Classroom Behavior and Expectations

In a university setting, you will be treated and respected as an adult. Your attitude and behavior contributes to a successful and positive course experience. It is therefore important for each student to take an active role in her/his learning. It may be difficult or uncomfortable for you to actively participate in class discussions and small group activities at first. However, it is one of the most important skills to learn at the university. It is important to note that you get out of a course what you put into it. Students are encouraged to share academic needs, concerns, fears, challenges, and victories with their instructor and/or classmates. A course is much more rewarding if you fully participate. Each instructor takes her/his job seriously and is committed to helping all students to be successful. You are expected to adhere to the following standards of classroom performance and behavior to maximize learning.

Basic Ground Rules
Students are encouraged to:

  • Value differences as strengths
  • Participate in the learning process, classroom activities, and discussions
  • Be thoughtful, timely, and courteous when expressing a different point of view
  • Allow one person to speak at a time
  • Laugh with each other—not at each other
  • Maintain confidentiality if requested
  • Have consideration for opinions other than your own
  • Avoid monopolizing class time—everyone participates
  • Keep an open mind—seek to understand others’ viewpoints
  • Enjoy the course!

Homework Assignments, Projects, and Tests (In-class and Out-of-class)
Homework assignments, projects, and tests are listed in the class syllabus. Typically, homework counts as part of your grade. Instructors notify students in advance of any changes in assignments.

Assignments must adhere to the following:

  • Completed prior to each class for the class session they are assigned
  • Neat, easy-to-read, and well organized
  • Submitted by the due date
  • Completed independently unless otherwise indicated by the instructor

Note: Materials (written or otherwise) submitted to fulfill academic requirements must represent your own efforts unless otherwise permitted by the instructor. When you are allowed/encouraged to discuss and collaborate on assignments, the final product must be in you own words. The burden is always on the writer to make sure that his/her writing is clear to the reader.

Assignments, tests, midterms, and finals cannot be made up without prior arrangement with the instructor.

Attendance and Participation
You must do the following:

  • Attend all class sessions (required for all courses)
  • Arrive to class on time
  • Be prepared with all materials needed for class
  • Confirm role-call in person (do not confirm for a person that is not present)
  • Participate fully, which means contributing thoughts, ideas, and questions that are relevant to the course
  • Raise your hand to ask a question

During class, you are not allowed to use electronics for uses other than taking notes for a lecture or presentation or for dictionary purposes. 

You should also refrain from the following:

  • Socializing
  • Holding non-course related conversations with other students
  • Repeatedly speaking one’s native language during class
  • Passing notes
  • Showing disrespect or lack of courtesy toward another individual
  • Denying other students an equal opportunity to participate in class
  • Refusing to cooperate with teachers and other students
  • Sleeping in class or work on other assignments during class instruction

Academic Integrity
The following information is an excerpt from Academic Integrity at UCSB: A Student’s Guide

All members of the academic community share responsibility for the academic integrity of the UCSB community. Academic dishonesty is an assault upon the basic integrity and meaning of a university. Cheating, plagiarism, and collusion in dishonest activities are serious acts that erode the university’s educational and research roles and cheapen the learning experience as well as the value of your degree.

It is expected that you will support the ideal of academic integrity and that you will be responsible for the integrity of your work. Materials (written or otherwise) submitted to fulfill academic requirements must represent your own efforts unless otherwise permitted by an instructor. It is also your responsibility to know the campus rules regarding academic misconduct. Remember that ignorance of these rules is no excuse.

Common Types of Academic Dishonesty
Cheating: Cheating is the unauthorized use of information or study guides in any academic exercise unless otherwise permitted by the instructor. Cheating includes the following:

  • Copying from others during an examination
  • Sharing answers for a take-home examination
  • Using illegal notes during an examination
  • Taking an examination for another student
  • Asking or allowing another student to take an examination for you
  • Tampering with an examination after it has been corrected, then returning it for more credit than deserved
  • Submitting substantial portions of the same academic work for credit in more than one course, without consulting with the second instructor (and the first instructor if the courses are concurrent at UCSB)
  • Preparing answers or writing notes in a blue book before an examination
  • Allowing others to do the research and writing of an assigned paper (for example, using the services of a commercial term paper company)
  • Sending messages to another student during an examination 

Plagiarism/Internet Plagiarism: Plagiarism is academic theft. It is the use of another's idea or words without proper attribution or credit. An author’s work is his/her property and should be respected by documentation. Plagiarism from the Internet is no different from traditional plagiarism, and is in fact often far easier to catch with the use of technology available to instructors and administrators. It is a good idea to ask each instructor how they require sources to be noted and what constitutes "common knowledge" in their field to avoid possible problems.

Credit must be given for the following:

  • For every direct quotation
  • When a work is paraphrased or summarized in whole or in part in your own words
  • For information that is not common knowledge (it appears in several sources about the subject)

UCSB History Professor Sears McGee advises: "Generally, if a student writes while looking at a source or while looking at notes taken from a source, a footnote should be given."

Each professor should announce his/her specific requirements to guide students in their research. If you do not receive such guidance from your professors, you should request it specifically to ensure that you are not violating any rules.

If you help another student to perform any of the above acts you are subject to campus discipline for academic dishonesty. There is no distinction between those who cheat and plagiarize and those who willingly allow it to occur.

All citizens of the academic community have a responsibility to ensure that scholastic honesty and integrity are safeguarded and maintained. Cheating and plagiarism are unfair, demoralizing, and demeaning to all of us. Students are expected to:

  • Refrain from cheating and plagiarism
  • Refuse to aid or abet any form of academic dishonesty
  • Notify professors during an examination (or immediately after) about any observed incident of cheating
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