Integrity in teaching and learning is a fundamental principle of a university. UMUC believes that all members of the university community share the responsibility for academic integrity as expressed in the University System of Maryland "Policy on Faculty, Student, and Institutional Rights and Responsibilities for Academic Integrity." This policy may be found in Section III, Academic Affairs, of the USM policies and procedures.
At UMUC, faculty members are expected to establish classroom environments conducive to the maintenance of academic integrity by promptly giving students a complete syllabus describing the course and its requirements, grading submitted work promptly and adequately, and arranging appropriate testing conditions, including having faculty members monitor examinations given in face-to-face (on-site) classes. In UMUC Europe, faculty members make take their syllabi available online by the first day of registration.
Students at UMUC are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that will contribute to the maintenance of academic integrity. Failure to maintain academic integrity (e.g. academic dishonesty) may result in disciplinary action.
Students are responsible for understanding and avoiding academic dishonesty and plagiarism, whether intentional or unintentional. The definitions of academic dishonesty and the procedures for pursuing complaints of academic dishonesty are described in UMUC policy 150.25 Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism, which can be found at www.umuc.edu/policies/academicpolicies/aa15025.cfm and in Appendix H of the Undergraduate Catalog.
Appealing a Grade
College and university students inevitably encounter faculty members who vary widely in teaching philosophy and demeanor and who use different teaching styles. Not only is teaching influenced by course content, there are also many ways of conveying the same material. It is only natural that students will like the style and personality of some faculty members more than others. Disagreement with a faculty member over demeanor and teaching style, however, is not grounds for a grade appeal. Students have the opportunity to express their opinions on these matters through the course evaluation forms they complete for every UMUC Europe course.
Regardless of teaching style, it may happen that a student believes a faculty member's determination of a final course grade has been arbitrary and capricious. The phrase "arbitrary and capricious grading" is defined in UMUC Policy 130.80 (in Appendix F) as:
- A final course grade assigned on some basis other than performance in the course; or
- A final course grade assigned by resorting to unreasonable standards different from those that were applied to other students in that course; or
- A final course grade assigned by a substantial, unreasonable, or unannounced departure from the faculty member's previously articulated grading standards.
The established performance standards for a course grade are communicated in the syllabus and other course materials. A student who believes his or her final grade has not been based on such standards may pursue the appeal process. The student should first confer promptly with the faculty member of the course. There is a time limit on appealing a grade; students who want to appeal a grade must initiate the process within 30 days of the posting of the grade
If the student has not been able to contact the faculty member after a reasonable effort, or if the student and faculty member cannot, after consultation, reach a satisfactory resolution, the student may file a written request with the appeal administrator (the associate dean, UMUC Europe) asking how the final grade was calculated. If the course was offered via online learning, the student may also ask the Distance Education Office for information.
Procedures for appealing a grade are detailed in UMUC Policy 130.80, "Procedures for Review of Alleged Arbitrary and Capricious Grading." This can be found in Appendix F of the Catalog and at www.umuc.edu/policies/academicpolicies/aa13080.cfm
The student is responsible for attending all classes and any related activities regularly and punctually. In some courses, faculty may base part of the final grade on class participation. Absence from class does not excuse a student from missed coursework. The student is responsible for obtaining detailed information about missed class sessions, including their content, activities covered, and any announcements or assignments. Failure to complete any required coursework may adversely affect the student's grade. Faculty are not expected to repeat material that a student has missed because of the student's absence from class.
For an eight-week course, students should expect to spend about six hours per week in class discussion and activities (online and on-site) and two to three times that number of hours outside the class in study, assigned readingm and preparation assignments. Students are expected to achieve the same learning outcomes and do the same amount of work in an online course as they would in an on-site course. Active participation is required in all online courses, and students should expect to log in to their online courses several times a week.
UMUC is committed to ensuring that students acquire the level of fluency in information technology they need to participate actively in contemporary society and have access to up-to-date resources. All UMUC students must be prepared to participate in asynchronous, computer-based class discussions, study groups, online database searches, course evaluations, and other online activities whether their course is held online or in a classroom.
All UMUC students must therefore ensure that they have access to the Internet and have a current e-mail address. If the student does not have Internet access through a home computer, he or she may use one at a UMUC computer lab, a university or public library, or another source. However, that source should be regularly available, and the student may need to be able to submit assignments electronically.
The most current technical requirements are available at www.umuc.edu/techreq.
Electronic File Sharing
Peer-to-peer programs permit computers to share data in the form of music, movies, games, computer files, and software.
All users of the UMUC network are required to comply with federal copyright laws. UMUC network users are not permitted to share unauthorized copyrighted material over the UMUC network, whether on personally owned or on university computers.
Any unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials on the university network, including peer-to-peer file sharing, is a violation of federal law and UMUC policies. Violations may lead to disciplinary proceedings and, in some cases, civil and criminal legal action. UMUC's computing resource policies can be found at www.umuc.edu/computerresource. UMUC's computer use policy can be found at www.umuc.edu/computerpolicy.
