No page can fit every course or every
faculty member, but this page offers course policies and rationale. These guidelines are for communication faculty who decide they are appropriate
for their courses, so read your professor's expectations.
Your professor reserves the right to make course updates, changes, corrections,
and adaptations to meet the needs of currently enrolled students and the present
context. This option includes changes to course assignments, rubrics, due dates,
weighting grades, grading scale, and more.
Dr. J. E. Aitken, Program Coordinator for Online BA Organizational Communication
Major and Professor, Department of Communication, Journalism, and Public
Relations, and Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership
Program, Park University. Contact information is in http://people.park.edu
THIS PAGE Academic Honesty -
Academic Rigor -
APA Style -
Assignment Changes -
Attendance - Contact Info
- Core Assessment (Late) -
Course Access -
Course Problems -
Course Inconsistencies - Discussion
Expectations - Due Date -
eCollege Help -
eCourse problems -
Email - Font -
Error Correction - Grading -
Grading "Turn Around"
Time - High Expectations - "Incomplete" Grade -
Instructor's Office -
Late Work - Low
Enrollment Sections - Mastery
Learning - MyPark Problems -
Nonverbal Meaning of Being Late -
Online Course Problems -
Proctored Final Exam
- Revising Assignments -
Submitting Assignments -
Style Manual for
Course - Test Grading -
Uploading Assignments in eCollege
- Use @Park.edu Email Only -
Access to Course
Your online course is operated in eCollege (a Pearson company).
Go directly to your eCollege course here:
NOT operate your online course inside MyPark because the additional computer
system adds additional operational problems. If there is an operational problem,
contact eCollege, not your professor. Remember, the online course operates most
effectively if you go directly to the eCollege page.
Online Course Problems Contact
If you have operational
problems in your online course, telephone the helpdesk immediately:
Your online course is operated by eCollege (a Pearson company), so if
there's a problem, please
telephone eCollege. Your professor cannot do anything to fix it, nor can your
professor verify your problem. If you contact eCollege, they can verify your
problem and send documentation to your professor. This verification is crucial
if your assignment will be late because of system problems. More likely,
eCollege technical support will walk you step by step through a solution.
Telephone 1-866-301-7275 or 877.740.2213. Recommended.
and select the "Chat" tab in upper right of screen.
Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Email usually takes several days, so
telephone or chat for immediate results.
Sometimes the problem is your browser or computer: Try refreshing the page
first, closing and reopening your browser program, and if that doesn't work, restart your computer. Sometimes the problem is
that MyPark isn't working, which is why you need to access eCollege directly
https://secure.ecollege.com/parku/index.learn? The same goes for
operating a webpage inside eCollege, which is cumbersome. At least "right click"
so that you you have a new window, or better ye, cut and paste the
URL to operate outside eCollege into your browser.
operation, you want to be outside of MyPark or any additional or secondary computer
Remember, if you waited until the last minute to submit an assignment and have
system operation problems, contact eCollege immediately for a fix AND ask them
to send your excuse to your professor. Submit early and you won't have to worry
about operational problems.
MyPark Problems Contact
If you have forgotten your Student ID or Password, or need assistance with your
PirateMail account, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-927-3024. The
helpdesk hours are 8-5 Central Time, Mon-Fri. If you are trying to access your
online course and MyPark is not working, go to eCollege directly:
https://secure.ecollege.com/parku/index.learn? Just like WebPages
operate better outside eCollege, eCollege operates better outside Park's
Faculty contact information is usually in your syllabus and here
Please respect your professor and do not telephone outside regular business
for All Undergraduate Students
According to Park University policy, undergraduate students (online) must take
a proctored final exam or receive
the automatic grade of "F" in the course. All undergraduate students in an
online course are required to arrange an approved proctor by Friday of week 6. Please make your request by mid-term in
of 2014, University policy has recognized alternatives (e.g.,
Proctor, camera monitoring, new learning management options), so
check with your professor regarding the requirements of your
BE ON TIME
Final deadline for assignments is Sunday weeks 1-7 or Friday week 8, in eCollege or eCompanion (e.g., Discussion board, journal,
tests, dropbox). Because students can add the online course week 2, students can
still receive points for week 1 assignments if they submit everything by Sunday
of week 2. Last minute email and phone messages are not acceptable because
students are expected to work out solutions in advance of due dates.
quiz, exam, or test is DUE FRIDAY.
If you have a problem with test
operation, telephone eCollege, not your professor. Because of
the high traffic in eCollege on Sunday, complete your online test by
Friday to make sure it operates and you meet the week's deadlines.
Online tests are usually timed. You can use course materials
or notes for help, but not other people. Tests are accepted
only in the online format. Objectives questions are graded
automatically, and short answer and essays will be graded within one
week of the final Sunday deadline.
For weeks 2-8, all assignments need
to be submitted on time. All weekly discussion boards,
materials close at 11:59 PM Friday or Sunday, as indicated in the
If your professor allows revisions, no revisions
or extra credit assignments are accepted after the weekly deadline
or Wednesday of week 8.
Discussion board assignments due Friday.
Threads often indicate a day of the week
when they are due. Generally, your pre-reading discussion post is due
Wednesday and a substantive post for each required thread is due Friday.
That will give you the weekend to respond to others and actually carry on
For the dropbox, please submit a single electronic file, which is eCollege
compatible. Be sure to put your last name in the file name. No assignments can
be submitted after Friday, week 8. No late work or revised work can be submitted
after Wednesday, Week 8.
If there's a problem, submit your
dropbox assignment as quickly as possible.
If there's an eCollege problem, telephone them and have them provide
verification at the time of your problem. Your professor may have many assignments to grade and may accept a dropbox assignment
a few hours late on Monday, IF you received approval from your
professor in advance of the due date and your assignment is
there when he or she tries to grade the assignment.
