To a certain extent, this course will be to you what you choose to make of it. Obviously, I have a responsibility as the instructor to make sure that every student accomplishes something and demonstrates reasonable mastery of the material. But as the course proceeds, you will likely find both opportunities to advance yourself and loopholes through which you can duck. If you jump on every opportunity to advance yourself, you may run the risk of burning yourself out or biting off more than you can chew in one semester. On the other hand, if you seize every loophole you find as a way out, you’ll ultimately be cheating yourself out of much of what the course has to offer.
I would recommend that you look to strike a balance. Pursue the opportunities for advancement that most interest you, and if some sort of loophole presents itself at a time when you’ve got your hands full, take advantage of it. To a large extent, each student has the power to focus the course on their personal strengths and avoid their personal weaknesses. Use that power to your benefit, while keeping in mind that you’ll get out of this course only what you put into it.
That having been said, you may find that you need assistance striking an effective balance.
If you find that the pace is too fast or the workload too much, I will do my best to help you develop strategies for keeping up. However, you must assume some responsibility as well.
First, you must make a good faith effort to help yourself. That means you must attend class and team meetings on a regular basis and seek out additional resources for assistance. I’ve provided two sources for the latter, a list of recommended books and a list of recommended Web sites.
Second, as a mature adult it is up to you to recognize your situation and proactively seek assistance to rectify it. I am happy to provide that assistance whenever I can, but you must take the first step of letting me know that you need it. Generally, the best way to accomplish this is to come by and see me in my office, but e-mail works to get the ball rolling.
This course offers almost limitless opportunities to challenge yourself and advance your skills to their next level. To a large extent, how much you choose to avail yourself of those opportunities will be up to you. Should you decide to challenge yourself, I will do my best to help you explore more advanced material. However, you must assume some responsibility as well.
First, you must make a good faith effort to help yourself. That means you must attend class and team meetings on a regular basis. There is a tendency among more advanced students to stop attending classes as the course progresses. If you wish to move ahead into more challenging areas, you cannot do so at the expense of your teammates or classmates. You must also seek out additional resources for assistance, perhaps using the list of recommended books and/or the list of recommended Web sites I have provided.
Second, if you desire my assistance in your endeavors, you are responsible for asking for it. I will help as much as I can, but I cannot help if I do not know my assistance is needed. Feel free to stop by my office or send me e-mail to let me know.
Regardless of whether you are seeking assistance to help you keep up or to help you explore more advanced material, timing is everything. The longer you wait to get me involved, the less I am likely to be able to help.
Often, students who are struggling to keep up do not approach me for assistance until the last week or two of the semester. At this point, there is very little I can offer. I am not able to provide extra credit work, and obviously I cannot go back and change all the bad grades earned so far. All the help I am able to offer involves strategies for improving future grades, not altering past grades. As such, the longer you wait the more bad grades you accumulate, and the fewer future grades remain with which I can offer assistance.
Likewise, students who find that the course does not challenge them sufficiently have a tendency to wait until the end of the course to inform me of this fact. While this is generally not as critical from a grading perspective, it does mean that such students have lost an opportunity to address a perfectly correctable situation.
I’ll do whatever I can to make your experience in this course as educational as possible, but I can’t work magic at the end of the semester. If you are willing to do the work it will require to improve your situation and let me know early enough, we should be able to work together to make it happen.
While I will do what I can to assist those students who show me that they have taken the first steps by helping themselves, I am limited to some degree in what I can do.
University regulations and policies, as well as state and federal laws, are in place to protect the rights of all students equally, and I must work within the boundaries these requirements place on me. Therefore, I endeavor to make decisions on the basis of fairness to all, even when the result may seem somewhat unfair to an individual’s perspective.
One of the most common requests I receive that I must refuse on these grounds is the request for extra credit work. If I offer extra credit work to one student, University policy requires me to make that same extra credit work available to all students. I suspect that you will find that there is already plenty of work in this course.
The University is committed to providing students with documented disabilities equal access to all university programs and facilities. If you think you have a disability requiring accommodations, you must register with Disability Services for Students (DSS). Contact DSS at (603) 862-2607 or visit them in 201 Smith Hall. If you have received Accommodation Letters for this course from DSS, please provide me with that information privately so that we can review those accommodations. I would encourage you to do so as early in the semester as possible, since none of the accommodations are retroactive.
All students should also be aware that the University offers multiple academic resources to assist all students. I encourage students to take full advantage of all applicable resources to ensure academic success.