User:Aaronshaw/Classroom policies

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The policies below govern the courses that I (Aaron) offer at Northwestern. I list them in alphabetical order within two categories: (1) broad principles & policies and (2) classroom logistics.

Please keep in mind that these are the baseline set of policies that apply across all of my courses. There are likely some specific policies related to the specific course you are taking with me, in which case please consult the appropriate section of the syllabus for that course.

Questions? Please contact me (especially if you're a student in one of my classes!).

Broad principles & policies[edit]

Academic integrity[edit]

All Northwestern affiliates are responsible for reading and abiding by the Northwestern University Principles Regarding Academic Integrity. Personally, I expect students to exceed the minimal standards elaborated in those principles and to strive for admirable, extraordinary conduct in every aspect of your academic career. Feel free to ask me for clarification about this or related matters.

The University's standards of academic integrity cannot be listed exhaustively, but the following examples represent some basic types of behavior that are unacceptable: cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, obtaining an unfair advantage, aiding and abetting academic dishonesty, falsification of records and official documents, unauthorized access to computerized academic or administrative records or systems.

For more information, visit:


I am happy to do my very best to accommodate religious observance, health and well-being needs, or other circumstances as appropriate. Please get in touch.

Any Northwestern student requesting accommodations related to a disability or other condition is required to register with AccessibleNU (847-467-5530) and provide professors with an accommodation notification from AccessibleNU, preferably within the first two weeks of class. All information will remain confidential. For more information, visit AccessibleNU.

Classroom equity, justice, and inclusion[edit]

I am committed to advancing equity, justice, and inclusion through my teaching and other professional activities. As an instructor, I strive to create an inclusive environment that accommodates diversities in experiences, perspectives, abilities, identities, and beliefs (among other forms of diversity). At the same time, I am cognizant of various forms of privilege and power that I or others may bring into the classroom and that these inequalities shape learning experiences in sometimes adverse ways.

In the classroom, I will work to address and challenge these and other forms of oppression and injustice. I am eager to support students using the course as an opportunity to do the same.

To help accomplish these goals, I encourage the following:

  • If you have name(s) and/or pronoun(s) that differ from those that appear in your official records, please let me know.
  • If I or others use your name(s) and/or pronoun(s) incorrectly, please correct us and/or let me know.
  • If you feel like your performance in the class is being impacted by your experiences outside of class, please communicate with me and/or your advisor. There are also counseling and psychological services available to all Northwestern students.
  • Model cultural awareness and competencies, and support dignity and respect in every aspect of the class.
  • Speak openly and honestly about concerns related to injustice, inequity, and other problems in this class, department, institution, and broader society. Listen generously to the same.

If anything about the class undermines these values or compromises the dignity of a member of the class, please contact me or a member of the teaching team. In the event of an incident violating classroom, campus, or other policies, you can also submit an incident report via the Northwestern Office of Equity (and that website includes links to other resources and support).

Discrimination, sexual harassment and misconduct[edit]

All participants in my classes are bound by the Northwestern University institutional equity policies related to discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and other forms of discriminatory behavior. In brief, these policies prohibit discriminatory behavior and sexual harassment or misconduct of any kind.

Please review the policies and speak to me if you have any questions or concerns. You can also submit incident reports directly via the Northwestern Office of Equity.

For issues related to sexual misconduct or sexual harassment, you may also want to consult the University's sexual misconduct response and prevention resources site (which also includes incident reporting tools.

Respectful classroom environment[edit]

Northwestern University is committed to the principles of free inquiry and free expression which are central to the mission of the University. Incidents of hate and bias that violate Northwestern's Policy on Discrimination and Harassment, the Student Code of Conduct, or other university rules, regulations, and policies are not legally protected expressions, are not the proper exercise of academic freedom, and may be grounds for University disciplinary action. Respect NU encompasses a reporting system where students are encouraged to submit any bias or hate related incidents that they observe on Northwestern University's campus.

For more information, visit the Campus inclusion and community incident reporting page.

Classroom logistics[edit]


Attendance in the synchronous class meetings is expected of all participants. If you need to miss class for any reason, please try to contact me ahead of time (email is best). Multiple unexplained absences may impact your grade. In the event of an absence, you are responsible for obtaining class notes, handouts, assignments, etc. You are also still responsible for turning in any assignments on time unless you make prior arrangements with the teaching team.

Confidentiality of peers’ work and in-class discussions[edit]

Throughout a course, you may receive, read, collaborate, and/or comment on classmates’ work. These assignments are for class use only. You may not share them with anybody outside of class without explicit written permission from the document’s author and pertaining to the specific piece of work in question.

It is essential to the success of class that all participants feel comfortable discussing questions, thoughts, ideas, fears, reservations, apprehensions and confusion about works-in-progress, concepts, independent research, and more. Therefore, you should not share verbatim comments with those not in class nor should you share using other methods -- e.g., social media -- any comments linked to people’s identities unless you get clear and explicit permission from them to do so first. If you want to share general impressions or specifics of in-class discussions with those not in class, please do so without disclosing personal identities or details.


Emergencies happen. Unanticipated obstacles arise. If you cannot make a deadline, please contact me to figure out a schedule that will work. The more proactive and responsible you are, the more receptive I am likely be.

A word about extensions and incomplete grades: I strongly discourage them. In principle, I have no problem with extensions or incomplete grades. In practice, they tend to be a pain for everybody involved. If you absolutely must submit any assignment late, please assume that I may require up to 1 month (4 weeks) to grade it. Please take this into account if you will need me to to submit a grade in order to receive your fellowship/diploma/visa/etc. by a particular date.

Email protocol[edit]

I receive a lot of email and I sometimes fail to keep up. If, for some reason, I do not respond to a message related to this course within 48 hours, please do not take it personally and feel free to re-send the message with a polite reminder. This will help me and I will not resent you for it.

Grade changes[edit]

If you want to request a review/change of grade for any assignment in the course, you must do so in writing via email. You should address your request to the teaching team (i.e., both the instructor(s) of record as well as any teaching assistant(s)) and include any details pertinent to the request. Such requests incur no risk to your grade in the sense that they will never result in a lower grade than the one you were originally assigned. The teaching team will review your request and will provide a written reply via email within two weeks (or as soon as possible).

In-class device usage[edit]

Please refrain from uses of devices that do not directly contribute to your engagement with the course material. If this becomes a problem, I may ask you to leave class, temporarily surrender devices, and/or meet to develop a plan to mitigate in-class device usage that could adversely impact your learning or others'.