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Course Policies & Guidelines


SPH-109 Interpersonal Communication Online, Reference Number 9757


Attendance:    Because this course focuses primarily on oral communication skills, there are five MANDATORY meetings throughout the semester.  The meeting dates are Thursday, January 29; Thursday, February 26; Thursday, March 25; Thursday, April 22; and Thursday, May 13.  On each of the above dates, the class will meet in Queen Anne, room 110, from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.  All students must attend this meetings as all oral assignments will take place on these days.     

Make-ups:      All assignment due dates are listed below.  Deadlines are firm.  Late assignments will not be accepted.  All assignment due dates will be posted both on the assignment itself and on the announcements page.  Reminders will also be announced periodically.  If an assignment is due on February 25, for instance, it will not be accepted at 12:00 a.m. on February 26.  In addition, assignments cannot be made-up unless serious extenuating circumstances exist that can be verified by the instructor.  This includes the oral assignments presented on the above meeting dates.  Such situations will be addressed on a case by case basis.  In short, please manage your time wisely.  A course such as this requires good juggling skills with work, family and other personal obligations.

Honor Code:   All work submitted must be your original work.  Plagiarism is inexcusable, and cheating will not be tolerated. 


Behavior:        During class meetings students are expected to exemplify good listening practices and to maintain an active role as a listener during oral presentations.  Disruptive behavior that prevents other students from learning and/or threatens anyone in class will not be tolerated.  Students can be barred from attending class and even suspended from the college.  If a student is barred from class because of disruptive behavior, all work missed will be counted as zeros.  Electronic devices such as cellular phones and pagers must be turned off or in ‘silent’ mode during class meetings.   There will be five (5) points removed from your final grade for each such interruption.  In addition, children are not permitted in the classroom.  They are wonderful, but distracting. 

                        Regarding on-line interactions, profanity will not be tolerated, nor will students be allowed to verbally attack one another.  Students will lose five (5) points for each such occurrence.  In addition, do not use "internet jargon" in your assignments.  For instance, if you are required to submit an essay response to a question, do not use a sentence such as, "U need 2 communicate clearly when u r going thru conflict."  Follow the grammatical rules of Standard American English.

Class Format: A variety of teaching and learning techniques will be utilized in this course, including discussion, lecture, text readings, hand-outs, writing assignments, video presentations, oral presentations and written examinations.  Therefore, it will not be solely up to your instructor to maintain your interest and enjoyment.  You will get out of this course only as much as you put into it!


Additional Guidelines


Email is the best way to reach me.  I check email several times throughout the day and evening hours.  When emailing, please be sure to include your name, since your email address may be obscure.  Do not, however, wait until the last hour before a deadline to email me with a question about the assignment, because if for any reason, I do not check email within that hour you may risk your grade on that assignment.  Generally I respond to an email within 24 hours.  If, however, I am going out of town for two days or more, I will post an announcement letting you know when I will return your emails.



You may also call the number listed above.  If I am not in my office, please leave a detailed message with a call-back number.  Again, do not wait until the last minute.  I do not check voicemail as often as I check email.  Generally it takes about 48 hours for me to return a call.



When you are instructed to email a paper, that means that the paper must be formatted in Microsoft word and then sent as an attachment, not sent as a standard email.  We will review sending attachments during our in-class meetings.



Although assignments are accepted up to the eleventh hour of the date due, please manage your time wisely so that you are not rushing assignments in at the last minute.  Further, remember that once assignment due dates pass, the assignment will no longer be available to view or complete.  Also quizzes will only be accessible for 72 hours (3 days), and there will be a 45-minute time limit.



I will return graded assignments with 7-10 days after the due date, NOT after each student submits.  In other words, if an assignment is due on February 14 and you submit on February 10, you are still unlikely to receive feedback before February 28.



In order to keep up with course material, you should check course announcements at least twice a week, as I will post new information regularly.  In addition, each week I will post a "Discussion Board" where students can post all questions and comments regarding their assignments and other issues pertaining to that week's course material, so check the "Discussion Board" regularly as well.



Always type out an assignment in a word document and save to your hard-drive or on a disk BEFORE posting the assignment to Blackboard.  Simply use the cut&paste feature.  This is for your own protection, just in case you are accidentally logged off in the while working on an assignment in Blackboard.