I want our classroom community to thrive no matter the classroom delivery method or your individual methods of participating in class. I cannot guarantee an identical experience for students who cannot be physically in the classroom or an experience that is identical to pre-pandemic semesters. Some students in this class may need to be off campus or under some sort of quarantine conditions for some portion of the semester. However my goal is to treat all students equitably and to ensure grading is clear, consistent, and fair for all of you
Due to the unusual nature of the semester, communication is important. I commit to responding to emails within 48 hours of receipt, and my intention to respond faster than that most of the time. I will likely be slower on weekends. Likewise, if your situation changes regarding health, housing, or in any other regard with respect to your ability to participate in the class, please contact the appropriate Emory student support organization first and then me as soon as feasible. It is easier for me to address your needs if I know about them as soon as they arise. This does not mean I can successfully respond to every request for consideration, but I emphasize that my goal is to treat you all as human beings first and foremost and to do what I can to help you succeed in this course.
Below are further policies laying out expectations for you and for me this semester. (Click on the headers to expand each section for more information.)
Student Success Resources
I strive to create an inclusive learning environment for all. I am invested in your success in this class and at Emory, so please let me know if anything is standing in the way of your doing your best work. This discussion can include your own learning strengths, any classroom dynamics that you find uncomfortable, ESL issues, disability or chronic illness, and/or personal issues that impact your work. I will hold such conversations in strict confidence.
I will work to promote an anti-discriminatory environment where everyone feels safe and welcome. I recognize that discrimination can be direct or indirect and take place at both institutional and personal levels. I believe that such discrimination is unacceptable, and I am committed to providing equality of opportunity for all by eliminating any and all discrimination, harassment, bullying, or victimization. The success of this policy relies on the support and understanding of everyone in this class. We all have a responsibility not to participate in or condone harassment or discrimination of any kind.
Class rosters are provided me with students' legal names. I will gladly honor your request to address you by a name or gender pronoun of your choosing. Please advise me of this preference early in the semester so that I may make appropriate changes to my records.
If you are facing any sort of financial hardship -- which might mean finding it challenging to secure your housing or food needs, or might just mean that you're worried about purchasing the texts and other materials you might need for this class -- is encouraged to let me know. I will help put you in touch with administrative resources and/or provide any resources that I can. Again, such conversations will be held in strict confidence.
This course emphasizes user-centered design and the value of connectivity over static standards to facilitate “universal instructional design.” Issues of accessibility are an integral component of instruction for all students. While students should disclose non-standard needs in keeping with guidelines provided by the Department of Accessibility Services in order to have those needs augmented by digital tools such as voice to text software or close captioning, the course recognizes the extent to which all students are “multiply situated learners” (Price 88). As such, the course emphasizes shared strengths over remediation.
All of that said, Emory University complies with the regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and offers accommodations to students with disabilities. If you are in need of a classroom accommodation, please make an appointment with me to discuss your situation as soon as possible.
For more information, please visit the Department of Accessibility Services website or contact the office by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (404) 727-9877 [voice] or TDD: (404) 712-2049. Students who receive accommodations must present the Accommodation Letter from ADSR to your professor at the beginning of the semester, or when the letter is received. Please note that accommodations are not retroactive and that disability accommodations are not provided until an accommodation letter has been processed. Students registered with OAS who have a letter outlining their academic accommodations, are strongly encouraged to coordinate a meeting time with your professor that will be best for both to discuss a protocol to implement the accommodations as needed throughout the semester. This meeting should occur as early in the semester as possible.
Price, Margaret. Mad at School: Rhetorics of Mental Disability and Academic Life. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2011. Print. 88
The full Emory Writing Center staff of undergraduate tutors and graduate fellows is available remotely this fall to support Emory College students as they work on any type of writing assignment in any field: sciences, social sciences, or humanities. Tutors can assist with a range of projects, from traditional papers and presentations to websites and other multimedia projects. They work with students on concerns including idea development, structure, use of sources, grammar, and word choice. They do not proofread for students. Instead, they discuss strategies and resources students can use as they write, revise, and edit their own work. Tutors also support the literacy needs of English Language Learners; several tutors are ELL Specialists, who have received additional training. The Writing Center opens for fall on August 31st, with hours throughout the day to accommodate students in various time zones. Learn more and make an appointment at writingcenter.emory.edu. Please note that you need to make (and cancel) appointments at least 3 hours in advance to accommodate our remote staff. Please review our tutoring policies, including our updated policies and procedures for online appointments on our website before your visit.