An intolerance for late work is based on these principles.
1. In fairness to all students, the same rules apply to everyone. Your professor
doesn't make individual deals with some students that don't apply to other
2. Be fair to the professor's time management. Faculty need to be
organized, respond to student assignments promptly, and manage their work
schedule, so late assignments don't fit in your professor's schedule. In other words, for
time management purposes, your professor grades the current work and does not
expect to grade assignments past due or due in the future.
3. Being on time is essential to effective communication and leadership.
4. Being on time is an expectation in the workplace, and thus in class as
preparation for communication success in the workplace.
5. In a monochronic culture like the US, a deadline means a deadline. See what
research says about the nonverbal meaning of being late in the section called
Discussion boards posts and each quiz, test, or exam are due Friday.
Submit early and you won't have to worry about storms and operational problems!
Park University has about 20,000 students, who all have a final Sunday evening
deadline for the week. The result is submitting assignments Sunday in eCollege
may work slowly or not at all if the system is overloaded or you have poor
If you wait until the last minute to submit an assignment and have eCollege
system operation problems, contact eCollege immediately for a fix AND tell them
to send verification of your excuse to you (which you need to upload in the
course Dropbox) or to your professor.
Solve Your Internet Problems
If your Internet access goes out, you have many options available. You can walk to a neighbor's house,
for example, and ask to use
their Internet access. Or you can drive to or hire a taxi to go to McDonald's,
another restaurant, public library, college campus library, or other Internet
access. Assignments are not accepted by email, but you can use a cable to
connect your computer to your phone and attach your assignment to a phone email
to prove to your professor that your assignment is complete, then upload that
assignment to eCollege as soon as possible (hopefully within hours).
Better yet, upload your assignment to the Backup Dropbox designed for such
Late Weekly Assignments
Weekly assignments, in-class or participation assignments, extra credit, and
weekly tests cannot be submitted
late because they are online or weekly learning activities. A student who fails to turn in a weekly
assignment by the original deadline, can expect a zero.
Excused Late Assignments
Sometimes emergencies happen. Excused time extensions require appropriate
verification, such as a
physician's excuse, funeral program, copy of an accident report, copy of deployment papers, verification
from a supervisor, an email from eCollege or your Internet provider verifying
when your service was down, or similar substantiation. In fairness
to all students, it is the student's responsibility to provide
documentation as proof.
If you are
in a military situation, Park University tries to adapt to student needs.
Please ask your supervising officer or another appropriate person to verify the
problem in your request, and let your professor know how long of an extension is needed.
Make arrangements with your professor in advance.
Obtain your professor's written approval in advance of the original due date. A last minute email or
phone message will be ignored and does not count as working out a solution with your professor
in advance of the due date.
Upload the verification
with your explanation and/or written approval from your professor to a dropbox,
so there is a record inside eCollege. If your professor gave you an excused extension, your
assignment is due by the following Sunday (one week after the due
date). An excused extension for
one assignment cannot be used for any an additional assignment.
If your professor granted an excused late weekly assignment that is a required
part of the core assessment, include the following at the beginning of your
core assessment assignment: (1) an explanatory note at the beginning of your core assessment,
(2) your professor's approval email, and (3) the excuse verification or documentation (e.g.,
physician's excuse, copy of deployment papers, funeral program, or similar
document). This information needs to included as part of the core assessment to
Late Core Assessment
By week 6 in an 8 week course, a student should know if he or she is having
difficulty meeting course requirements. Telephone your professor by phone to
work out a solution to the problem with your professor in advance of the due
date. Last minute EMAIL AND PHONE MESSAGES ARE NOT ACCEPTED.
Excused. Remember, you will want to receive instructor approval IN ADVANCE for an
option to the core assessment due date. If you received course professor
approval in advance of the core assessment due date and have a valid excuse,
submit your excuse and a completed contract for incomplete in the dropbox by the
due date. In other words, to receive a time extension, complete the contract
for incomplete form and upload it dropbox week 6.
Unexcused. If the late assignment is not excused in advance by your
professor, you will also need to submit a research paper on the topic: "use of
time as communication." See the section below called "Unexcused Late Core
Assessment." To start, read the information on the
nonverbal meaning of being late on this page.
Request for Incomplete Form. According to Park University policy, the professor cannot submit a Request for
Incomplete for a student, but the student is required to make the request, which can be
downloaded from the Park.edu website (use the search function) or here
Remember, the completed Request for Incomplete form is due week when the core
assessment is due (according to your course syllabus and professor's
expectations). If you submit the work for the core assessment by Wednesday of
Week 8, the form for an incomplete will not be submitted. According to Park
University policy, a student who fails to complete and pass the course core
assessment or final exam has earned a failing grade in the course. Make sure you
read the section below called "Grade of Incomplete."
In addition to your Core Assessment, you will need to write an additional
research paper on this topic:
Effective communication through use of time in a monochronic culture.
The original assignment and research paper are due one week from the original
due date (Wednesday of Week 8 is the final deadline). A core assessment will not
be accepted after that final due date.
Thus, with a late core assessment, the following is due Wednesday of week 8 in
the course dropbox:
Acceptable core assessment, which meets the grading rubric expectations. This
assignment cannot revised for a higher grade.
3-5 page research paper with 5 references, which is about effective
communication through time in a monochronic culture.
In the US, Communication professionals and leaders are on time.
Being late communicates negatively nonverbally. The research suggests that
people who are late consider themselves more powerful and superior to the rest
of the group. Consider these findings about people in the US who are late:
"In cultures that value promptness, one of the questions raised about time
centers on the person who is constantly late. What does habitual tardiness
reveal about the person?
