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Laramie, WY 82071
At a University, good student-teacher relationships come from mutual respect, trust, and honesty. Learning takes place when teachers and students treat each other with politeness and civility, rather than anger, ridicule, or confrontation. Indeed, a classroom conducive to teaching and learning is the right of all University of Wyoming students and faculty, and it is the responsibility of both parties to achieve and maintain it even though specifics will vary from course to course. This document provides some guidelines for carrying out that responsibility.
It is strongly recommended that teachers provide students with a syllabus for each course. This gives students a written record of the requirements, schedule, assignments, grading, and other policies of the course which they should read and understand. The syllabus should also state the goals of the course and how the completion of the work outlined in the syllabus fulfills those goals. Syllabi are like a contract between students and teachers. Like a contract, syllabi should make clear the expectations and requirements the parties are expected to fulfill to the best of their ability. Syllabi are projections of activities that will take place over several months, however, teachers can modify it to fit unforeseen circumstances. All changes should be clearly announced in class.
The main purpose of a University is to promote student learning. This means that teachers direct all matters dealing with courses. That does not mean that teachers bear sole responsibility for students' education. Students need to follow a teachers' guidance, study, do homework, prepare for class to master the information and skills being taught. Students must prepare for class. They cannot expect a good grade in a course without putting in several hours of studying for each hour of scheduled class time. Extra-curricular activities, including jobs, should not effect teachers' expectations or interfere with students' preparation for classes. Teachers should use their expertise and experience to prepare and present the subject of a course in the best possible way.
Teachers (that is, anyone who teaches) should do their best to provide a disciplined yet comfortable and supportive classroom environment. Teachers materials should be well organized, their procedures clear and fair. They should encourage questions and questioning, although students should remember that insight often comes from struggling with a problem rather that being given the answer.
The ultimate responsibility for learning lies with students. Although faculty members will teach and guide, and university staff will assist and encourage, learning is the responsibility of students. Learning is hard work, and full-time students should consider "student" to be a full-time job.
Students are responsible for evaluating their instructors honestly and candidly to contribute to each teacher's effectiveness and professional growth.
Students are expected to attend all required meetings of their courses. They are responsible for the instruction and the announcements in all class meetings. If absent from class, students can assume they have missed something important and take steps to make it up. This is done first by getting notes from another student and doing any assignments. If they do not understand the material, students should then approach the teacher with questions. They should not expect the teacher to reteach the class. If students choose not to attend the class, they should expect the consequences.
Students must attend all scheduled examinations. Leaving early for vacations or breaks does not constitute a valid reason for absence.
If students must be absent from a class or cannot complete assigned work on time, they should consult beforehand with the teacher whenever possible. Except for valid reasons, teachers are under no compulsion to accept late work, especially if no prior arrangements have been made. Examples of excused absences are medical or University authorized activity (e.g. athletic) as approved by the office of Student Life. Students with such absences must make up any missed work. They remain responsible for the material covered while they were gone.
Teachers have the right to set the attendance policy for their courses. These policies must be announced to the students, and should be included in course syllabi. Practicum and internship experiences have specific time requirements and students are expected to fulfill these requirements. If students cannot meet these expectations then students and teachers may arrange appropriate make-up experiences, according to the guidelines of the school or department.
Students have a responsibility to turn in assignments on time. By the same token, teachers have a responsibility to grade and return assignments promptly. Papers should be clearly marked so that students can understand their mistakes. Grading is not based on effort but on the results of effort such as getting the right answer, solving a problem correctly, or writing a good paper. Teachers should grade fairly, so that students with comparable results receive comparable grades.
Students should be able to meet with their teachers during teachers' office hours. If this is not possible, they should arrange an appointment with the teacher. Sometimes the most opportune time for students to arrange such appointments is before or after class. Appointments should be kept by both parties; if circumstances prevent this, the person unable to make the appointment should contact the other and attempt to reschedule.
Teachers are expected to announce in class their policy about being contacted at home; students are asked to respect it. Late evenings are rarely a good time to call a teacher.
All interactions within the classroom are expected to be honest and respectful. Teachers set the tone and demeanor of their classes. They encourage discussion and questions where appropriate. Questions and comments by students ought to be thoughtful and relevant. Questions are expected to be answered in a respectful and courteous manner. Unsanctioned talking, eating, sleeping, spitting, wearing hats, and reading unrelated material during a class may be considered rude and disruptive. Foul and abusive language is inappropriate.
Teachers should begin and end class promptly in accordance with the published class schedule. Students are expected to arrive on time and not leave or prepare to leave until the class has been dismissed. If a student s uncertain how to address a faculty member, "Dr." or "Professor", is usually a respectful approach.
Academic honesty develops trust and respect between faculty and students, ensures fair and effective grading, creates an environment which values learning, and hopefully carries on into professional life. The University regulations discuss academic honesty in detail. Here are a few specific guidelines:
1. Students and teachers have the responsibility to be honest and the right to expect honesty from others. Dishonesty is morally and legally wrong; it can result in expulsion from the University.
2. Students must not cheat on tests, papers, exams, or other assignments; they should not fabricate, falsify, or misrepresent data on lab reports or research projects; they should not plagiarize other people's work. Whenever relevant, they should give credit through proper documentation. If a student is unclear on proper documentation procedures, he or she should consult the teacher.
3. To prevent misunderstandings, teachers should make clear their policies on the use of educational aids, such as calculators, "note sheets" and other matters of documentation.
4. Teachers should discourage dishonesty when designing and proctoring exams, implementing make-up policies, and so on.
5. Both teachers and students should report suspected violations of standards of academic honesty to the teacher, department head, or dean.
Both the advisor and the advisee should keep appointments with each other, be on time, and be prepared.
Advisors are expected to be familiar with each advisee's record and with the University and college system. In particular, they should know the requirements for University Studies and for the students' major concentration. Advisors learn the students' interests and goals, and within that framework help the student find courses which fulfill graduation requirements. However, once advice has been offered, both the final choice of and the responsibility for courses lies with the student. Advisors may need to teach freshman and transfer students how to plan their progress towards graduation.
Students should respect advising and registration schedules. They should know the requirements for graduation, including those for their major(s), their minor(s), and for University Studies. Students should prepare for advising meetings by selecting a short list of courses they are interested in taking including courses that fulfill University or major requirements. In choosing courses, students should respect the prerequisite requirements for each course.
In their lives of professional service the student will have an obligation to meet the needs of their clients and the agencies for whom they work. During practicums (internships) students will be expected to perform in a professional manner and demonstrate growth toward a life of professional service. There may be standards of practice specific to one's profession that need to be followed.
These guidelines were adapted from "Students and Teachers Working Together" in the College of Arts & Sciences. The Health Sciences Student Affairs Committee would like to acknowledge that document as the source for these Guidelines.