Class policies

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Classroom behaviour

Our classroom community is built on meaningful and constructive dialogue, which requires a commitment to mutual respect, willingness to listen and respect for individual differences and opposing viewpoints. Language and behaviour which doesn’t reflect such a commitment is not acceptable in our classroom. I have zero tolerance for communication (including speech, email, physical behaviours, etc) which belittles or injures anyone in our class or beyond, and I won’t hesitate to remove you from the room and, if necessary, the course to ensure this classroom is a safe space for all.

If you find an reading or assignment triggering in any way, or suspect that you will be triggered, please contact me as soon as possible. I am happy to speak with you about the content of the material in advance and/or provide you with an alternative assignment. If you are troubled by or feel unsafe in any class discussion, please speak with me as soon as possible so that we can work to resolve the immediate problem and prevent future issues.

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Special accommodations

If you have a documented disability and require academic accommodations, you should contact Services for Students with Disabilities ASAP to request an official letter outlining your authorised accommodations. More information is available online at

If your disability is not documented but you require accommodations, please come talk to me to discuss your needs. 

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Attending class and participating fully in our discussions is vital to your success in this class and I expect you to attend class regularly.

If you choose to be in the classroom, you should be present both physically and mentally — which is to say, you should be fully engaged in discussion and learning during our class meetings. If you choose not to be in the classroom, you are responsible for catching up on any missed material or announcements by liaising with your peers — I will not rehash material covered in the classroom either by email or in office hours. In my experience, students who miss more than two weeks of discussion-based classes like this one rarely earn better than a C in the course.

I will take attendance via a sign-in sheet during each class meeting in order to comply with university record-keeping requirements. Your attendance (or not) does not figure into your grade and beyond the University’s policy on religious holidays, detailed below, I do not distinguish between ‘excused’ and ‘unexcused’ absences.

If you need to enter the classroom late or leave early, please do so with as little disruption as possible — wait for a natural break in the class, sit by the door, enter or exit quietly.

Where possible, please notify me in advance of any (partial or total) absences so I can plan class accordingly. Email is the best medium for you to notify me of your absences.

Exceptions to the above:

Peer review for your first major paper is compulsory and will be conducted in-class as noted on the schedule. If you are late to our class meeting on that day, I will not admit you to the classroom and you will need to come up with a way to complete peer review outside of class time.

Before you submit your first major paper of the semester, one class meeting will be cancelled and we will schedule individual paper conferences in its place. These are mandatory.

The University maintains special policies for absences due to religious holidays or short-term active military service. You can review those here: In both cases, you should notify me ASAP of any impact on your attendance and make arrangements with me to complete missed work in a reasonable time after your absence.

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Late work

Your work is due to me by the date and time listed on the assignment prompt. You must complete and submit all assignments in order to pass this course.

If you anticipate being unable to complete your work by the deadline, come see me as far in advance as possible so we can talk through your options. I am always happy to negotiate deadlines with students when necessary, but I can’t help you if you don’t talk to me! Don’t ask for an extension on the day that a paper is due, as refusal may offend.

The only exception to the above is blog posts: since you can earn every single point on offer for blog posts by completing 10/15 entries, I do not accept late blog posts.

I generally aim to return student work within one week of receiving it if it is submitted on time — which is to say, on the original or negotiated-upon deadline. Late work is graded when I get around to it — typically with the next round of assessment. As our assignments build on each other, it’s in your best interest to get your work in in a timely manner; your later work will benefit from your having time to reflect upon my feedback and talk to me about your ideas.

Late work turned in after the last day of classes (Friday, December 5) will not be guaranteed feedback. The final deadline for all late work is Saturday, December 13, to ensure that I have time to review your work in advance of the grade submission deadline. I will not accept any work after December 13 under any circumstances.

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Personal technology

You are free to use electronic devices such as e-readers, tablets and laptops in our classroom for activities related to class. These devices should be silent (your phone vibrating on the table is not silent!) and should not distract other students. If you’re using your tech for non-class purposes, expect to be asked to put it away (first offence) or leave the classroom (second offence).

You should also be aware that research on student learning outcomes suggests that students who use personal technology in the classroom tend to achieve less than students who put the gadgets away, and that students sitting behind students using personal technology in the classroom also tend to achieve less. Students report that other students’ laptops are the most distracting thing in the classroom. This basically reflects the fact that the internet is fun and people like fun — so the policy above is for your own good as well as the good of your peers.

Please use your tech smartly and sparingly, and keep it out of sight when not in use.

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Classroom & lab technology

Our class is being held in the Digital Writing and Research Lab, which means we have access to a lot of cool toys.

The computers in this classroom are here as a tool for you — as with personal technology, the expectation is that you will use them for activities related to class. To ensure this equipment remains in good working order for us and others, please keep food and drink on the centre tables only.

You also have access to the DWRL’s Open Lab in PAR 102. It’s a computer lab with all the software available on our computer classrooms and is staffed by proctors who can assist you with any problems. You can print items related to our class there for free. The Open Lab is open 9 a.m to 6 p.m on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9 a.m to 5 p.m on Wednesdays.

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The absolute best way to communicate with me outside of class time is to swing by office hours so we can have a discussion. If you want my undivided attention during office hours, please make an appointment on my Google calendar for as long as you need. To arrange an appointment outside office hours, please email me so we can arrange a mutually convenient time.

You can also communicate with me by emailing Expect a 24-hour response time on weekdays; longer on weekends; shorter during office hours if none of your peers are visiting me.

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Academic integrity

Turning in work that is not your own, or any other form of scholastic dishonesty, will result in a major course penalty, typically a 0 for the assignment and possibly failure for the course. This standard applies to all drafts and assignments, and a report of the incident will be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students and filed in your permanent UT record. Under certain circumstances, the Dean of Students will initiate proceedings to expel you from the University.

You should review the Dean of Students’ website on Academic Integrity, which is available at It discusses what constitutes academic dishonesty and strategies to avoid committing such acts.

If you have any concerns about your own work, including your use of external resources, you should speak to me in advance of the assignment due date.

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