"Chronic lateness, in a formal-time culture, may be deeply rooted in a person’s
psyche. Compulsive tardiness is rewarding on some level. A key emotional
conflict for the chronically late person involves his or her need to feel
special. Such a person may not gain enough recognition in other ways; people
must be special in some way, so the person is special by being late.
Other reasons include needs for punishment or power or as an expression of
hostility. Tardiness can also be a sign that a person wants to avoid something
or that the activity or person to be met is not important enough to warrant the
effort to be on time. Procrastinators are often not valued in a linear
time-focused culture" (cited in Berko, Wolvin, & Wolvin, 2009, p. 81).
Berko, R., Wolvin, A., & Wolvin, D. (2009). Communicating: A social, career and
cultural focus. Boston: Pearson.
Here is an interesting article about the perception of
time in different cultures (scroll down):
(816) 584-6800 Email: email@example.com See
http://www.park.edu/sac/ or on campus students may go to Norrington.
Online Organizational Communication advising information:
Graduate School 816-559-5629 Grad advising information:
Read your syllabus all the way through and read any links to the page or
documents attached. Go into the course and look around. https://secure.ecollege.com/parku/index.learn?action=welcome
Notice the tools tabs across the top and the course content tabs on the left
side. Please do not expect grading information or eCollege content to be updated
until the day class starts, perhaps the first week. The eCollege course is
copied weeks in advance, but your professor may need to update information.
Creating effective online learning
involves many people: The Park Distance Learning department, an instructional designer, a course developer, the
program coordinator of the supervising department, and all the
professors who teach the course.
We hire expert faculty, so
the Department of Communication, Journalism, and Public Relations
encourages each course professor to teach the course in a style that
fits with his or her knowledge, skills, and values.
Unfortunately, in the course system (operated through Pearson's eCollege) cannot make many changes in your online course.
Thus, variations in the course content
develop because you are taking a course designed by a group of
faculty who offer ideas that each individual teacher can adapt to
their style. Typically, consider grade weighting, rubrics, and
assignment information you see in your course as examples you
professor may use. For your professor's guidelines, count on
information your professor can control: Mass emails,
Announcements, Syllabus, Gradebook.
To make your course adaptable, you may
see variations that sometimes appear to students to be problems or
inconsistencies. These variations are designed to make your
course the best possible learning experience:
Assignments. The core
assessment stays basically the same for all sections of a
course, but your professor can adapt all other assignments.
For undergraduate courses, the textbook stays the same for
everyone, although there may be additional readings from
scholarly sources, websites, and other sources. For
graduate courses, your professor may use totally different
textbooks and readings. Because sometimes there are last
minute changes in who teaches a course, check with your
professor about the required textbook or readings.
Grading, weight of assignments,
and rubrics. The core learning outcomes stay the same
for all sections of a course, but different faculty use
different methods to guide students.
professor has no control over external websites. In
addition, the new Park website means that many Park webpages no
longer work. All weblinks are offered to supplement the
course, so if a weblink doesn't work, use your search engine to find the
new location of the page or something comparable to support your
discussion or learning.
A graduate course with fewer than 6 students or an
undergraduate course with fewer than 8 students, does not "make" at Park
University. This means the course does not count as part of a faculty
member's teaching load. The professor is teaching the course as extra
work, primarily as a favor to students who want to take the course. Therefore, the planned syllabus will be modified so that
assignments are streamlined and faculty interaction is minimized in order for
the professor to have adequate time to focus on regularly scheduled courses.
If you are in a low enrollment section,
expect major changes in the online course designed for 20 students. Typically in low enrollment courses, students have a weekly assignment or
discussion and core assessment. Undergraduates also have a final exam.
Your professor probably designed the syllabus for a large class, so
read Announcements and Class Emails about your professor's changes
and updates to the course.
Courses: Performance Based,
Research, and Writing with High Standards
The Department of Communication,
Journalism, and Public Relations has expectations about the content
and rigor of our courses. Too often, students enter a
communication course saying "this course is just common sense."
In fact, our courses are based on scientific, scholarly research in
communication and leadership. If this content was common
sense, students would be able to pass the final exam before entering
the course, and they wouldn't have so many difficulties writing
well, communicating with the boss, adapting to difficult contexts,
maintaining quality relationships, and being understood.
You won't pass this course by talking
off the top of your head in discussion and taking a final exam.
The faculty expect academic rigor. In communication studies,
we are writers and doers. Thus, we anticipate that you
will be an active, engaged, scholar in this course. Because
you are learning better communication, the faculty expect you to do the following:
Write for clear communication, while using the
Associated Press (AP) style or American Psychological
Use scholarly research methods so
you can find answers to your own questions and make better
Apply research-based principles
through activity, performance, and application learning in order
to demonstrate increased knowledge, skills, and values from the
field of communication studies and leadership.
Achieve personal change so that you
communicate more effectively through cultural sensitivity,
tolerance for ambiguity, openness to different perspectives, use
of logic and evidence, creation of a supportive climate, and
demonstration of other research-based principles in
This Course is a Writing Course
The faculty in the Department of
Communication, Journalism, and Public Relations expect students to
improve their written and oral communication. Writing is a
foundation to effective communication, so extensive research and
writing is expected in discussion boards, assignments, and the core
Here are Websites that may be helpful.
faculty in the Department of Communication, Journalism, and Public
Relations believe in the following:
Excellence in craft improves professions and communities.
Communication is a skill necessary to people and society; understanding the
nature of communication prepares graduates to participate on a high level in
Curious, open-minded professionals utilize a broad education, sound principles,
reason and human empathy to make good decisions
Professions and communities desperately need citizens and practitioners who
understand the connectedness of society and place the well-being of others
before personal achievement.
Those with less power in society need advocates for change.
