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Important Policies and Procedures

Guidelines for Success as an Online Learner

Time Commitment

Online courses are typically just as time intensive as traditional courses. In fact, many students claim that online courses require more time and commitment. As you begin this course, you would be wise to schedule 8 or more hours per week for studying materials and completing assignments.

Falling behind in this course is particularly problematic because the concepts covered are cumulative. This means that not becoming proficient with information and objectives presented and assessed in a particular week can lead to low scores for that week as well as in subsequent weeks.

Active Participation

Online courses require your active participation. Here are some tips for success:

  • In discussion forums, you learn from one another by posing questions, justifying your comments, and providing multiple perspectives. When you prepare for discussions through thoughtful reflection, you contribute to your own successful learning experience as well as to the experience of your peers.
  • Log in to the course frequently (at least several times per week for long semesters and daily for summer sessions) and check the announcements. This will keep you apprised of any course updates, progress in discussions, assignment information, and messages requiring immediate attention.
  • Be aware of and keep up with the course schedule in the syllabus.
  • Participate in team activities to the best of your ability. How well your team does—and how well you do—depends on all the team members working cooperatively.

Student Feedback

One of the best ways to find out how to improve a course is to ask you, the student, for feedback. Toward this end, you may be asked to fill out a survey that asks about your reactions to the course content and features and invites your suggestions for improving the course. In addition, be sure to report any problems you encounter with the course (including everything from unclear material to spelling errors).

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Avoiding Plagiarism and Copyright Violations

Plagiarism is a very serious offense. You are bound by the Texas State University Honor Code to avoid plagiarizing the work of others. The Honor Code defines plagiarism as including:

…the appropriation of another’s work and the inadequately or inappropriately acknowledged incorporation of that work in one’s own written, oral, visual, or original performative work that is offered for credit.

Section 2 of the Honor Code provides the following examples of plagiarism:

  1. Submitting an assignment that was written during a prior semester or submitting the same assignment for more than one class simultaneously to include resubmitting substantial portions of previously written work for a current assignment, unless instructors in multiples courses are informed of and approve of the submission. Students should consult with their instructors if unsure of what work of their own they may use in preparing an assignment.
  2. Copying from another student’s paper partially or entirely or from any source without proper citation such as a book, article, notebook, video, or other source material, whether published or unpublished.
  3. Inserting a passage from the internet or any computer source into one’s paper without proper citation.
  4. Appropriating another person’s computer programming work for submission as an assignment.
  5. Failing to attribute material that comes from other media sources or failing to obtain proper permission for the use of such material when creating a web page, film, or musical composition as a course assignment.
  6. Any other appropriation of another’s intellectual property without proper attribution.
  7. Citing sources improperly, which includes failure to use quotation marks or other appropriate notation for direct quotes or for an author’s distinctive phrases, and following an author’s structure of writing and ideas, but rephrasing the sentences partially to give the impression that the whole passage reflects the student’s structure and ideas.

Review the Honor Code for the most up-to-date plagiarism definition and examples. Also visit these resources:

Visit the links below to learn about your responsibilities in regard to copyright.

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Using the Alkek Library

Reference librarians at the Alkek Library help students with a wide variety of course-related and personal research needs. For example, reference librarians help with database and Web searches, research strategy, article indexes and the library catalog. Librarians also assist students with obtaining library materials (such as books, journal articles and online texts) from the Alkek and other libraries. 

Ask a Librarian

Alkek Library databases: Many full-text journal articles are available from your home or office. All you need is your Texas State University NetID and password. Some articles may only be available in print at the library. These articles and other library materials, such as books and videos, can be mailed to your home address.

Click here for tips on accessing journal articles in Alkek Library databases.

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Special Accommodations

Upon request, Texas State University provides appropriate academic adjustments for qualified students with disabilities. It is the student's responsibility to notify the professors of any modifications that are required within the first two weeks of the semester. Students must be registered with the office of disability services to request academic adjustments.

The developers of this course have implemented some accommodations to make the course accessible for people who have disabilities. Depending on the accommodation need, it may be more appropriate to take an equivalent face-to-face course. To find out about equivalent courses, contact your academic advisor or department.

You can also get advice and help from the Texas State University Office of Disability Services:

Suite 5-5.1, LBJ Student Center
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666
Phone: (512) 245-3451 (voice/TTY)
Fax: (512) 245-3452

Review Texas State’s policy statement that establishes policy and defines responsibility for the administration of services available to students with disabilities through the Office of Disability Services.

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Academic Honesty

Learning and teaching are fostered in an atmosphere of intellectual openness. All members of the academic community are responsible for supporting freedom and openness through rigorous personal standards of honesty and fairness. Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty undermine the very purpose of Texas State University and diminish the value of an education.

Any student suspected of violating the Texas State University Code of Conduct or Academic Honesty policy statement, in particular, will be reported to the Coordinator of Student Justice, as required by university policy.

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Financial Aid and Tuition Costs

Access information about financial aid.

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