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Important Policies and Procedures

Minimum Technical Skills You Should Have

To succeed in an online or hybrid class, you should have the ability to:

  • Navigate the Internet, including downloading and reading files from web sites;
  • Locate information online using search engines;
  • Download and install software or plug-ins such as Adobe Reader;
  • Use Bobcat mail, including attaching and downloading documents and other files from emails;
  • Save files in commonly used word processing formats (for example, .doc, .docx, .rtf);
  • Copy and paste text and other items on a computer; and
  • Save and retrieve documents and files on your computer.

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 Copyright Violations and Plagiarism

Unless it is in the public domain, anything that is published is protected by copyright law. This includes anything you find on the web or in an online course. Under the "fair use" concept in copyright law, a person may make limited use of another's work without asking permission. Your use of another author's work in an assignment for your Texas State course will most likely meet fair use requirements as long as your use is limited in quantity and you credit the author. Read more about copyright law and fair use.

You are bound by the Texas State University Code of Conduct to avoid plagiarizing the work of others. This means that if you use another author's ideas or work (even if you meet the fair use requirements described above), you must give that author credit either in the text or in a footnote. Read more about avoiding plagiarism.

Note: Using copyrighted materials for papers, theses, classroom presentations, and other academic purposes is not automatically a fair use. Permission may still be required. You may direct questions about copyright to the University Copyright Office at

Here are some general fair-use guidelines for students:

  • Always credit the source following the format prescribed by your instructor. Use of another's work without attribution is considered plagiarism.
  • Limit the amount of material that you use from any single source. Use less of a creative work. For example, because poems tend to be short and are creative in nature, use no more than one poem from one author. Likewise, novels and plays tend to have greater copyright protection, so excerpts from those works should be relatively short. Somewhat greater use can be made of factual works, such as encyclopedias, compilations of facts and figures, and newspaper articles, as long as the source is appropriately credited and the assignment itself does not specify limited use of external resources.
  • If you are using information on a webpage, simply link to the webpage.
  • Use of copyrighted material outside of your course work may require written permission from the copyright holder.

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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.

Helpful Links:

Library Web site:

Ask a Librarian:

Databases: Many full-text articles are available from the library’s databases, which you can access 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.

Interlibrary Loan service: If a needed book or article is not in the library, you can use the Interlibrary Loan service. The item(s) you need will be mailed to you.

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

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 can be found at

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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 the University Academic Honesty policy (, 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

You can access information about financial aid at

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