As a student, you may experience a range of challenges that can interfere with learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, substance use, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These challenges were present even before the global pandemic and now, with the current situation, it is even more likely that all of us will be dealing with these challenges and others. Mental health concerns and/or stressful events may diminish your academic performance and/or reduce your ability to participate in daily activities.
Free and confidential counseling services and support are available from the Emory Counseling Center (or by phone: (404) 727-7450). This can be an invaluable resource when stress makes your work more challenging than it ought to be. All of us benefit from support during times of struggle.
At the very first sign of not feeling well, stay at home and reach out for a health consultation. Please consult the campus FAQ for how to get the health consultation. As you know, Emory does contact tracing if someone has been diagnosed with COVID-19. A close contact is defined as someone you spend more than 15 minutes with, at a distance less than 6 feet, not wearing facial coverings. This typically means your roommates, for example.
Email is the best way to contact me if you have questions or concerns. Generally, I will respond to all student email within 24 hours (although on weekends and holidays, it may take a little longer). Likewise, there may be instances when I will need to contact you by email. It is your responsibility to check your Emory-based email account at least once every 24 hours.
We will meet very frequently individually and in small groups over the course of the semester. There will be times when I will ask the entire class to sign up to meet with me to discuss particular assignments and as you produce podcast episodes your group will meet with me to brainstorm and plan.
You are also always free to request additional meetings with me whenever you'd like to do so. You can use this web form to sign up for a 30 minute appointment with me whenever is most convenient for you. If there isn't anything available in a suitable time frame or if you have some specific need, don't hesitate to send me an email and we can make separate arrangements.
Expect to meet with me outside of our normal class time at least 5 or 6 times over the course of the semester.
This semester due to the pandemic, some students might be sick or will need to go into isolation or quarantine. If you are sick, understand that I will be flexible about attendance. Please make sure to email me so that we can discuss your individual circumstances. For students in quarantine who are well, we have provided ways that you can keep up with your schoolwork, whether our class is delivered online or in person. Please also contact me via email if you are in quarantine.
All of that said, our time together synchronously has been reduced this semester because of the pandemic and that time together is important. The flexibility around absences due to the pandemic makes it even more important that you attend each and every synchronous class session when you can -- honor the importance of what we do together by being present and engaged as much as is possible.
Readings are listed on the course schedule on the day they are due. Please come to class having carefully completed the assigned readings and/or played the assigned games. If it becomes apparent that you as a class have not done the reading, or have not paid close attention to the reading, I will institute quizzes.
As you are reading or playing, think about how you can demonstrate that you have paid close attention to the text. What questions do you have after reading? What conclusions can you come to about the purpose of the text? How does the text reinforce, influence, or challenge what you think about the ideas we have been discussing in class? When you are assigned text readings, you should also annotate your text with your thoughts. Do not simply highlight. Instead, write down your understanding of what is happening on the page; underline passages that are important; write questions next to passages that you don’t understand or don’t agree with. If you don’t want to write in your book, write on sticky-notes to serve the same purpose. In-text note taking will be very valuable in writing your quests, as your ideas and thoughts are suddenly much easier to recall, find, and use in your writing.
Participation means more than simply being physically present – it means coming to class with the assigned reading completed and being ready to contribute in a thoughtful and respectful manner to discussion, peer editing, or other in-class assignments. You should have whatever text we’re discussing that day and any other necessary materials with you in class to refer to during discussions.
To receive full credit for class participation you must contribute actively and regularly to class discussions in an informed and constructive manner. Participation also includes taking part in the asynchronous parts of the class by writing posts on your site, completing sketch assignments in a timely and thoughtful manner, commenting on your peers’ writing, taking an active part in collaborative writing tasks in Google docs or other writing spaces.
I expect students to take their work seriously, to come to class prepared and willing to participate, and to treat peers and their ideas with respect.
The Quests pages will include descriptions of the major assignments for the semester. In addition, you will have frequent, shorter and generally less formal, writing assignments, which we'll call Side Quests. I’ll describe those assignments to you either in class or via blog posts here on this site (or both).
It is vital that you keep up with these as they are assigned. They help prepare you for class, provide you with skills that you'll build upon in future assignments, and give you practice opportunities for writing, critical reading, and thinking. These assignments are due on the assigned date and will not be accepted late (unless we make a prior agreement). If you know you will be absent, you should post your assignment early.
All work is due on the date and at the time specified on the calendar. There is usually a fair amount of flexibility already built into those due dates. I will deduct points for late work if you haven't spoken to me in advance to make some arrangement.