Free-speech, open inquiry, and a responsible, unfettered press require strong
guardians willing to shoulder democratic responsibility.
The history and cannon of a profession inform practitioners and scholars and
provide solid grounding for innovation and creation.
Awareness of the nature of communication and the symbolic environment -- its
potential effects on people, culture, political entities, and global societies
-- is essential knowledge for modern citizens, scholars, journalists and other
Communication and leadership courses often seek to be useful ones for your work
and personal life, which encourage you to change and improve your skills during
and after the course. Even a course in communication theories and research is
useful when you learn how to conduct research to find solutions to your personal
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PROFESSOR
with your professor for an online course can be by email, telephone,
or in the course eCollege environment (e.g., Dropbox, Discussion
Announcements contain lots of
information your professor is able to update and change for your
current course. Your professor may respond to questions
received from student emails in the Announcements--Q & A:
Questions and Answers from Student Emails--instead of answering your
question by email. This approach ensures that all students have
access to this information.
Private communication for your
professor, including documentation to verify an excused late
assignment, can be put that in the appropriate dropbox. You
will see a dropbox called something like "Backup Dropbox, Info for
Prof, Excused Absence Documents." That way your professor has
a record and easy access when grading.
Office typically is not used by students. Instead, your
professor may use the announcement section instead of the
Instructor’s Office for course questions and answers. Your
professor may hold virtual office hours, when you can email, chat,
You need to post to discussion or upload an assignment to the dropbox each week
to be counted in attendance.
If students are not actively engaged by submitting work in the discussion or
dropbox for two weeks, Park University administration automatically drops those
students from the course.
If you have an excused absence your professor has approved, you need to upload
that information, emails, and verification of your excuse in a document to the
course Dropbox during the week (by Sunday at the end of the week) when you will
GRADE OF INCOMPLETE
To receive a time extension for a core assessment, the following is due week 6
in the course dropbox:
1. Completed contract for the incomplete.
2. Documentation for the excuse (e.g., deployment document, physician
excuse, police report, copy of funeral program, court document, hospital
3. Progress on core assessment so far (e.g., draft).
You can download the contract for an incomplete if you go here and right click
on the document:
Remember, the student needs to submit the Contract for Incomplete in the dropbox
by week 6. The professor will be responsible for requesting approval from the
department head. The professor does not enter the incomplete, but the University
administration does, so it may take some time.
If the student submits an acceptable excused, late core assessment and other
assignments by Wednesday of week 8, a final course grade will be submitted
instead of a grade of "incomplete."
Note, students are blocked from the eCollege course on the last day of the
course, so the student is responsible for downloading all information,
assignments, or materials needed to complete the course.
The student is responsible for meeting the Contract for Incomplete without
additional faculty guidance and the student is responsible submitting all
assignments at least one week prior to the due date indicated on the contract
(so the professor has grading time). There are no professor or university
reminders. If the student fails to comply with the contract, the University
automatically converts the "I" grade to an "F."
PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION (APA) STYLE
The field of Communication Studies uses the APA style manual. If you are an
online Organizational Communication Major, please purchase a APA manual for use
in multiple courses/
APA (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th
ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Here are helpful links:
BE HONEST AND ETHICAL
What is ethical and honest behavior?
US society values private ownership, including ownership of ideas. Cite and
reference all sources of information and ideas according to APA style. Academic
integrity is crucial to this course. You will see basic expectations in your
Park University catalog and in your APA manual.
USE YOUR OWN WORDS in everything you write or present in this course.
EVERY ASSIGNMENT NEEDS TO BE ORIGINAL WORK PREPARED BY THE STUDENT ONLY FOR THIS
COURSE. See Park University policy, American Psychological Association
Publication Manual guidelines, and the information below.
When conducting research and preparing assignments, take
precise, correct, and careful notes. Use your own words by paraphrasing, but
remember to record a reference listing of the source you will use. Any notes
where you copy the words of others need to be indicated by quotation marks and
referenced so you remember the source. If you are unsure, go back and look it
What is Unethical Student Behavior?
Plagiarism in this course is failure to use APA style by crediting the source of
ideas or information.
Some examples of plagiarism include the following:
1. Using words from a journal article without using quotation marks.
2. Using a review of literature information from a journal article without
indicating that you are citing the secondary source. Please look it up in
the original source--primary source--if you plan to use the information.
3. Failing to use quotation marks when providing a direct quotation.
4. Failing to cite and reference the source of paraphrased ideas.
5. Using part or all of an assignment turned in previously in another course.
6. Using part or all of an assignment written by another student or someone
7. Coping cited text without using quotation marks for the real author's words.
8. Using a “service” that provides student assignments.
9. Using material taken from the Internet.
Academic dishonesty includes unethical behavior, such as falsification of data.
Some examples of unethical research or writing include the following:
1. Taking any material—even a sentence—directly from another source without
using quotation marks.
2. Quoting more than 200 words from a single source, even when using quotation
marks, a citation, and reference listing.
3. Quoting an author's abstract or other published words in a review of
Under Park University policy, academic dishonesty can result in a failing grade
for the assignment, course, or expulsion. Previously in some communication
courses, students have earned an "F" for assignments that appear to be
plagiarized or an "F" in the course when a section of the major course
assignment (core assessment) appears to be plagiarized.
Faculty may use plagiarism detection software to determine whether the content
can be found through the Internet, published sources, or in an assignment
submitted by another student at another university. Warning, plagiarism
detection software may be used on student work. Any student who duplicates
content--as identified by Turnitin software--without direct quotation marks and
proper citation should expect a course grade of "F." In addition, the situation
may be reported to Park University administration.
The Style Manual for the Communication Studies is APA:
APA (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th
ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
READ, KNOW, and USE American Psychological Association (APA) Ethical
Requirements for this program:
Expectations of ethical behaviors pp. 11-20.
