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Appendix: Platforms, Policies, Access, Accommodations, and Support

For CRJU 2200, 3405, and 4900

Published onDec 07, 2023
Appendix: Platforms, Policies, Access, Accommodations, and Support
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Note: Much of the information herein is a cut-and-paste compilation from various GSU resources, per the institution’s requirement or suggestion to include them, or were added by a course designer at GSU. Thus, the following words are not all mine (e.g., see https://cetl.gsu.edu/services/instructional-support/constructing-a-syllabus/).

Platforms

Perusall

In this course, you will read, annotate, discuss, and reflect on Perusall, an interactive social reading platform. The video below provides a quick overview of how to get started. Note that when you click on a Perusall link from this course, you will not be asked to enroll (D2L is linked to Perusall) or purchase a textbook (I have already uploaded all class readings). Visit Perusall’s “Getting Started” documentation for students for a text version of these instructions and other help topics.

Perusall Intro
Student LMS account set up

Frequently asked questions about Perusall

What’s involved in annotating a reading?

During the first week, read and form your own thoughts about the assigned reading within Perusall. While doing so, address these critical reading questions by adding “comments” to the text:

  • What do you think is the author’s most important point? In other words, why did they write this book and what do they want you to know?

  • How is the author making their point? Are they asserting something new; arguing for something different; denying or refuting, or proving or disproving a previous claim; or just explaining something for their audience?

  • What does the author say that surprises you? By “surprise,” I mean contradicts what you assumed to be factually true.

  • What does the author say that you disagree with? By “disagree,” I mean contradicts your values or beliefs.

To address those questions, your comments should do things like:

  • Ask a question about something you don't understand.

  • Try to explain or interpret a complex idea in your own words or using an analogy you find helpful.

  • Connect an idea in the reading to your own experience or real-world events or news.

  • Explain why you agree or disagree with a point or idea in the reading by providing supporting or counter evidence or examples.

  • Start a conversation about something in the text that intrigues you.

During the second week, discuss the reading with your classmates in Perusall. You should:

  • Answer someone else's question.

  • Ask a probing or clarifying question about someone else's annotation.

  • Explain why you agree or disagree with a point or idea someone else made by providing supporting or counter evidence or examples.

  • Continue a conversation about something that intrigues you.

How can I get a higher grade?

  • The earlier you start reading and annotating, the more opportunities you will have for other students to comment on and upvote your annotations.

  • Spread your annotations throughout the entire reading (see some examples). Also spread your reading time out over the two weeks of the module and check back in regularly to continue participating in conversations.

  • Read every assignment all the way through to the end because, A) authors usually provide summaries or pose interesting questions at the ends of chapters, and B) Perusall tracks completion.

  • Answer other people's questions and upvote thoughtful questions and helpful answers. Just reading is not enough. A significant portion of your score is based on the conversations you have about the readings.

  • Check your progress for each reading under the My Scores tab in Perusall. This tells you what more to do to get full credit. 

iCollege

This class uses iCollege for communication. Make sure you have the technology capable of working with iCollege: Review Recommended Technology.

Frequently asked questions about iCollege

How do I get started using iCollege?

Since you made it to this course, you already know some basics about iCollege, like logging in and finding a course. The video above also provides a nice overview of the platform. Did you know you can also personalize your profile and change your account settings? If you haven't already reviewed your settings, go ahead and do that (especially your notification settings) so that you don't miss a thing.

What are the technology requirements for using iCollege?

While iCollege can be accessed via a variety of devices, you will probably find a desktop or laptop computer to be the easiest way to view content and the most comfortable for extended learning sessions. While iCollege is compatible with most mobile devices for on the go learning, we do not recommend you use a mobile device as your primary device for iCollege. The IT Knowledge Base has more info on specific technology requirements and a tool to perform a system check.

Where do I get help with iCollege?

For quick help on common topics, you can review the iCollege Documentation for Students. Additionally, the Georgia State IIT Technology Service Desk and the D2L Help Center provide support for iCollege. Review the following help articles for more details:

How do I receive notifications from iCollege?

iCollege offers SMS text notifications for updates to course content, announcements, grades, etc. It also offers the Brightspace Pulse app which provides push notifications to your mobile device when there have been updates to your course. Review the following help articles for more details:

What is iCollege Mail and should I use it?

iCollege Mail is the platform's internal messaging system. It is not integrated with your GSU student email account, PantherMail (powered by Outlook). Do not use iCollege mail to communicate with your professor in this course. GSU’ss PantherMail (powered by Outlook) is easier to navigate and provides a more professional experience for communicating with both faculty and your peers. Review the following help articles for more details:

Grading Polices

Grade disputes

You must bring all grade disputes to my attention within 7 days of the grade’s posting. After, I will not revisit, discuss, explain grades brought to my attention.  