If something comes up and you cannot get a major assignment completed on time, please email or speak with me as early as possible to make arrangements. If you contact me in advance, I will do my best to be reasonable and to work with you to come up with a solution that allows you to succeed while remaining fair to the rest of the class and meeting my needs as the instructor of the course. If you email me 10 minutes before an assignment is due, or 3 hours after it’s due, I am much less likely to be able to make such accommodations.
Article Four of the Emory University Honor Code defines academic misconduct as “action or inaction which is offensive to the integrity and honesty of the members of the academic community,” which may include, but is not limited to, the following:
(a) Seeking, acquiring, receiving, or giving information about the conduct of an examination, knowing that the release of such information has not been authorized:
(c) Seeking, using, giving, or obtaining unauthorized assistance or information in any academic assignment or examination;
(d) Intentionally giving false information to professors or instructors for the purpose of gaining academic advantage;
(e) Breach of any duties prescribed by this Code;
(f) Intentionally giving false evidence in any Honor Council hearing or refusing to give evidence when requested by the Honor Council.
Please read through the description of the Honor Code linked above and make sure that you understand what it says because it is in effect in this course. We will spend time in this course discussing these issues and you must observe that Code at all times. It is the responsibility of every faculty member and every student in the university to support the honor system here.
I take plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty seriously. Should I suspect that you engage in academic dishonesty in this course, I will refer the case to Emory’s Honor Council. You may also receive a zero on the assignment(s) in question.
The Honor Code is in effect throughout the semester. By taking this course, you affirm that it is a violation of the code to cheat on exams, to plagiarize, to deviate from the teacher’s instructions about collaboration on work that is submitted for grades, to give false information to a faculty member, and to undertake any other form of academic misconduct. You agree that the instructor is entitled to move you to another seat during examinations, without explanation. You also affirm that if you witness others violating the code you have a duty to report them to the honor council.
Please consider all writing for this class to be “public.” Part of becoming an effective writer is learning to appreciate the ideas and feedback of others. In this course, our purpose is to come together as a writing community. Avoid writing about topics that you wish to keep private or that you feel so strongly about that you are unwilling to listen to the perspectives of others.
Online Classroom Policies
Early in the semester, we'll spend some time thinking and talking about what we want from the community that is our class. Everyone is expected to listen and engage meaningfully with others in a polite and respectful manner. I'd like for you to keep your videocamera on when you can during class discussions, though I understand that there are plenty of reasons to mute your camera at times and you're always authorized to make that decision when you need to.
Our class sessions on Zoom will all be audio visually recorded for students in the class to refer back to the information and for enrolled students who are unable to attend live.
Lectures and other classroom presentations presented through video conferencing and materials posted on Canvas are for the sole purpose of educating the students enrolled in the course. The release of such information (including but not limited to directly sharing, screen capturing, or recording content) is strictly prohibited, unless the instructor states otherwise. Doing so without the permission of the instructor will be considered an Honor Code violation, and may also be a violation of state or federal law, such as the Copyright Act. All University policies remain in effect for students participating in remote education.
Students who participate with their camera engaged or utilize a profile image are agreeing to have their video or image recorded. If you are unwilling to consent to have your profile or video image recorded, be sure to keep your camera off and do not use a profile image.
Likewise, students who un-mute during class and participate orally are agreeing to have their voices recorded. If you are not willing to consent to have your voice recorded during class, you will need to keep your mute button activated and communicate exclusively using the "chat" feature, which allows students to type questions and comments live.
Anything I post here on the class website is obviously free for you to link to or make use of on your own public sites but materials like the classroom recordings need to remain private, primarily to protect the privacy of the students during those classroom discussions.
Emory has published student technology recommendations here. You'll need to be able to install some videogames that we'll be playing together as a class, but I've tried to be careful about selecting games that are older and won't require high-end computing power. All of the required games for this class are available for Mac OS and Windows machines.
I'm going to be expecting you to move between a number of different publishing platforms. I do not expect you to already be adept with these technologies and I will happily help you to develop competencies with these tools. You will, however, need to approach these tools with an open and critical mind and be willing to work through a certain amount of frustration that comes with learning any new system.
Since we are composing multimodally throughout the course, you are encouraged to bring to (virtual) class and operate laptops, tablets, and smart phones. I encourage you to develop best practices for negotiating among virtual communities and the real time of the classroom — and we will spend time thinking about, and discussing, how to deal mindfully with the distractions presented to us via our electronic tools.
Fundamentally, I will expect you to remain attentive to and respectful of your peers and me while at the same time engaging with digital resources.