Compliance checklist p. 20.
Complying With Ethical, Legal, and Policy Requirements, p. 231-236.
Crediting Sources pp. 169-174.
Self-plagiarism, pp. 16, 29, 170.
What is ethical research on
quoted or closely adapted from the IRB, APA, and course materials.
Ethical experimental research protects
human safety and privacy. According to Federal regulations and Park
University policy, any research on human subjects must be
reviewed and approved before data collection. Ethical research
avoids deception. The Park University Institutional Review Board (IRB)
must approve any research on human subjects in advance. Fraud is an
issue of concern.
No researcher can put an individual at
We need to ensure that the participant participates only after fully
informed, and when consent to participate is give.
We can do nothing from which the research can gain.
We must not do anything that damages the environment.
We cannot do biased research.
5. We cannot fabricate data or
information, use fraud, or falsify anything to anyone during the
APA guidelines require the following:
Fairness, responsibility, and informed consent (adults).
If the researcher can justify deception, there must be
Freedom from coercion.
Protection of participants.
Talk to your thesis or senior project
advisor, but because of federal law, you
may expect the following restrictions regarding research on human
use participants under 18,
Cannot use participants who are
members of a protected population (no one pregnant, no one in
prison, no one with a mental disability),
annot conduct research that
provides any financial gain to anyone,
annot collect health information,
annot collect names or demographic
annot conduct research that
involves anything beyond minimal risk,
annot use deception of any kind.
annot use of Video or Audiotaping
because of the complicated record keeping required by federal
annot use a sensitive topic (e.g.,
sensitive topics include drug use, sexual practices, aggressive
behavior, criminal activity).
The Communication faculty agree that RESPECT is an over-riding expectation in
our courses. Respect includes an appreciation for the other person. You will
want to show respect for authority and for peers. This respect includes no name calling,
no verbal attacks, no public criticism, no threats, no aggressive communication.
Be aware that to challenge ideas, including your perceptions of the course
material, the professor may make challenging statements, ask challenging
questions, or correct students who present information that goes against
scientific knowledge based on communication research.
Contribute to a Supportive Learning Environment
Rhetorical sensitivity is the process of communicating with the context in mind,
so that you are concerned about the other person's perspective. Any course in
communication expects rhetorical sensitivity regarding topics such as gender,
ethnicity, race, life-style, marriage and family, sexual orientation, disability
status, religion, socio-economic class, education, minority group status,
veteran status, and culture. Strive to create a positive learning community in
all aspects of your learning at Park University.
Consider the importance of saving face (protecting another person's pride),
which calls for you to suspend judgmental talk or actions about the other
person's values, attitudes, and behaviors. You will want to focus on ideas and
avoid prejudicial or stereotypical comments.
Posts and presentations are best suited when G-rated (appropriate for a general audience).
The people in this course pay to learn course material, not be shocked or
manipulated by other students. That means no offensive content in words or
Your professor is a professional, with years of experience in the field and
academia. Treat your professor with proper respect. "Yo," "hey prof," and
calling your professor by his or her first name before you have ever met, is
inappropriate communication behavior.
If you are in this course, you are expected to communicate with respect to
See your syllabus
https://park.edu/syllabus/list.aspx or the eCollege gradebook
regarding grading in your course. To adapt to currently enrolled students or
other elements of the current context, your professor may make changes in
grading weight and rubrics, and has the latitude to make major revisions to the
course, including grading policies and assignments.
In weekly assignments, students usually show that they have read and can apply
the course readings, including online course content. Students are expected to
work each week toward completing the Core Assessment throughout the course and
not wait until the last minute to begin that assignment.
No Pre-due-date Feedback
In some courses, your professor may
average 100 assignments from students each week and does not have
time to read drafts in advance of the due date. If you submit
your assignment to the dropbox and your professor has time to read
it in advance of the due date, he or she MAY allow you to revise for
the due date (your professor's choice). More likely, your
professor will give your grading feedback within a few days AFTER
the due date. Please do not send assignments or important
course-relevant information about you to your professor by email,
but upload everything to the appropriate dropbox or place in the
Discussing Grades: Professors are not supposed to discuss grades by
First, faculty are advised not to discuss grades by email or phone because of
the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Discuss your grades in eCollege, where the dropbox and gradebook feedback is
confidential. You can pose private questions and comments in any Dropbox. It is
upsetting to have a student who send multiple emails and telephones complaining
about a grade, when faculty aren't supposed to discuss grades by email or phone.
Ask your question in the private dropbox, and your professor will probably read
and respond when grading assignments the following week. If you don't receive a
response within two weeks of the due date, please email your professor that you
posed a private question in the Dropbox.
Second, faculty typically provide a grade and feedback in the gradebook within a
week of the due date. Please don't pester faculty. Students often complain
about not having grades immediately, while faculty are still working, which
means faculty have to take time away from grading to answer all the complaining
emails. Many faculty are full time employees in a professional position and give
up evenings and weekends to work with you, so show a little patience.
Error Correction in Gradebook
Your professor may
use "Error Correction" in the gradebook. Error Correction provides some
free points not from a graded assignment. This way a poor test question or
other potential problems are automatically taken care of for all students.
In fairness to all students, error correction provides credit for everyone so all students
are treated equally.
Response or Grading Turn-around Time
Although online faculty differ in how quickly they grade, the Communication
faculty are dedicated to prompt feedback. When faculty teach both graduate and
undergraduate courses, they may grade undergraduate work first because
undergraduate students need more time to improve before the next due assignment.
Below is typical grading turn-around time.
Question in Dropbox--Wednesday of the following week.
Discussion Board--Wednesday after the due date.
