Class Basics


Readings for the class will come from a variety of sources and will be handed out or posted on the website.


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Electronic Devices

Students may use laptops or tablets in the classroom.  The following guidelines are designed to help students make positive and effective use of technology in the classroom:

-Laptops and tablets in our context are academic tools.  Everything done and produced on such devices should reflect this and follow the guidelines set forth in the PDS E-Code and Student Handbook.

-During class, laptops and tablets should only be used for academic work related to the course.  These devices may never be used in class for any other purpose (e.g. email, game playing, instant messaging, internet surfing, social networking).

-During class, students should differentiate when it is appropriate to use these devices for note-taking and when it is appropriate to focus, listen, and contribute to class discussion.

-The use of laptops and tablets is dependent on the student’s proper use of these devices; the teacher reserves the right to require that a student not bring his/her laptop and/or tablet to class if he or she misuses, becomes distracted, or distracts others with the use of such devices.

-Inappropriate use of technology to capture images, audio, or video in the classroom without the permission of a teacher or a subject is not allowed.

-Repeated misuse of laptops and tablets will be reported to the student’s dean.

The use of smart phones, cell phones, or any other type of electronic device is not permitted at any time while in the classroom or while engaging in classwork outside the classroom (e.g. Shepherd Commons, library).  If a student does use such a device, it will be collected by the teacher and given to the student’s dean for return at a later time.

Academic Integrity

Plagiarism or cheating in this course will not be tolerated. Final consequences for students caught plagiarizing or cheating will be decided in consultation with Mr. Sanderson, your class dean, and the Judiciary Committee. Plagiarism is taking information from any source and presenting it as if it were your own. Please see me if you have any questions.

While you may seek clarification from a classmate on a homework assignment, under no means are you to copy homework. Copying homework and/or giving the impression that the someone else’s work is your own constitutes plagiarism and will be treated as such.

I expect your work in this course to be your own, completed without the assistance of classmates, friends, family members, or anyone else (expect me, as I am regularly available for extra help). You may only work with someone else on an assignment if I give you written instructions to do so (in the assignment). Your contributions to the class conference on pdsnet or the class weblog must be your own, made without anyone else’s assistance.

After taking a test or quiz, you may not discuss any aspect of the assessment with any other student until I return the graded assignment back to you. Discussing the contents of a test prior to taking the test, or listening to another student speak about a test, violates the integrity of the assignment and will be treated as a violation of the student code.


You are expected to meet all deadlines for completion of work. An assignment is deemed to be late if it is not turned in on the day on which it is due. If you are not able to turn in an assignment on time, your grade will be lowered by one grade level for each day the assignment is late. A reduction in your grade will be automatic for late work unless you approach me before the assignment is due with an explanation that is satisfactory to me as to why you are not able to complete the work on time. Needless to say, I will only accept such explanations in extraordinary circumstances.

Note: The above policy on grading reflects the policy of the US History department. Thanks to my colleagues for the use of some of their language in my drafting of the above policy.

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