Course Policies

Here you will find standard syllabus information such as
my non-discrimination policy, the grading scale and distribution, and attendance policies.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, pregnancy status or genetic information is a violation of state and federal law, as well as George Mason University’s Non-Discrimination Policy, and will not be tolerated. Harassment of any person (either in the form of quid pro quo or creation of a hostile environment) similarly will not be tolerated. Retaliation against any person who complains about discrimination is prohibited.

Disability Accommodations

If you have a documented learning disability or other condition that may affect academic performance you should: 1) make sure this documentation is on file with Disability Services (SUB I, Rm. 4205; 993-2474) to determine the accommodations you need, and 2) talk with me to discuss your accommodation needs.

Course Texts

All texts required for this course will be available for free with your George Mason login credentials and can be accessed directly from our course's schedule. You will also find recommended texts there with links to where you might purchase them should you choose to do so. They are strictly optional for this course though.

Course Assignments & Grade Distributions

Modules 1–4: 40% of final grade

The completion of the modules is the primary way that I can ensure students keep up to date with coursework. As such, they make up a large portion of your grade. Modules will be graded on a pass/fail basis based on completion. A module is not complete until it is operational and debugged. You must troubleshoot your problems, seek advice on our forum, and/or get in touch with me about any modules you cannot complete, else you will be given a zero.

Workshop: 15% of final grade

As described in the workshop assignment page, students will work in groups of four or fewer to research, develop, produce, and offer workshops on elements of web authorship and design of their choosing. Workshops ought to be oriented around developing essential technical skills or specific rhetorical and design strategies. In short, your peers should learn (how to do) something useful.

Project Proposal: 5% of final grade

As described in the final project assignment page, students will be responsible for producing a proposal for their final projects. N.b., Students must finish a draft of their project proposals and circulate it for peer review in Week 3 in order to be eligible to submit a project proposal to me for a grade.

Project Demo: 10% of final grade

As described in the final project assignment page, students will be responsible for offering a live demo of their finished project in class at the end of the semester. The will also recount some of the rhetorical and design strategies that they implemented throughout the semester, and address some of the challenges they faced.

Final Project (Web platform): 20% of final grade

As described in the final project assignment page, students will be completing a full web platform, which for the purposes of this class is defined as a fully functional website fully populated with content and containing multiple interconnected web pages.

Participation: 10% of final grade

Participation is crucial in this class not only because we have so few class periods, but also because we will be relying on hands-on work in class to facilitate our learning. It is my hope that through class discussion and troubleshooting you might learn as much (or more) from one another as you will from me.

Class participation means more than how much you say in class; it’s your effort to be present — both in mind and in body — in our discussions. Your grade will reflect your attendance, preparation, and the quality of your contributions to our class work. Accordingly, participation grades will be awarded as follows:

    • In order to earn an average participation grade (in the C range), you must fulfill four basic requirements: arrive on time; be ready to discuss readings when called on; be prepared with the book or reading in class; listen respectfully.

    • To earn a B, you must consistently fulfill the above requirements and: volunteer questions or points of interest from readings to generate discussion; willingly offer ideas in class; make sure your contributions are topical and thoughtful.

    • To earn an A, you must consistently fulfill the above criteria and: show leadership in class discussion (i.e. respond to open-ended questions, challenge received opinion, ask difficult questions); respond to other students’ ideas (not just mine) by asking questions or building on their points.

    • You will receive a failing participation grade if you are excessively and/or frequently: tardy; unprepared for class; disruptive during class; and/or occupied with activities other than those related our class.

Grading Scale

A- 90–93 A 94–96 A+ 97–100
B- 80–83 B 84–86 B+ 87–89
C- 70–73 C 74–76 C+ 77–79
F >64 D 64–66 D+ 67–69

Attendance Policies


As per GMU Academic Policies: “Students are expected to attend the class periods of the courses for which they register. In-class participation is important not only to the individual student, but also to the class as a whole.” Attendance is particularly crucial in a workshop-based course.

Unexcused absences will be negatively factored into participation grades. Any student with more than one unexcused absence will receive a failing participation grade.

Students may arrange for excused absences which will not be factored into participation grades as per GMU Academic Polices on Registration, Attendance and Grading. In these instances, it will be the responsibility of the student to provide as early advance notice as possible and to arrange to make up any missed work.


If you are more than 10 minutes late, you will be counted absent. If you are tardy, it is your responsible to catch up with the rest of the class. I will not repeat the instructions delivered at the beginning of classes for the benefit of tardy students. Furthermore, students leaving class early will also be counted as tardy.

Late Work

All assignments must be submitted to me by the provided deadlines. I reserve the right to refuse to accept, grade, and comment on any assignments submitted late. That being said, if you contact me in advance about any problems you are having getting a particular assignment in on time before the deadline, I can usually work out an extension for you. I do, however, reserve the right to refuse any given request for an extension, and also reserve the right to determine the length of any given extension on a case by case basis.

Academic Integrity

Mason is an Honor Code university; please see the Office for Academic Integrity for a full description of the code and the honor committee process. The principle of academic integrity is taken very seriously and violations are treated gravely. What does academic integrity mean in this course? Essentially this: when you are responsible for a task, you will perform that task. When you rely on someone else’s work in an aspect of the performance of that task, you will give full credit in the proper, accepted form. Another aspect of academic integrity is the free play of ideas. Vigorous discussion and debate are encouraged in this course, with the firm expectation that all aspects of the class will be conducted with civility and respect for differing ideas, perspectives, and traditions. When in doubt (of any kind) please ask for guidance and clarification.

Email Policy

Students must use their MasonLive email account to receive important University information, including communications related to this class. I will not respond to messages sent from or send messages to a non-Mason email address.

GMU Writing Center

You can find the GMU Writing Center at Robinson Hall A114 or via phone at (703) 993-1200. Click the link below to be redirected to their homepage.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

CAPS offers free services to students in times of acute crisis or ongoing stress. Contact them at (703) 993-2380 or visit them online to learn more.

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