Full-time faculty typically teach a heavy load,
including graduate and undergraduate courses, and independent study classes. If
your professor averages just 50 students per term, this means reading
200-300 discussion board posts and assignments per week. Most faculty don't
succeed in reading them all during the week, so they have a lot to review after
the Sunday deadline.
Response to Email Question--Usually within a couple days.
Your professor may refer you to the answer in the Q & A Announcement or other
location in the course.
If you asked an important question in the discussion, dropbox, or email, and
your professor hasn't responded, please send another email repeating your
question. Please don't post a single question in multiple places or send an
email saying: "Did you read my question in the Discussion?" Just ask your
Test--One week after the due date.
Most tests in our department include
short answer and essay, which take take to read. The computer only
grades objective questions, and although the system may show you the results of
automatic grading, it takes time for your professor to read grade other questions.
Weekly "Paper" or Core Assessment Assignment--One week after
the due date.
Core Assessment due week 6 or 7--One week after the due date.
Final Examination, regardless of when taken--Tuesday of the week after the
course is over.
Instructor's Office--Almost Never. Students seldom use them, so
most faculty use the
Announcements instead. You may enjoy the Virtual Cafe discussion with
other students there.
Late Assignments--Week 8
Late assignments don't fit into your professor's planned work
schedule. Thus, you can expect late assignments submitted during weeks 1-6 to be
graded collectively at the end of the term, when your professor checks the
accuracy of final grades. If your assignment doesn't seem to be graded or you
still have a question about your grade on Friday of week 8, please contact your
You have access to the Gradebook inside eCollege or eCompanion (for some
independent study courses). The gradebook link is a tab in the upper part of the
screen inside the eCollege course. This gradebook can provide information about
assignment values. Important points to remember.
Click on blue links to access faculty feedback.
In the gradebook feedback, click on the plus icon to see everything the
Dropbox assignment feedback is available through the Dropbox. You may need to
download attached feedback, such as inside content inside a dropbox. In case
colors are used in the grading rubric, do not print unless you are using a color
printer. Notice that there is a continuous feedback screen, so you may need to
scroll down to see earlier feedback or to download attachments.
Remember, confidentiality law requirements discourage email discussion of
A typical grading scale uses percentages:
90-100 = A
80-89.99 = B
70-79.99 = C
60-69.99 = D
Below 60 = F
With 100 points, 1 point equals 1 percent. With 1000 points, 10 points equal 1
Submit weekly Discussion board assignments (e.g., Discussion, Time 2 Try, Just 4
Fun, Team, Webquest) as a main post with your name and topic in the subject line by
Friday. Make sure you also respond in a conversation with other students in the
class by Sunday.
Personal journal entries in CA104 need to be submitted through the Journal tab near the
middle upper right part of the screen. Make sure you indicate the week and
assignment in your title.
To use the dropbox, submit other assignments in eCollege or eCompanion during the due week in a
single, electronic file attached in the course dropbox. The tab is in the middle
upper part of the screen. You attach your file in the dropbox function much like
you would attach a file to an email. Remember, after you submit to the dropbox,
click on the icon and open it to make sure it is there. If not, submit again.
Dropbox categories are all visible from the professor's end, so just select what
looks like the most appropriate dropbox.
Please do NOT send assignments by email because they cannot be tracked, so
submit all assignments in eCollege (or eCompanion). If you have a problem using
the dropbox, telephone eCollege immediately, 1-866-301-7275 or 877.740.2213, not your
Because assignments are read online, please use non-serf font, which is more
readable online, such as ARIAL font (12) or eCollege 3.
For the Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership graduate committee of the
capstone thesis hardcopy, please use Times New Roman 12.
Online Participation or Minor Assignments
For participation assignments, submit them as the content of a posting in the
discussion board of the week the assignment is due. Please do not use
attachments in discussion board, which take extra time for students to open and
require downloads that can transmit a virus. Weekly units are typically
available for use only by week in order to encourage students to interact with
each other as they work through the material.
There may also be weekly assignments that you submit to the course dropbox, so
make sure you submit them as a single, attached file, with your name in the file
Remember, Check To Make Sure Your Assignment Works in the Dropbox
To be sure, you can submit any assignment to the Dropbox (any thread). If you
can see the icon of a paper and open the file, then your assignment is in the
Dropbox and readable to your professor.
Acceptable Formats to Submit in eCollege (eCompanion)
Acceptable formats include Microsoft Word (e.g., file extension .doc,.docx,
.ppt), rich text format (extension .rft), text format (.txt), or PDF (.pdf). You
can probably use Word's print function to create a pdf file. Other formats, such
as Word Perfect or LPI, don't work in eCollege (eCompanion).
Again, professors don't accept assignment via email. Please submit all assignments inside your specific e-course (eCollege or eCompanion), usually to the
If there's a problem in eCollege, contact eCollege, and ask eCollege to help you
and to send you an email to document your contact to them. Then upload that
verification to the Dropbox to excuse your late submission (as soon as you have
access). As soon as the problem is fixed, submit to the Dropbox.
Name electronic files beginning with your last name, then an assignment
Some faculty may use mastery learning.
The philosophy with mastery learning is that it takes individuals different amounts of
time to reach the same learning objectives. "Bloom suggested that although
students vary widely in their learning rates and modalities, if
teachers could provide the necessary time and appropriate learning
conditions, nearly all students could reach a high level of
achievement" (see para. 3,
and Learning Restricted (No revision)
Flexible (Revision based on professor feedback)
||Humanistic, but Inconsistent
Approach to Student Problems
Your professor may use a credit/no
credit or pass/revise system with mastery learning. Or your professor may allow you to revise certain
assignments to raise your grade. Revise or “R” grade means you will want to do the
assignment again for credit. Instead of expecting everyone to meet all goals
every week in the Time to Try It Out, for example, your professor may tell you
what needs to be improved for future weeks, so that your performance improves
during the course.
