Weekly Schedule and Class Attendance

by Mike Gleicher on January 14, 2017

Class Schedule

The class is officially scheduled for 1-2:15 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Every week of the semester (except during break).

Note that this is “overscheduled:” the class is scheduled for 3*75 minutes a week, but is only a 3 credit hour class. So, we will meet for (on average) 150 minutes a week (which is what a 3 credit hour class is meant to do).

Under normal circumstances, the class will meet twice a week: on Monday and Wednesday. There will be exceptions. For example, the first week, classes start on Wednesday, so we will meet Wednesday and Friday.

Students are responsible for checking the course web to determine the schedule.

We will do everything we can to give you as much advanced warning as possible as to what the class schedule is. We also understand that the irregular schedule makes things difficult for people (which is why we will do all we can to stick to Monday/Wednesday as a regular pattern).


Policy on Attendance

Class attendance is required.

It is my job to make sure that your time in class is well spent and worth it. It is your job to be there. Sometimes the value in a class experience may not be obvious to you. And sometimes, I’ll do something experimental which may fail. If you don’t feel like I am keeping up my side of this deal well enough for you to keep up yours, let me know.

Being present in class means more than just being there physically: it means being there mentally and participating.¬†With devices (phones, laptops, etc.) it is really tempting to read your email, check the news or social media, play a game, or take a nap. It’s tempting¬†to think of class like a cafe – a nice comfy place with a good internet connection. But, remember, that when you do this, not only are you missing out, but you are distracting to others.

So please plan to come to class and really attending class. In some ways its worse to “be there (physically) but not be there (mentally)” than to not be there are all.

If you don’t intend on attending “nearly all” of the class meetings, you should not take this class. If someone’s attendance is perceived to be a problem, we will penalize them.

We understand that it is impossible for everyone to be at every class (even the instructor misses some classes). Things happen – bad and good. You get sick, you need to go to a family reunion in honor of your grandmother’s 100th birthday, you need to go to Stockholm to get a Nobel prize, your alarm clock breaks and you sleep through class …

The range of reasons people have for missing class is broad – and it’s difficult to judge what is “legitimate” or not. So, if you are going to miss class, let the administrative TA (Chih-Ching) know. If at the end of the semester, we decide that your attendance is a problem, we’ll look at the reasons.

In general, there is no way to “make up” what happens in class. You cannot make up an in-class experience (since you didn’t experience it!). We will try to make some exceptions at the beginning of the semester when people will miss class because they aren’t sure of their enrollment status. But, if you miss class, you miss what happened. Talk to a classmate to find out what we talked about. You are still responsible for any online assignments either due before or after a class. But you cannot do an in-class experience without actually being there, and doing/having the experiences is what makes this course.

We also understand that irregularity of the class schedule can make it difficult for you to plan when you will miss class. We will try to give you sufficient warning on the class schedule. However, if there is an unexpected schedule change, we will be more understanding if people cannot come.

Knowing who is (and is not) in class is difficult. There are enough people that it’s hard to remember everyone, and keep track. Ironically, when you notice someone is missing it is often a good sign about the person (the person is enough of a contributor to class that their absence is felt). We’ll do some things to keep track of who is and isn’t in class, including the in-class experiences, but we will generally rely on the honor principle for you to tell us you weren’t there. If we notice that you’re missing and you didn’t tell us, that’s not good.

In-class experiences will give us one tool to gauge who is at class. Do not try to game this. If you miss an experience, you miss the experience.

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