More information on how to legally download music is available on the Recording Industry Association of America website at www.riaa.com. Information on how to legally download movies and television programs is provided on the Motion Picture Association of America website at www.mpaa.org.
Code of Civility
To promote a positive, collegial atmosphere among students, faculty, and staff, UMUC has developed the following Code of Civility:
Treat all students, faculty, and staff with respect and in a professional and courteous manner at all times and in all communications, whether in person or in written communication (including e-mail).
Refrain from using profanity, insults, or other disparaging remarks.
Endeavor to cite only the truth and not knowingly misrepresent, mischaracterize, or misquote information received from others.
Take responsibility for our own actions instead of blaming others.
Work together with other students, faculty, and staff in a spirit of cooperation toward our common goals of seeking and providing quality education.
Strive to uphold the right to privacy and not talk about others.
Respect the differences in people and their ideas and opinions and reject bigotry.
Code of Student Conduct
Students are subject to the UMUC Policy 151.00, "Code of Student Conduct". Violations of the code are considered to be violations of UMUC policy and are grounds for discipline by UMUC. UMUC's Code of Student Conduct can be found in Appendix G of the Undergraduate Catalog or online at www.umuc.edu/policies/studentpolicies/stud15100.cfm.
Students are responsible for obtaining information about quizzes and examination schedules and policies. Final examinations are usually given during the last scheduled class meeting for classes meeting on-site. For online classes, the final examination is usally given during the last week of the online session.
Make-up examinations and tests may be given to students who for valid reasons are unable to take exams at the scheduled time. Faculty are not required to offer makeup examinations because of a student's absence unless the student can present evidence that it was caused by unavoidable circumstances or occurred on a religious holiday. In such cases, an examination may be rescheduled at the mutual convenience of the student and faculty member and must cover only the material for which the student was originally responsible. Such a rescheduling must not cause a conflict with the student's other classes. A student who must be absent from a course excessively should confer with the faculty member; if it is necessary to withdraw from the course, the student is responsible for completing the withdrawal (drop) through MyUMUC or by visiting the UMUC Europe field office.
GoArmyEd students must follow the procedures for withdrawal described in the GoArmyEd Portal.
UMUC Policy 51.00, Religious Observances, may be found in Appendix D of the Undergraduate Catalog or online at www.umuc.edu/policies/academicpolicies/aa05100.cfm.
UMUC subscribes to a policy of equal educational and employment opportunity and does not discriminate against or harass any person because of race, religion, color, creed, gender, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, political afiliation, veteran status, mental or physical disability, or sexual orientation. All inquiries regarding UMUC Europe's compliance with statutes and regulations should be addressed to the Equal Opportunity Offcer, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information may be found in Appendix C.
Student Grievance Procedures
The procedures necessary to file a formal complaint concerning the actions of members of the UMUC faculty or administrative staff are detailed in UMUC policy 130.70, "Student Grievance Procedures". Students who wish to seek redress for the acts or omissions of a faculty or staff member must first request a conference with that person and attempt to resolve the complaint informally within 14 days of the alleged act or omission.
Transfer of Credits Within UMUC
Transferring from one part of UMUC to another is simple and free. If a student wishes to transfer from UMUC Europe to UMUC Stateside or UMUC Asia, she/he need only complete the division transfer request in MyUMUC: Student Center > drop down menu (in Academics box) > Divisional Transfer (after completion of final UMUC Europe class)
The student's records will then be automatically forwarded to the selected UMUC campus.
Transfer of UMUC Credits to Another Institution
To have credits transferred which were earned through UMUC, each student must obtain authoritative guidance from the destination institution (including other institutions in the University System of Maryland). Only the destination institution can answer specific questions about its own residency and degree requirements or about the applicability of UMUC courses to its curricula. Specific policies dealing with transfer students may be found in Appendix A and in Appendix B of the Undergraduate Catalog.
It is UMUC policy that all courses, with the possible exception of mathematics courses, should involve some form of written work, and that writing standards should be uniform across the curriculum. To assist students in acquiring and improving the skills necessary to produce college-level written work, UMUC offers a sequence of writing courses with the designation WRTG. In addition, UMUC's Effective Writing Center at www.umuc.edu/writingcenter/index.cfm provides advice and feedback on students' writing assignments.
In general, writing assignments are graded according to four criteria: (i) organization, (ii) audience accommodation, (iii) grammar and word choice, and (iv) content. If outside sources are used, a fifth criterion is documentation of such sources.
In line with UMUC's standard grading methods (see Grading Methods section), a grade of A is given for outstanding writing, a grade of B for superior writing, a grade of C for good writing, and a grade of D for substandard writing.
For more information on writing standards and grading, see the Effective Writing Center document "How Is Writing Graded?" at http://coursedev.umuc.edu/WRTG999A.
Correct documentation of sources used in writing assignments is one topic covered in LIBS 150 Introduction to Research. In addition, the Effective Writing Center offers a related self-teaching module on "How to Avoid Plagiarism" at www.umuc.edu/ewc.