Attendance and participation

In order to attend this course, you'll need to engage with all learning materials and activities within each course module by the listed due dates. Each module is two weeks in length. Each module has a different topical focus, but the same activities and timeline. In the first week, students read, read critically, and annotate. In the second week, they discuss and reflect. The Introduction has more details on how to complete this work. Failure to submit assignments may lead you to be dropped from the course, without readmission. 

Late submissions

This online course is asynchronous (i.e., we never “meet”). However, assignments must be submitted by the due dates and times specified in the Course Schedule. Late submissions will only be accepted in extreme circumstances (e.g., death in the family, hospitalization, etc.) and when documentation can be provided. Also, if you have what I deem an excusable absence, it must be brought to my attention within 24 hours of the problem’s occurrence; otherwise, I will not allow an extension. I highly recommend you complete assignments ASAP, not wait until the end. “Technology problems” are not an excuse for late submissions.

Grace Period

As a courtesy, I keep each submission folder open for an extra ~55 hours; specifically, until Sunday at 11:59 pm.

  • Thus, there is absolutely no technology excuse for late submissions. You should always try to submit by the due date and time, and only use the grace period as a back-up.

  • For late work to be excusable, the problem (e.g., sickness) must occur before the grace period. For example, if you wait for the grace period to turn in an assignment, but then get sick on the weekend so do not turn it in, this is not excusable. Ditto technology problems and every other problem. 

Grade disputes

Timeliness and attention to detail are essential skills for your future career and life. Please review all your graded work and contact me with any questions or disputes within 7 days of the grade’s posting. After that 7-day window, the course has moved on and I will not revisit, discuss, explain grades brought to my attention.  

Additional Policies

People work and learn together best when expectations are clear from the start. These policies are in place to help hold you accountable to your instructor, your classmates, and yourself. If you have questions or concerns about adhering to any of these policies, please contact your instructor.

Course policies

The following policies are specific to this course. Please pay special attention to these policies as they may be different than those in your other courses. These policies have been developed over many years and we have found them to work well in both supporting clear communication and expectations and in helping students to successfully complete this course.

Make-up work

As this course provides ample opportunities over the entire semester for you to demonstrate what you've learned and earn a good grade (no high stakes exams here), make up work is not permitted and late submissions will only be accepted in extreme circumstances (e.g., death in the family, hospitalization, etc.) and when documentation can be provided. Since this course is asynchronous, it is on you to identify any potential conflicts and work ahead if necessary in order to meet course deadlines. In fact I recommend you always try to work at least a little ahead to give yourself wiggle room in case of inevitable technology issues. If unexpected and extreme conflicts arise (like the examples above), it is your responsibility to bring your situation to my attention within 24 hours of the occurrence, otherwise, I will not allow an extension. To reiterate something above, “technology problems” are not an excuse for late submissions.

Technology problems

I do not help with most technology problems for two key reasons: 1) all the technology help I know how to offer is already  in this syllabus, and 2) it is important for you to practice getting help on your own. Asking for my help with technology issues is actually incredibly inefficient as I would be standing between you and the real experts available to you, and practicing getting help on your own is an important life and career skill. When you learn how to seek the answers to your own questions, you gain direct access to the wide world around you rather than a small mediated slice. For problems with iCollege, the GSU Library, or of a more personal nature (e.g., getting your internet or laptop to work), contact the experts at the GSU technology services help desk, email [email protected], or call 404-413-4357.

Contacting your instructor

Before emailing me: Whenever possible, you should first ask questions by posing them in Perusall. If that doesn't answer your question and you need to email me, please do the following or I will not reply:

  • Email me at [email protected], not via the address associated with iCollege.

  • Send the email from your GSU email account.

  • Do not ask something that answered elsewhere (e.g., in this document).

  • Ask a clear question.

If I do not respond to your email, look to see whether you did all of the above. If you did but I didn’t reply within 24 hours, please resend your original email. This policy may seem picky, but poor communication inevitably leads to miscommunication. 

Netiquette

Netiquette, a social code that defines “good” online behavior is something to keep in mind during your online course interactions. Writing may be the only means of communication you have with classmates and instructors, so it is especially important to do this effectively. Follow the guidelines below to leave your mark as a knowledgeable, respectful and polite student who is also positioned to succeed professionally.