Something is better than nothing: Submit your best
assignment and revise. For example, Dr. Aitken typically uses
mastery learning for the core assessment assignment. If you believe your
assignment is below mastery standards, submit it anyway. For major assignments,
revision to raise your grade will not be permitted unless you
met the original due date deadline.
Students typically need a mastery level on
learning objectives to receive full credit for an assignment.
Thus, you will want to meet the following level of achievement:
80% mastery of the assignment learning
objectives for undergraduate students.
90% mastery of the assignment learning
objectives for graduate students.
If you are below
mastery level, your professor may make suggestions and expect to see those
changes in subsequent assignments (e.g., improvement in the quality of your next
week’s discussion board, suggested changes in the IC Report you submit later in
the term, changes needed for your Core Assessment). An assignment at the “Developing” or 70% level might receive full
credit one week, for example, but the quality will need improvement the next
week to receive full credit the next week. The goal is that each student reaches mastery level
master by the end of the course.
The end result of Mastery Learning is that students
need to learn the required material and master course objectives by the end of the
course. Regarding how this translates into a final course grade,
students who are willing to continually change, improve, and revise their work
can usually earn the grade of "A" in the course. In sharp contrast,
students who are not willing to improve and do all assignments as they progress
through the course may find themselves earning an "F." Note, most professors do not allow revision of assignments. If your professor uses
mastery learning, however, he or she may encourage revisions of major
assignments that are below 80% mastery level. Revisions can be turned in
within a week or revised for the core assessment. Revisions cannot be
submitted after Wednesday of week 8.
*This table is based on information from
USE @park.edu EMAIL
In this course,
please use your @park.edu email only. You
can send an email through eCollege or through your @park.edu account.
There are two reasons: First, Park's security system is sensitive and
often blocks external emails, so your professor may never receive your email.
Second, if your professor sets an automatic email responses, those typically go
to @park.edu email only, so you won't receive your professor's message.
Finally, please put your course number in the subject line and your full name at
the end so your professor will know.
Show communication and leadership knowledge, skills, and values by engaging in
an interactive discussion with your peers. Spend the kind of time on your
online discussion that you would spend engaged in a face-to-face class.
1. Make a substantive first post by Wednesday. Begin your own
sub-thread with your name and the topic in the subject line.
Discussion is interactive, with many topics in each weekly
discussion. When students look at the discussion, they may want to
respond to certain individuals or about specific topics. If the
topic and original person's name is in the subject line, that will
remain in the subject line through all the specific students
responses (you can always make changes to clarify your post).
A clear subject line makes the conversation easier to follow. Without a
topic and student name, the discussion can be a confusing mass of
posts instead of interactive conversation.
you enter the discussion, hit "respond" and create your own response thread with your name and content in
the subject line. This post will be your key, substantive post. This method is
recognized by the eCollege system, and will show your professor you have
submitted a posts In addition, it makes it easier for faculty and students to
follow and respond in conversation lines.
If you only respond to other students, the gradebook
system shows you as not participating. Sometimes students feel overwhelmed by
the number of postings in the discussion board. You can help others find
interesting posts by giving specific information in your subject line. For
example, if you are responding to an individual, begin with that person's name.
2. Post a substantive main post in all required
threads or discussion boards by Friday. Begin your own sub-thread with
your name and the topic in the subject line. Length is typically a
minimum of 50 words.
Post with substance, which shows learning and application of course materials
rather than unsubstantiated opinions. Substance and quality are more important
than the number of posts. Be aware, however, that multiple briefer posts are
easier to read and process online than one long post. A substantive post is
typically 50-250 words, so for easier reading, you may want to divide a long
post into two posts. Please complete all of your substantive, discussion starter
posts by Friday.
You will want your post to contain information from the reading, with a citation and
reference listing when appropriate. A substantive post may also include a brief
story, extended example, or other content that shows you can apply the reading
material to your personal life.
Of course there are also times when you will just provide a phrase or single
sentence too. In addition to starting your own conversational thread, engage in
interactive conversation with other students.
As a basic standard your total weekly posts will be 500 words, which would be
comparable to talking only 4 minutes a week in a face-to-face class. Some
professors or specific assignments require more, so follow assignment
3. Respond to other students in an interactive
conversation in all required threads. Responses require posting
multiple days a week and multiple times in sub-threads. Responses to
others in conversation need to be completed by Sunday of weeks 1-7 and Friday of
4. Post a minimum of 6-8 substantive posts each week
Although it depends on the specific course requirements, as a minimum, submit
6-8 substantive posts per week not including your additional brief responses to
5. Post multiple times a week
Log in multiple days a week to post your assignments and to read and respond to
other students. Your professor may have a progressive discussion board, where
emphasis is on different sub-threads during the week, so you are expected to
complete each thread's discussion by a certain day of the week. Or, there may be
one large discussion where students interact with each other all week.
Show active engagement in the course conversation lines. If you don't post by Friday, don't expect other students or faculty to
read your posts.
6. Show that you are learning
Please complete all main postings by Friday or the days indicated. Use
Most communication courses focus on communication competence based on US
scientific research. You will want to clearly identify opinion as merely one
point of view and be open to listening to the opinions of others. You will want
to tell personal stories, but always ground the postings in research-based
principles or course relevance. Cite or reference the source when
7. Show leadership through full participation.
Actively engage using effective communication and leadership. To
receive full credit, post to ALL
"required" or "due" threads AND several additional "choice" or
"option" threads. In other words,
post to multiple "choice" or "option"
threads each week, although you can select the ones you prefer. This
discussion is your class meeting comparable to the hours you would spend in a
face-to-face class and interaction with students for the week face-to-face.
