You are now in the main content area

Course Policies

Academic freedom is the right to search for truth, knowledge and understanding. The common good of society depends upon the search for knowledge and its free exposition. Academic freedom in universities is essential to both these purposes, in teaching, scholarship, research, and creative activity.

The Department of Sociology as a community of scholars has a duty to protect and defend this search for knowledge and understanding by all who inquire, teach, and learn under its auspices. They shall be free to teach, to carry out scholarly research and creative activities and to publish the results thereof, and to discuss and to criticize both the University and the wider society it serves.

This statement affirms the position on academic freedom articulated by Article 11 of the Collective Agreement between the University and the Faculty Association and by the Canadian Association of University Teachers. (external link, opens in new window) 

The Department of Sociology adheres to the university's Academic Integrity Policy. Please consult this material for the definition of academic misconduct and the penalties associated with it.

More information and an Academic Integrity Tutorial are available on the Academic Integrity Office site.

If you are at all unclear about what constitutes misconduct or plagiarism, please consult your course instructor prior to submitting your work.

Individual course instructors determine whether class attendance will be used as a basis for grades, and if so, this should be clearly indicated in the course outline.

Typically, no more than 10% of the final grade should allotted to attendance alone. If grades are assigned for attendance, then course instructors must institute some process for recording student attendance.

Students who miss class carry the entire responsibility of learning what they have missed; obtaining notes, if desired, from others; doing required work; and in general fulfilling any obligations set forth in the class missed.

Missing classes, even for documented reasons, may result in lower grades, especially in course components related to participation and attendance.

It is up to each individual course instructor to determine whether class participation will be used as a basis for grades. If so, the instructor will communicate in writing (usually in the course outline) their expectations about what constitutes class participation and the criteria that will be used for assessment.

Typically, no more than 10% of the final grade shall be allotted to class participation alone.

See also the section of this handbook on Attendance.

Cell phones must be turned off at all times in the classroom.

The use of computer and other technologies in the classroom is limited to their use for class purposes only (i.e. note-taking).

It is up to each course instructor to determine whether computers/laptops and other technologies are allowed in the classroom and when/how they may be used.

The Department of Sociology adheres to the criteria for course outlines set out in the university’s Course Management Policy.

Students will be provided with a course outline, either electronically on the University’s Course Management System or in hard copy, by or at the first meeting of every course. Please retain copies of your course outlines for your records; the Department does not typically provide additional course outlines to students.

In cases where there are multiple sections of the same course with variations in course delivery methods, grading and/or methods of evaluation, etc., the course outline will include at least a brief section/instructor-specific description.

On principle, the Department of Sociology maintains that the timely completion of course work is an integral part of learning.

Instructors have the right to stipulate final deadlines for acceptance of assignments, and to impose late penalties as they see fit; and are expected to notify students of these in advance. However, no assignment of any course value will be acceptable by any instructor after 5:00 p.m. on the final day of examinations for the semester in which the course ends, except in cases where an Incomplete (INC) grade has been assigned by the instructor.

Extensions on deadlines are entirely at the discretion of the instructor.

The Department of Sociology adheres to the university's Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy.

The Department notes that given its focus and subject matter, course material may at times be challenging or controversial. The presentation of ideas that are deemed disturbing, irreverent or irrelevant does not constitute harassment.

Students who feel they may have experienced discrimination or harassment are encouraged to contact Human Rights Services.

Students may drop off work for Sociology professors by placing it in the Department of Sociology Dropbox, which is located to the left of the main door of the Department of Sociology on the third floor of Jorgensen Hall. The dropbox is not accessible on the weekend, as Jorgensen Hall is locked.

All work dropped in the dropbox must clearly show the name of the professor and the course and section that the assignment is for, otherwise it will not be delivered.

The dropbox is typically emptied twice a day (morning and evening), and work is stamped with the date it was received.

Students are required to keep a copy of all work submitted to the dropbox.

The Department of Sociology adheres to the the University's Email Policy.

Students are required to use their email address for communicating with instructors and all other official communication with the university. You are responsible for checking this email account regularly. Email communication should be professional in tone and on topic.

Please follow these instructions for activating your university email account and other online services.

The Department of Sociology adheres to the guidelines for evaluation set out in Section 5.3 of the university’s Course Management Policy.

Sociology courses will normally include at least one written evaluation component. The format of this written evaluation may take a wide variety of forms, including but not limited to: essays or written assignments completed out-of-class, short-answer or essay questions on tests or exams, in-class writing exercises, reflexive writing activities, or discussion board or blog posts.

The Department of Sociology adheres to the guidelines for the scheduling of test, examinations and assessments set out in the university’s Course Management Policy.

In the Fall and Winter semesters, the last week of classes and the subsequent Saturday and Sunday before the examination period are to be free of all tests, examinations or major assignments or assessments. There are a limited number of exceptions to this policy, which are listed in Section 6 of the 'Procedures' section of the Course Management Policy.

Films are shown in class for academic and pedagogical purposes. Visual material may be rich in sociological insight or useful for stimulating discussion.

In cases where the content of the film may be highly sensitive, announcements are made prior to screening so that students who are concerned about the content need not attend or may leave.

The Department of Sociology acknowledges the importance of working with others as part of the educational experience.

Normally, group work will not exceed 30% of a course grade; the remainder of the course work will be individually assessed. In some courses, the instructor may provide the opportunity for students to opt for having a higher proportion of their course grade earned through group work.

Students who experience difficulties in group work should contact their course instructor as soon as the difficulties arise and as far as possible in advance of the project or assignment deadline.

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a way that is consistent with the university’s Student Code of Non-Academic Conduct.

Students who engaged in disrespectful or disruptive behavior may be asked to leave a classroom or office area. Failure to do so may lead to intervention by Security personnel.

The Department of Sociology understands classroom presentations, including lectures, overhead/PowerPoint slides, and distributed material to be the intellectual property of the instructor.

Students must obtain written permission from the course instructor (or any classroom speaker) prior recording classroom content in any way. This includes all forms of audio and video recording, including photographs.

Students must obtain written permission from the course instructor to redistribute classroom recordings in any way, including posting to internet sites such as Facebook and YouTube.

Instructors will announce when classrooms are being recorded so that other students are aware of the recording.

Recording classrooms or instructors or redistributing classroom recordings without written permission from the instructor is a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy.

The Department of Sociology adheres to the guidelines for feedback on student performance in a course set out in the university’s Course Management Policy.

Instructors are expected to grade and return student work with reasonable promptness. To enable students to assess their progress in a course, some graded work should be returned to the student prior to the final deadline for dropping courses without academic penalty.

The Department of Sociology does not accept student work by email. Individual instructors may choose to accept assignment by email; this is entirely at the discretion of the instructor.

If it is allowed by their professor, students may hand in work outside of class time by placing it in the Department of Sociology Dropbox (see the section on Dropping Off Work).

Some instructors in the Department of Sociology use is a plagiarism prevention and detection service, that assists instructors in determining the similarity between students’ work and the work of other students who have submitted papers to the site (at any university), internet sources, and a wide range of books, journals and other publications. It is up to each individual course instructor whether they will use

Students who do not want their work submitted to must consult with the instructor to make alternate arrangements by the end of the second week of classes.