by the typical college student, derived. For example, one would not need to derive the formula for the area of a circle but one would need to derive the formula for the present value of an annuity.
Use may be made of standard software, such as spreadsheets. In such cases, their use must be completely explained.
Students who are able to program in standard languages may do so with the permission of the instructor.
Research may be done using Internet, but no use may be made of sites which do calculations for users.
It is recommended that each team member carefully analyze the completed report prior to its submission from the perspective of someone who has no knowledge of the project to make sure that it is written clearly enough, with sufficient explanation so that, for example, someone reading the report would be able to reproduce exactly the same calculations included without looking at those calculations.
All reports will be posted on the course home page.
Confidential Individual ReportsIn addition to the team's report, each team member will, in confidence, separately submit an individual report describing how the team divided up the tasks and including an estimate of the percentage contribution of each team member.
Students who do not submit their individual confidential reports by the due date will be penalized. Also, if there is a general consensus within a group that some team members did not contribute their fair share, those students will be penalized.
During summer sessions, because of the compressed nature of the semesters, examinations are generally given at the end of the second and fourth weeks of the semester with the final examination at the end of the last week. Short quizzes are generally given every Tuesday and Thursday for classes meeting four time per week and every Thursday for classes meeting just twice a week.Nothing should be written on the question paper other than your name. A one point penalty will be assessed for papers which are submitted without being stapled together in the left hand corner. Avoid writing near the upper left hand corner so that all your work is visible even after the papers are stapled together.
Students may consult with others before actually completing the assignment, but the work handed in must be the student's own work, completed while not in contact with others and without referring, either directly or indirectly, to any written material.
Students must affirm that they have adhered to these conditions with their signature underneath their printed name on the question paper. The problem set or examination will not be considered to have been submitted unless it's signed.
Calculators and computers may be used, but the use of such electronic gadgets may not be used as an alibi for incorrect answers. Also, any calculations that can reasonably be done without the use of electronic gadgets should be done by hand with the solution presented in such a way as to make it clear that was done.
Even more than for ordinary examinations, answers need to be clear and complete. In particular, the exact methods used to arrive at each answer should be perfectly clear and each answer should be self-contained. Students should be aware that the grading standards for a problem set or take home examination are far higher than the standards for an in class examination.
Papers must be returned by the time class meets on the due date specified. No exceptions other than the one noted below will be made for any reason other than the cancellation of classes. Penalties are listed under the makeup examination section.
There is no penalty for handing in an assignment in advance of the due date.
At the instructor's discretion, papers may be accepted after the class meets up until the time the instructor leaves campus for the day. A one point penalty will still be assessed for any papers that were not submitted at the start of the class at which they were due.
Note the penalties described are obviously minor; their sole purpose is to encourage students to appropriately complete their assignments.
The instructor may also occasionally make a mathematical error during the course of the semester. These will generally be made deliberately. Students may earn extra credit by pointing out the error at the time it is made and reminding the instructor to grant extra credit for the discovery.
The extra credit points will be added to the total points earned by students on exams, problem sets and other activities when calculating averages, enabling students to earn averages above 100 percent.
There will be no makeups under any circumstances.
The precise way missed work will be handled depends on the nature of the item.
Regular, In-Class Examinations
If a student misses or chooses not to hand in a single examination, the weight given to the final examination will be increased. In effect, the average will be computed as if the student had taken the examination and earned the same grade as was later earned on the final examination.
If a student misses more than one examination, a grade of 0 will be recorded for any additional missed examinations for which the student does not provide documentation proving he was unable to attend for reasons beyond his control. Additional missed examinations for which sufficient documentation is provided will be dealt with in the same way a single missed examination is dealt with.
Problem Sets and Take-Home ExaminationsStudents are expected to submit all problem sets and take-home examination on time; assignments will not be accepted after the due date.
If a student fails to submit a single problem set or take-home examination, the weight of the final examination will be increased but a penalty worth 25% of the substitute grade from the final examination will be assessed. In effect, the average will be computed as if the student had submitted that assignment and earned a grade equal to 75% of what was later earned on the final examination.
If a student fails to submit two or more problems sets or take-home examinations, a grade of 0 will be recorded for each.
Note that there is no penalty for handing in any work earlier than the due date. If a last minute problem makes it impossible to get to class on the due date and it is also impossible to give the work to anyone else to bring in, it should be submitted via email or faxed in to the Campus' fax number, (203) 236-9805.
Quizzes and Graded Homework AssignmentsIf a student misses a quiz or graded homework assignment, a grade of 0 will be recorded. Note that, as explained below, it is actually possible for a student to miss some quizzes and still complete the semester with an average of 100 percent.
Note that late assignments will not be accepted for a grade except under extraordinary circumstances such as a blizzard.
In order to adjust for the possiblity of missed quizzes, or just doing poorly on one or two quizzes, when calculating the total number of points possible the quizzes will be counted as if only three-quarters of them were actually given. In effect, students who take every quiz will be earning extra credit.
Finally, any other extra credit points will be added directly to the average. Once each student average is computed, the minimum average required for each course grade will be determined. Some students refer to this as a curve. Individual items (exams, quizzes, …) are never curved separately.
Course grades are determined solely by the performance of students in the course, including assignments, quizzes and exams and participation. Outside factors, including a student's need for a certain grade in order to transfer credit or keep a scholarship, cannot be taken into account. Once course grades have been determined, they cannot be changed for any reason other than a computational error. Any student requesting that consideration be given to outside factors or that a grade be changed will be sent a copy of this paragraph.
Periodically, during the course of the semester, the instructor will look through the file of unclaimed papers and note which students have unclaimed work. A one point penalty will be deducted from the number of extra credit points earned for each unclaimed paper each time they are checked.
For summer courses, the fourteen week semester is compressed into just six weeks, so the weekly figures given should each be multiplied by 2 1/3. Thus, students taking a three credit course during the summer should expect to spend between twenty one and twenty eight hours per week studying outside of class; for students taking a four credit course the corresponding amounts of time are between twenty eight and thirty seven hours per week. In other words, a single course in summer school is really a full-time job!
HuskyCT will be used to make grades available to students. This includes both individual grades for assignments, quizzes, exams and all other graded work along with midsemester and final grades.
When sending email, please make sure that you include your name. I've received many messages from students who did not identify themselves; this sometimes makes it difficult to reply appropriately. This is particularly important when submitting assignments via email.
Please make sure that you send messages intended only for me to my personal email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, and not to the course mailing list.