All information at this web site pertaining to the course, including policies, is subject to being changed until the first day of the semester. When you examine the site to decide whether to take the course, please understand that specifics may change. a
Taking a course on the Internet, while similar to a face-to-face class, also has some unique features. This different environment requires some new principles. Following are my general principles that I use across my on-line courses.
Other policies regarding Internet activities will be found on the Course website.
A. Privacy Matters.
The Internet may change or challenge notions of what is private and what is not. I prefer to provide disclosure up front so you know what the possibilities are. Although the course is protected by a password, such tools are not perfect as human beings are using them.
You are relatively protected by the password but no one can guarantee privacy on-line. Part of the privacy for every student depends on the actions of each individual student.
- The course software I use enables me to know which students have logged in, where in the course site they have visited, and how long they have stayed. The technology support people have access to information posted at the site.
- Course Security: In the event you use a public terminal (say at a hotel or library) you need to completely close the browser software when you are finished. This will prevent another person from accessing the course using your identification, doing mischief in your name, and violating the privacy of other students.
- Do not allow access to the course to those not registered in the course.
- Guard your password and change it from the one assigned at the start of the term. (Go to Student Tools).
- Students sometimes want to discuss their grade via e-mail. E-mail is NOT secure or private. If an individual student requests his/her grade, I can not legally send to that student his/her grade through e-mail without a legal signature from that student on a permission form. (An instructor may e-mail the typical group listing with obscured names.)
- Participants are expected to represent their course identities in a truthful manner. Falsifying your identity is grounds for disciplinary action of all parties involved.
B. On-line discussion.
On-line discussion is generally looser and more free-flowing than face-to-face. I ask that everyone exercise a basic respect for one another, to be defined more explicitly by the group. I do not worry about spelling and grammar in discussion boards but I do expect it in formal papers. I hope you will jump in with both feet and obtain the advantages of on-line interaction for yourself.
C. Intellectual Property.
It is a common misconception that material on the Internet is free. Even if a copyright notice is not present, work is the property of the creator. I expect you will post only material that is yours by right of creation unless you give proper credit and indications. The plagiarism policy applies on the Internet too. Images, sounds and other multimedia are included in copyright law. (For example, professionally done photos as for high school yearbooks belong to the photographer. You only purchase copies.) It is common to receive E-mails with amusing articles or other materials. Be aware that it might be an illegal copy and exercise caution in forwarding it. It may also contain a virus.
On the plus side, ideas cannot be copyrighted, so you can share the most important part of a website as long as it is in your own words or interpretation.
In both the face-to-face and the Internet class you make a commitment to the others participating in that form to contribute and help them as you are helped by their ideas and discussion. I consider the student-to-student relationship to be as important a part of learning as the instructor-student relationship.