Course Policies

Links

Several Purdue faculty members conduct their classes under these same basic policies, which are described in this document. If you have been directed to this WWW page, you should make yourself familiar with these policies -- they apply to you and your class unless your instructor provides explicit (e.g., posted or written) instructions otherwise.


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Honesty, Integrity, & Conduct

Academic Integrity

This link is to a more comprehensive document on academic honesty, cheating, and plagiarism. You are expected to read that page, and you will be held accountable for its contents!

Courtesy in Class and Elsewhere

Being polite never went out of style. If you act with consideration it will enhance your image and help you get along with others. This is a professional environment, and we request that you act accordingly. This includes:

The basic idea behind all of these and more is simple: treat others with courtesy and respect, similar to how you want others to treat you. If you make an extra effort to be polite the effect cascades and we all have a more pleasant environment in which to work.


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Attendance

You are expected to attend all scheduled classes and labs unless told otherwise by your instructor. Your instructor is the only person who can excuse an absence, and he/she may require documentation of your reason for absence. When possible, notify your instructor in advance if you know you need to be absent. It is solely your responsibility to obtain notes and make up work from any class/lab you missed! It is not the instructor's responsibility to provide notes, handouts, or makeup exams that you may have missed, although she/he may do so.

Absences for mandatory military service, significant medical issues, and death of a family member are allowed, within defined limits. Contact your instructor as soon as possible if such a situation arises. In some cases, the Dean of Students office will provide documentation about these absences for students so the student does not need to provide details to each instructor. Consult the Purdue policy on attendance for specific details.


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Due Dates for Class Work

Part of the specifications for any piece of class work is a due date . This due date is absolute — late submission of class work is not allowed unless explicitly stated, and late work will be penalized or may not be graded. It is the student's responsibility to complete the work with enough time to submit the materials before the deadline.

Written (on paper) homework assignments are due at the start of class on the due date unless otherwise explicitly stated in the assignment. Projects due on a day of class or lab are due at the beginning of that class or lab.

Exceptions because of illness or emergency will certainly be considered, but the student may be required to document them in some way. (See Attendance, above.)


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Handwritten Work and Legibility

All written work submitted, including in-class exams, must carry the student's name and must be reasonably neat and well organized. Every student is issued a computer account and has access to a printer: thus, class assignments should be typed and either submitted via Blackboard or other assigned mechanism, or printed out for final submission on paper to ensure that it is legible.

Any non-electronic work that cannot easily be read may receive zero points. This requirement definitely applies to any assignment requiring numerical or algebraic solutions — we must be able to differentiate among exponents, factors, and variables! It is especially important for exams. A reasonable standard of English expression and grammar usage is also required; there are many online tools for spell-checking and grammar-checking — use them.

Extra care should be taken with handwritten, in-class exams and assignments. If they cannot be read, they cannot be graded.


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Taking Notes

This is the official Purdue policy (paragraph J) on selling or publishing your notes taken in class:

As used in this paragraph, the term "instructor" is defined as the individual who authored the material being presented as part of the course.

Among the materials that may be protected by copyright law are the lectures, notes, and other material presented in class or as part of the course. Always assume the materials presented by an instructor are protected by copyright unless the instructor has stated otherwise. Students enrolled in, and authorized visitors to, Purdue University courses are permitted to take notes, which they may use for individual/group study or for other non-commercial purposes reasonably arising from enrollment in the course or the University generally.

Notes taken in class are, however, generally considered to be "derivative works" of the instructor's presentations and materials, and they are thus subject to the instructor's copyright in such presentations and materials. No individual is permitted to sell or otherwise barter notes, either to other students or to any commercial concern, for a course without the express written permission of the course instructor. To obtain permission to sell or barter notes, the individual wishing to sell or barter the notes must be registered in the course or must be an approved visitor to the class. Course instructors may choose to grant or not grant such permission at their own discretion, and may require a review of the notes prior to their being sold or bartered. If they do grant such permission, they may revoke it at any time, if they so choose.


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Computer Account Security and Use

To help others resist temptation, each student should maintain proper security on his or her computer accounts. Each student should especially keep his or her account password from others and not alter the protection on any files or directories so that they may be read by others. To give others access to an account, or to files or printouts of programs is the same as giving them the information directly and will be dealt with accordingly.

Any trouble with computer accounts should be referred to the instructor or a course TA as soon as is possible.

Students are expected to follow Purdue IT Acceptable Use Policy .

When a program or project has been submitted, the student should maintain an on-line, unedited version of what was submitted (with the correct date stamp) until after that program or project has been graded. It has also been found beneficial to make a copy of a file before editing it, in case a problem or mistake occurs during the edit session. When typing in a program for the first time, or when making major changes later, is a good idea to save all the working files regularly.