Be scholarly

  • Do: Use proper language, grammar and spelling. Be explanatory and justify your opinions. Credit the ideas of others through citing and linking to scholarly resources.

  • Avoid: Misinforming others when you may not know the answer. If you are guessing about something, clearly state that you do not know the answer.

Be respectful

  • Do: Respect privacy, diversity and opinions of others. Communicate tactfully and base disagreements on scholarly ideas or research evidence.

  • Avoid: Sharing another person's professional or personal information.

Be professional

  • Do: Represent yourself well at all times. Be truthful, accurate and run a final spell check. Limit the use of slang and emoticons.

  • Avoid: Using profanity or participating in hostile interactions.

Be polite

  • Do: Address others by name or appropriate title and be mindful of your tone. Treat people as if you were in a face-to-face situation.

  • Avoid: Using sarcasm, being rude or writing in all capital letters. Written words can be easily misinterpreted as they lack nonverbals.

Adapted from ASU Online

GSU policies

Academic integrity

Georgia State University has a specific policy on Academic Honesty and it is your responsibility to read and know about it. As the policy says, “Lack of knowledge of this policy is not an acceptable defense to any charge of academic dishonesty. All members of the academic community—students, faculty, and staff—are expected to report violations of these standards.” You can view the full GSU Academic Honesty policy here. A very brief summary is: “As members of the academic community, students are expected to recognize and uphold standards of intellectual and academic integrity. The university assumes as a basic and minimum standard of conduct in academic matters that students be honest and that they submit for credit only the products of their own efforts.” Direct Link: What is Academic Integrity? Is it Different from Academic Honesty?

Types of academic dishonesty

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s words, images, or creative work as your own, whether you use their ideas, a single sentence, or an entire work. It doesn’t matter whether the source has been published or unpublished, or can be found on the Internet. Just because something is freely available on the Internet does not mean it is free to use without giving credit to the creator. Downloading, buying research papers online, and/or copying and pasting is plagiarism. Paraphrasing (changing the words around) is also plagiarism unless you cite your source. If you are unsure whether or not you are guilty of plagiarism, ask your instructor or one of the librarians for help.

Unauthorized collaboration

If you are submitting an assignment for a grade, you may not collaborate with another student. So unless your teacher says it is acceptable to work together as a group, your work must be done by yourself alone.

Falsification

If you’ve forgotten which sources you used for a paper or project, don’t make up a citation. Leaving out a citation is also considered falsification. Writing your paper first and then adding citations that you haven’t used to write the paper is another example of falsification. Examples of falsification include using Wikipedia, but not citing it after your professor has said that you may not use it; faking your attendance; logging in with another student’s password; and/or completing or submitting an assignment for someone else. 

Deterrence

Students who get caught cheating, plagiarizing, or any of the other forms of academic dishonesty run the risk of both academic and disciplinary actions. These can be anything from a failing grade for the course up to expulsion from the school with a permanent note on your transcript. Before you decide to violate the Academic Honesty policy, ask yourself—“Is this really worth the risk?” Academic life is challenging. Learning to conduct college-level research and handle multiple assignments at once can be overwhelming. But mastering these skills will help you, not only during your college years, but in everyday life as well. So don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are unprepared for an exam, don’t cheat—let your instructor know before the exam. Don’t plagiarize—if you are unsure how to cite your resources in a paper, talk with your instructor or one of the university librarians.

Other university policies

Withdrawals

As of Fall 2006 semester, all undergraduate students are allowed to withdraw with a grade of W a maximum of six (6) times in their entire careers at Georgia State. Students who exceed the limit will automatically receive a grade of WF. (WFs count as Fs for GPA calculation purposes.) Withdrawals taken before Fall 2006 will not count against the limit and neither will hardship withdrawals, military withdrawals, withdrawals at other institutions, or withdrawals after the midpoint. (Withdrawals after the midpoint are automatically given a grade of WF.) Please note, the instructor of a course will not decide whether a student who withdraws before the midpoint receives a W or a WF. Instead, students with less than 6 withdrawals will automatically receive a W and students with 6 or more withdrawals will automatically receive a WF.

FERPA

In keeping with USG and university policy, this course website will make every effort to maintain the privacy and accuracy of your personal information. Specifically, unless otherwise noted, it will not actively share personal information gathered from the site with anyone except university employees whose responsibilities require access to said records. However, some information collected from the site may be subject to the Georgia Open Records Act. This means that while we do not actively share information, in some cases we may be compelled by law to release information gathered from the site. Also, the site will be managed in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which prohibits the release of education records without student permission.

