Course Policies

Familiarize yourself with my course policies. And by the way, “I didn’t know” is not an acceptable reason.

Attendance – Although I do not take attendance per se, when I assign the final grade I do look at whether or not you make a concerted effort to come to class, how often, your contributions to discussions and questions asked by the instructor, and so forth. If you are unable to attend class, please contact me ahead of time (if feasible) or as soon as possible. It is your responsibility to get the notes from a student in the class.

JOUR-J 428 Attendance – This class is conducted like a typical workplace environment: the start of class is the equivalent start of the work day. Therefore, once I lock the door I will not let late students into the class unless prior arrangement have been made with me (and “prior arrangements” does not mean e-mailing me 10 minutes before class). Likewise, please do not text a fellow student to open the door.

Grading – All grading is done on a +/ – system and based on 1,000 points. In addition to the overall grade, mistakes on formal assignments in spelling or grammar will be assessed a ½ point deduction per occurrence. Writing style will not be penalized. An excessive amount of spelling and/or grammar errors will result in the assignment being returned to be rewritten, and one full letter grade deduction.

A  Exceptional work. Student performance demonstrates full command of course material and evidences a high level of originality and/or creativity.

A-  Outstanding work. Student performance demonstrates full command of course material and exceeds course expectations by completing all requirements in a superior manner.

B+  Very good work. Student performance demonstrates above average understanding of the project material and completes all requirements.

B  Good work. Student performance demonstrates comprehension of the project materials and completes all requirements.

B-  Average work. Student performance demonstrates less than full comprehension of the project materials but attempts all tasks.

C+  Below average work, both in terms of comprehension and completeness.

C  Extremely below average work. Student performance demonstrates flawed understanding; assignments are incomplete in some way.

D  Extremely below average work. Student performance does not indicate comprehension of material; assignments are significantly incomplete; major errors in logic, procedure and grammar are apparent.

F  Uncacceptable work; major errors; missing assignments; performance does not reflect comprehension of course material.

Assignments – Make sure all assignments adhere to the policies and guidelines set forth in the instructions. There is a reason why the word “dead” is in “deadline. However, I may or may not accept late assignments depending on the reason provided. If I do, a 5% late penalty per day will be assessed if I do. In assessing penalties, I will not count the day the assignment is due but I will count weekends and holidays.

Quizzes (applicable if quizzes are part of the deliverables) – If you miss a quiz, no make-up quizzes will be given unless a valid reason is given (valid is to be determined by the instructor). If you come to class late while your classmates are taking the quiz, then you may also take the quiz. However, if you come to class after the quiz is given, then this is equivalent to missing a quiz.

Texting, Cell Phones, and other Electronic Devices– Turn off all cell phones and electronic devices or set them to “vibrate.” They are a distraction to me and the class. If your device goes off during class or during a presentation (either yours or another person’s), you will lose 10 points regardless of the reason. If I see you texting, you will lose 10 points, regardless of the reason.

Laptop Computers – I don’t mind if you use your laptops in class to take notes or the like, however please refrain from checking your e-mail, conversing with others via an on-line messenging service, or other personal entertainment activities. Students doing work other than that which is for this class will have 10 points deducted for each incident.

End of the Class Session – Do not worry, I have a watch that keeps impeccable time. Please do not rely on your own internal clock or desire to leave a few minutes early. Generally, this is distracting to me and the rest of the class. Therefore, I will let you know when class is finished for the day. If for some reason you decide to pack up early, you will lose 10 points.

Student Conduct – As a student you have a right to learn in an environment that provides for intellectual and ethical growth. This is also your responsiblity and requires you to behave in an ethical manner. Therefore, your conduct must conform to theIndiana University Code of Student Rights, Reponsibilities and Conduct.

Plagiarism – Any student caught plagiarizing will immediately fail either the assignment and / or the course (instructor discretion). Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, using work written by someone else, quotations or ideas not properly documented, improperly using material from internet sources, and unauthorized collaboration between students. All communication majors should know the area’s plagiarism policy.

Disabilities Notice – If you have a disability that may require assistance or accommodations, or if you have questions related to any accommodations for testing, note takers, readers, etc., please speak with me as soon as possible. Students may also call Disabled Students Services (237-4479) for additional information about services available at IUSB.

Religious Accomodations – If any student will require academic accommodations for a religious observance, please provide me with a written request to consider a reasonable modification for that observance by the end of the second week of the course. Contact me after class, during my office hours, or by individual appointment to discuss the issue.

and finally…

Professor Hosterman’s Pet Peeves – Yes, I do have a few that you should be aware of:

  • Please do not ask me how long we are going to meet for that day. Plan to go the entire time. If I am asked this question I will make sure that we last the entire time.
  • If you miss class please do not ask me for a copy of my notes or PowerPoint slides. First off, you won’t be able to read them (I have bad handwriting). And second, I went to class and read the material, thus they are my notes and not yours.
  • There is no such thing as “firstly, secondly, and thirdly…”. It’s “first, second, third…”.
  • Know the difference between affect and effect.
  • Proofread. Nothing is perfect, but I do expect you to catch as much as you can.
  • If you miss class, please do not ask me “Did I miss anything important?”. Of course you did.
  • Consult the syllabus first. More than likely I address your question here in some manner, fashion, or place.


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