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Grading Standards & Accomodations

Working Program

The algorithms used must be essentially correct. Obviously the program should run. However, if it does not and a great deal of work has been put into code that is on the right track, partial results may be acknowledged with partial credit, according to the grading standards of the individual class.

All projects will be assigned with sufficient lead time to assure completion by everyone in the class. Non-working, poorly thought out "rush jobs" will undoubtedly receive poor grades. Efforts should be scheduled accordingly.

Programming Style and Documentation (Up to 50% Deducted)

Faculty expect student work to exhibit high standards of programming style and layout, reflecting expertise as a Purdue-trained computer professional. This includes the use of functions and procedures where appropriate, declaring variables in the correct locations, and thoughtful use of defensive programmiing. Students should select algorithms appropriate to the task at hand, and code them in a structured, easy-to-read manner. Projects are to be coded in an appropriate language (if not explicitly stated as part of the course assignments), and reflect good usage in the language of choice.

Instructors also expect evidence of thoughtful testing of the code prior to submission, and inclusion of self-checking code, if appropriate.

Appropriate use and placement of comments is vital. Remember that more comment text does not necessarily mean better comments. Comments should be helpful and enlightening (especially in cases where the program did not run). Even programs that run perfectly will lose points for poor documentation.

Always include a cover section stating name, computer login-id, the program assignment number, and the date. Each project must also include a comment block or page at the beginning that states the aspects of the project that have been correctly implemented (and the aspects that have not been correctly implemented). The information placed in this block must be accurate and up to date.

Regrading

Sometimes, your instructor or TA will make an error while grading your work. This could be because what you submitted was ambiguous or illegible, or perhaps it was structured in a manner that made the answer difficult to find. (See Legibility, above.) Humans also make mistakes, and the majority of your instructors and TAs are probably homo sapiens.

In general, assignments and tests will be regraded if a clear and concises reason is presented to the instructor within the interval specified within the class (usual, within a week after receiving the grade). Note that it is the prerogative of the grader to reduce a given grade if something new is found that warrants it in addition to increasing any grade under appeal.

Accomodations

Individuals have a range of abilities and limitations. Some limitations are recognized as presenting barriers to effective learning or test-taking. Students who have officially recognized limitations, documented via the Dean of Students Office, may be entitled to special accomodations for tests and assignments. This may include being given additional time to complete those items.

Student who need accomodations on tests or assignments must first have it documented by the Dean of Students office. That office will issue a letter that the student should share with the instructor; the instructor will keep this information in confidence. Based on the determination of the Dean of Students office, the instructor will work wth the student to seek appropriate adjustments in class activities.


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Campus Emergencies

In the event of a major campus emergency course requirements, deadlines, and grading percentages are subject to changes that may be necessitated by a revised semester calendar. If such unusual circumstances arise, students may determine any such changes by contacting their instructors via email, phone, and/or Blackboard.

Campus emergencies include weather extremes (e.g., tornado, blizzard), HAZMAT (hazardous material) spills or leaks (e.g., gas pipe break, chemical spill), infrastructure problems (e.g., electrical power failures, water quality problems), general safety issues (e.g., person on campus suspected of violent behavior), and pandemic illness.

Students are encouraged to think about personal safety in these circumstances — at home, traveling to and from campus, and while on campus. This includes where to go to seek shelter, if needed.

All campus and local emergencies can be reported by dialing 911 on any telephone, or by using one of the Purdue emergency telephones on and near campus (yellow call boxes with blue lights on top).

Emergencies and campus closings will be announced on local media and on the main Purdue University WWW site < http://www.purdue.edu >. Individuals may subscribe to an SMS text announcement service. Other details are on the Purdue emergency preparedness site .

Emergency Notification Procedures

Emergency notification procedures are based on a simple concept: if you hear a fire alarm inside, proceed outside. If you hear a siren outside, proceed inside.

Indoor Fire Alarms mean to stop class or research and immediately evacuate the building.

Proceed to your Emergency Assembly Area away from building doors. Remain outside until police, fire, or other emergency response personnel provide additional guidance or tell you it is safe to leave.

All Hazards Outdoor Emergency Warning Sirens mean to immediately seek shelter (Shelter in Place) in a safe location within the closest building. "Shelter in place" means seeking immediate shelter inside a building or University residence. This course of action may need to be taken during a tornado, a civil disturbance including a shooting or release of hazardous materials in the outside air. Once safely inside, find out more details about the emergency (as below). Remain in place until police, fire, or other emergency response personnel provide additional guidance or tell you it is safe to leave.

In both cases, you should seek additional clarifying information by all means possible such as the Purdue Home page, email alert, TV, radio, etc. Review the Purdue Emergency Warning Notification System multi-communication layers .