Sexual Harassment

In instances of sexual misconduct, the present instructor(s) and teaching assistants, are designated as Responsible Employees who are required to share with administrative officials all reports of sexual misconduct for university review. If you wish to disclose an incident of sexual misconduct confidentially, there are options on campus for you do so.  For more information on this policy, please refer to the Sexual Misconduct Policy which is included in the Georgia State University Student Code of Conduct.

Online course evaluations

Your constructive assessment of this course plays an indispensable role in shaping education at Georgia State. Upon completing the course, please take time to fill out the online course evaluation. Please be respectful when filling out your evaluation, as they really do matter and are read by many people.

Access and accommodations

The Access and Accommodations Center’s (AACE) vision is to create an accessible community where people are assessed on their ability, not their disability. AACE also strives to provide equal access to students with disabilities and provide individuals with the tools by which they can accomplish their educational and career goals. Both ACCE and the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Online Education are committed to providing an accessible and inclusive learning experience for all students. See below for descriptions and links to some of their most commonly requested resources.

Accessibility tools in iCollege

iCollege has a number of built-in tools that allow for a more flexible experience.

Managing preferences

Under Account Settings (Video: How to Manage Your Account Settings), there are settings options that can change the look and interaction of pages across iCollege. You might want to do this if you are primarily using a smaller device or are using assistive technology (such as a screen reader, screen magnifier, or voice software). You are able:

  • Choose between four different font size options

  • Change modal dialogs to pop-ups.

  • Turn off or on HTML rich text features.

  • Not automatically mark items as read as the page scrolls.

  • Optimize video presentation for programmatically-driven assistive technologies.

Text to speech

If you need text to be read aloud, iCollege has a Text to Speech feature. This tool reads out HTML-created text in the course’s content; a variety of document types including Microsoft Word documents and PDF files; and can be used by students to read content outside of iCollege.

Alternative formats

If you would like to access your course content in a different format (e.g., PDF, Mobile-friendly HTML, Audio, ePub, Electronic Braille), then iCollege has a tool for that too. Watch the video to learn how to use Ally to access alternative formats in iCollege.

Registering with AACE and Requesting Accommodations

Online Testing Accommodations

Support statements

Our most successful students succeed in part because they have support. GSU has resources to support you not only as a student in our courses, but as a whole person and member of the Panther community. 

Inclusivity

We understand that students in our program come from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. AYSPS is committed to providing a learning environment that respects diversity. To build this community we ask all members to:

  • Share their unique experiences, values and beliefs.

  • Be open to the views of others.

  • Honor the uniqueness of their colleagues.

  • Appreciate the opportunity that we have to learn from each other in this community.

  • Value each other’s opinions and communicate in a respectful manner.

  • Keep confidential discussions that the community has of a personal (or professional) nature.

Accessibility

Students who wish to request accommodation for a disability may do so by registering with the Access and Accommodation Center. Students may only be accommodated upon issuance by the Access and Accommodation Center of a signed Accommodation Plan and are responsible for providing a copy of that plan to instructors of all classes in which accommodations are sought. For more information, contact the GSU Access & Accommodations Center
Phone: (404) 413-1560, email: [email protected], website: access.gsu.edu.

Academic Coaching

As a Georgia State student, you can request a personal academic coach to guide you during your journey. The academic coach will help you develop an academic plan, nurture healthy study habits, establish attainable goals, prepare for exams, and utilize the resources available to you to make sure you succeed. This is different from your advisor, who helps you register for class, switch majors, or figure out your graduation path. Your academic coach digs deeper. They will work to remove any academic barriers outside of your course schedule, and make sure nothing stops you from not only making good grades but also making the best resources available to you. Request a meeting with an academic coach by sending an email to [email protected].

Basic Needs

The Embark Network provides assistance to students experiencing homelessness or the foster care system. The Embark Network connects students with on and off campus resources for assistance with food insecurity, housing, homeless verification, employment referrals and other services and will work with students to navigate university policies and processes. Visit the Embark Network website to learn how to get assistance. 

Military Outreach

Are you active duty, reserve, or a veteran? GSU is committed to supporting military-connected students through the development and implementation of outreach programs and services focused on meeting the unique needs and challenges of today’s military community. Visit the Military Outreach website to connect with resources and services.

Pregnant & Parenting Students

GSU does not discriminate against any student on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or parental status. If you need to seek any course adjustments on these bases, you should discuss the request directly with your instructor. Learn more about your rights.

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