Sometimes online conversations lead to considerable self disclosure. Keep
private information about other people to yourself. Please change names and do
not discuss information that is confidential to your family or business.
Discussion in this course needs to be a safe place. Use appropriate netiquette.
Make general comments appropriate for the whole class. Avoid sexist, age-ist, or
other biased remarks, including when followed by "Sorry" or "No offense." If you
are pretending to apologize for what you say, then you shouldn't have said it.
Don't do it. Healthy disagreement and alternative points of view are welcome,
but nasty remarks, judgmental comments, "honesty" designed to hurt, and false
apologies are not acceptable communication in a course designed to help you
improve your communication skills.
Nasty, prejudicial, denigrating, abusive, or hate speech are never welcome in a
supportive learning environment.
Use rhetorical sensitivity, which is a basic skill required for freshman through
graduate courses in communication.
8. Use correct writing style
Because this communication course, you will want to communicate effectively
online. Frequent paragraphing makes your posts easier to read (more like
newspaper style). Online abbreviations--such as LOL--can be confusing, difficult
for international students, and may create feelings of exclusion toward people
in the class who have no experience with online discussion jargon. Some degree
of language formality, precision, and politeness will enhance your online
communication. You will want to proof-read your postings for correct spelling,
grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and style to improve your clarity.
Capitalize the work "I."
9. Use clear, readable font.
When you write the post in your word processor, use non-serf font, such as Arial
or Verdana (non-serif) font size, preferably 12 (3 inside eCollege) so it is easy to read
online. Make sure there are not "hard carriage returns" that set the line
length, because it will make the formatting strange in eCollege. It's hard to
remember to increase the font size, but even periodic help makes reading easier
for many students and faculty with tablet size computers. If the post is too
small or difficult to read, students and faculty won't want to read it.
10. Write a coherent post to the assignment or discussion prompts. Please do NOT
rewrite a long question. Begin your post with a descriptive, thesis
sentence, then write your substantive post. Use complete sentences. Put the
topic in the subject line. Restating a brief question may be helpful, but
please don't repost a long question. We don't want to waste time reading the
same information over and over and searching for what you added.
Note, different faculty grade differently.
If your professor requires has a minimum of 6 substantive required posts for 60
points, for example, and you have fewer, you may be docked for each missing
post. For example, if 6 substantive post are required for 60 points, 1 post
might earn 10 points, 2 posts might earn 20 points, 2 posts might earn 30
points. 6 posts of 100 words each is less than 4 minutes of conversational talk,
which is far less than would be expected in a face-to-face class. Faculty may deduct grading points if you are missing any
of the objectives below. Faculty may also deduct points for each post or thread
you are missing.
One approach to grading is a mastery of objectives:
100%--Mastery (Met all objectives.)
90%--Quality Standards (One objective incomplete.)
70%--Basic Standards (Fewer than the required number of posts or lack
interactive responses to other students.)
0-60%--Develping Standards (Two or more objectives missing or incomplete,
particularly insufficient content, too few substantive posts, or failure to post
to all threads)
Why is discussion so important in this course?
In a communication course, you need to communicate effectively online.
Discussion is an interactive area in eCollege or eCompanion, where students talk
to each other. Discussion is comparable to a course's face-to-face class
meeting, where students engage in discussion about their course learning.
Discussion is designed to emphasize student interaction as a conversation about
learning course material, with focus on the textbook and course materials.
Some professors expect students to lead themselves in the discussion board
(e.g., a team discussion assignment, student led discussion) and may stay out of
the conversation so they don't inhibit or overly influence the way students
engage with each other. Your professor may simply correct misinformation or may
avoid making comments completely in order to give students the opportunity to
show leadership and build relationships with other students in the class.
For discussion, please avoid attachments because they are riskier for virus and
take time and space to open.Why save your work?
Save a copy of your posts in a file in case items are accidentally deleted or
access is set to disappear on Monday following the week the postings are due. If
there is a problem, you can talk to your professor about it.
You also may need to include some of your posts as content in your core
assessment or reflection at the end of the course. Again, remember that if you
copy and paste from a word processor, do not use hard carriage returns because
they make the awkward line length difficult to read.
What is expected regarding communication between students and faulty?
You will want to demonstrate respect for Park University policies, faculty,
peers, property, and scholarship. If you have questions, please ask.
Read details here:
http://www.park.edu/studentlife/conduct.html "Students are expected to
accept their obligations to the entire Park community to honor and respect the
value and integrity of each person and to conduct themselves accordingly. In
addition, students are responsible for making themselves aware of Park
University policies and procedures, all of which are outlined in the Catalog, in
the Student Handbook/Planner, and/or on the Park University website:
Student online discussion posts may be removed for any one of the following
Posting to wrong thread.
Being off topic.
Not contributing to learning for other students.
Posting incorrect information.
Talking about other people without their consent.
Overly long posts.
Complaining, goading, threatening, aggressive, insulting, ranting, or other
inflammatory communication that fails to meet guidelines of respect.
Department of Defense (DOD) no longer permits access to YouTube or most other types of videos. Some
websites are blocked. Other websites move so they don't work. First try copying
the URL of the link and putting it in an external browser, which often works. If
not, find a link of your own.
No videos or external weblinks are essential or mandatory in any of the online
communication and leadership courses. Students can feel free to substitute
something comparable. For example, if you are asked to find a YouTube video that
illustrates a concept about listening, and you cannot do that, you could tell us
about a motion picture you saw that related to good listening or an listening
instance you observed at work.
pages are provided by Dr. Joan E. Aitken to
supplement official information available
This page is provided without the authority of
any institution or organization. JoanAitken.Org.
Copyright 2005-2014. All Rights Reserved.