Emergency Response Procedures

Emergency Preparedness Awareness Videos

"Shots Fired on Campus: When Lightning Strikes" is a 20-minute awareness video that illustrates what to look for and how to prepare and react to certain types of incident.

More Information

Reference the Emergency Preparedness web site for additional information.


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Counseling and Assistance

Purdue provides simple counseling for anyone experiencing personal problems, relationship difficulties, feelings of stress, family problems, grief or loss issues, difficulties with studying, health problems, and a variety of other needs. The counseling service can also recommend professional testing for interests and abilities, and help arrange testing for a variety of recognized learning disabilities that may be interfering with a student's ability to achieve his or her academic potential (e.g., dyslexia or ADHD). More information about these services may be obtained at the Purdue Counseling and Gudance Center , (765) 494-9738, in Beering Hall 3202. Note that these services are also available to non-students in the Purdue community.

Students who have learning disabilities can get assistance at PCGC that may help them cope better with those disabilities. Also, faculty can be formally notified — in confidence — if a student should be given extra time on assignments or exams, or other assistance to reach full potential. A disability is not a cause for shame, but a difference to be accomodated. Each of us learns in different manners, and Purdue personnel are committed to providing assistance so that each student can learn and grow.

Students may also talk about problems with faculty members who they trust. Students experiencing problems that affect academic performance in a class should discuss them with their instructors and/or advisors before the problems grow to be overwhelming. In general, faculty and staff want to help students succeed, but they can't always tell if something is bothering a student. Help them help you, if that is what is needed.

For personal counseling on issues troubling you or depressing you, you can also call or visit the Purdue CAPS center . Counseling here is completely confidential! It is a great place to get help if you feel really depressed, are having problems in a romantic or personal relationship, have feelings of hopelessness, have problems with drugs or alcohol, or any other problem where you feel you are not in control . They are open 8-5, Monday-Friday, and have two offices on campus. Visit their scheduling information WWW page or call 494-6995 for specifics. They prefer to schedule an in-person appointment, but will take phone calls for urgent issues or when the caller can't make it to the office.

If it is 3am and you need to talk to someone now , or it is any time and you don't want to talk to someone on campus. Call the Lafayette Crisis Center's 24/7 crisis line, or one of the other crisis centers listed on their web page : 765-742-0244, or toll-free 877-419-1632.

Don't ever believe that your situation is hopeless or there aren't people who care!


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Equal Opportunity and Harassment

Purdue University — and your faculty — is committed to maintaining an inclusive community that recognizes and values the inherent worth and dignity of every person; fosters tolerance, sensitivity, understanding, and mutual respect among its members; and encourages each individual to strive to reach his or her own potential. Purdue University does not condone and will not tolerate discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, disability, or status as a veteran.

It is the policy of Purdue University to maintain the campus as a place of work and study for faculty, staff, and students, free from all forms of harassment. In providing an educational and work climate that is positive and harassment-free, faculty, staff, and students should be aware that harassment in the workplace or the educational environment is unacceptable conduct and will not be tolerated .

Formal Purdue policies exist for reporting harassment and improper discrimination. Students are also encouraged to speak to any faculty members who they trust.

Note on Reporting and Confidentiality

Students who observe criminal activity are encouraged to report it by dialing 911 on any campus phone, calling 494-8221 from an off-campus phone, or using one of the yellow police call boxes on campus. If you wish to make an anonymous report of a past incident where no person or property are in imminent danger, you can leave a message at 765-496-3784 (the Purdue Tip Line ) — no attempt will be made to identify you. Remember that the campus is your home, and criminal (or suspect) behavior should not be ignored here!

Anyone in the campus community may also file a report with the Dean of Students office using an online form . Reports can be made on issues of criminal behavior, academic dishonesty, sexual assault, intimidation, or any other significant concern. Student reports about misbehavior (cheating, harassment, weapons, etc) can be made anonymously at this site .

Purdue faculty may submit an anonymous report of a crime or harassment on behalf of students except as noted in the next paragraph. Note that student anonymity is not enforced by any legal statute; it may be the case that the faculty member is legally compelled to reveal identity at some future time, such as during the investigation of a severe, violent felony, despite whatever is promised to the student.

Faculty who receive reports about sexual violence, sexual exploitation, stalking, or sexual harassment are required to report those complaints to higher authorities in the university. Victims may choose to not pursue charges or other remedies, but the report should still be made: offenders may be serial abusers and a report helps protect other victims (and prevent future abuse). More information may be found at the Sexual Violence Awareness page .


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Updated: 08/16/16

© 2004-2013 E. H. Spafford

spaf@purdue.edu
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