Course policies

The policies below apply to all of the courses that I teach, unless a specific course has additional policies. It is your responsibility to read, understand, and follow them.

 

Information About Grades

Your work will earn grades that that are fair and appropriate for the situation. Here’s what you can expect for most of your work in my courses:

A – Excellent, top-quality work, which (typically) goes beyond normal expectations

B – Good work, done with a good (i.e. higher than average) level of quality

C – Satisfactory work, which meets specifications, of average quality

D – Work that is below expectations, but unfortunately is still enough to earn a passing grade

F – Unsatisfactory work

 

As you can see, it is important to know that you will not earn an “A” simply for meeting a set of specifications. High grades are earned with work that is clearly better than expected.

I do not like “D” grades. To me, a “D” is an “F”. I personally consider a “C” to be a minimum pass, but College policies state that the threshold is lower. We’re getting to the point in our human society where software is at the core of everything. And where bad software can kill people, and cause emotional and economic damage. As a result, my standards are higher, and yours should be too. Don’t create crappy work that becomes part of a news story some day.

I also consider that test-like work, where you are doing individual work, is a more reliable indicator of your capabilities than assignment-like work. As a result, test-like work has a higher value when making grading decisions.

Finally, I would like to explain the grading process, because too many students ask “where did I lose marks?”, or “why did you take marks off?”. Those questions are not appropriate. Why? Let me ask you a question: Before you begin work (on a test or on an assignment), how many marks have you earned on that work? Again, before you begin. Well, the answer is zero. Therefore, the marks on a test or on an assignment are the marks that you have earned, starting from zero. I never “take marks off”. And, you earn marks – you don’t lose marks.

 

Tests and Similar Graded Work

Tests (including quizzes and the final exam) must be written when scheduled. You can’t simply write a test when it is convenient with you.

If you are unable to write a test, what happens? It depends. Your professor has courses that do NOT provide an opportunity to attempt a replacement test, and others that do. Here’s how it works:

 

Courses with NO opportunity to attempt a replacement test

If you are unable to write a test, it will receive a grade of zero (0).

Typically, in this kind of course, a student can miss one or two of the tests without suffering the loss of grades, because the bottom one or two test results are discarded just before the course’s final grade is calculated.

 

Courses with an opportunity to attempt a replacement test 

If you are unable to write a test, and you wish to request an opportunity to attempt attempt a replacement test, you are required to provide 1) advance notice to your professor, and 2) acceptable supporting documentation.

  1. Advance notice means that you must notify your professor before the date and time of the test, in person, by email, or by voicemail.
  2. Acceptable supporting documentation means that it must be provided by a publicly recognized / licensed individual (doctor, surgeon, etc.) or institution (law court etc.) in Ontario; and it must clearly indicate the excuse for the date and time of the test. (For example – don’t submit a doctor’s note dated two days after the test saying that you were seen by the doctor – that’s not good enough. It must clearly and legibly indicate that the doctor attests to the fact that you were unable to write the test on the scheduled date and time). You are responsible for any costs incurred in providing the documentation.

Your professor reserves the right to accept or decline any notice or documentation. If you are unable to provide advance notice or acceptable supporting documentation, a grade of zero (0) will be assigned.

Graded work will not be re-marked. However, adding errors will be corrected on request.

During a test or exam, the use of personal electronic devices is not permitted.

During a computer-based test, the use of real-time interpersonal communications programs is not permitted. In other words, any means to obtain assistance during the test is not permitted.

 

Small-value Assignment/Lab/Exercise Completion Policy

Small-value assignments are those that are worth 10% or less.

This kind of assignment is due on its assigned due date, at a specific time. If it is late, it will receive a grade of zero (0).

 

Large-value Assignment Completion Policy

Large-value assignments are those that are worth more than 10%.

This kind of assignment is due on its assigned due date. If it is late, it will receive a deduction of 10% per day, to a maximum of five days. If an assignment is not submitted, it will be graded as zero (0). Also, a day is a day. There are no special days during the week that don’t count.

If the assignment has an interim deliverable, and the deliverable requires a paper-based submission, then the above policy applies.

However, if the assignment has an interim deliverable, and the deliverable is submitted online, then the above policy DOES NOT apply, because the online deliverable will be graded on the day following the due date. Therefore, you will not have an opportunity to submit a late online deliverable, and your grade for the interim deliverable will be zero (0).

 

Academic Honesty

Please ensure that you follow Seneca College Academic Policy when you do your work. The following link, from the School of Information and Communications Technology website, has some helpful information: School of ICT – Academic Honesty

In some of Prof. McIntyre’s courses, some of the tests and/or exams have an on-computer programming part. It should be obvious to you, but you must do your own work. During the test, you are not permitted to use any kind of real-time or message-based communication system (email, chat, code paste bin, etc.) that enables you to get assistance from others.

 

Group Work (”Project”) Policy

A major programming project may be assigned in a course. Usually, it is an individual assignment. However, if permitted, it may be done as a group work project. If it is permitted, you are responsible for doing your work in accordance with the agreements made within your group. If you fail to perform your responsibilities within the group, your grade will suffer.

 

Reference Sheet Guidelines

You may be permitted to use a “Reference Sheet” during some testing scenarios. Prior to a test, your professor will announce whether a test scenario permits a reference sheet.

If a reference sheet is permitted, it must conform to the following specifications:

  • 8.5″ x 11″
  • made of paper (20 lb. to 24 lb. recommended)
  • one or both sides – situation-dependent; will be announced
  • hand-printed
  • no modifications (e.g. flaps, etc.) designed to increase the surface area
  • no viewing devices (e.g. magnifiers, polarizers, or other optical transformers) are permitted, other than standard corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses

 

Please note:

The contents of the reference sheet CANNOT include the copied contents of my daily in-class notes, program code, or any other already-prepared reference material.

A reference sheet is NOT intended to be reference material in a compact form – it is intended to be a synthesis of information and your understanding about a set of topics.

Your professor will inspect the reference sheet during the early part of the test, and reserves the right to deny its usage during the test. You must also submit the reference sheet with your test.

 

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