Fall 2013, Robinson B208, Thursdays @ 4:30


Last updated: August 20, 2013 at 23:02 pm


ADA: Any student who requires special arrangements in order to meet course requirements should contact me to make necessary accommodations (before September 4, please). Students should present appropriate verification from the Office of Disability Services, 703-993-2474. All academic accommodations must be arranged through that office.

Plagiarism and Cheating: Don’t. Plagiarism and cheating are much easier in the digital age, but finding cheaters is even easier, especially when you know computers and the Internet as well as I do. The university expects students to demonstrate a high code of personal honor when it comes to academic work. Please read the George Mason University Honor Code if you have any questions about what is expected of you in this regard. Penalties for academic dishonesty are severe. In short, you are at extreme risk for failing the course from just a single act of plagiarism or cheating, and your academic career will be put in jeopardy.

How Not to Plagiarize: If you are copying and pasting text that someone else wrote, you might be plagiarizing. Pasted or manually retyped text is not plagiarized only when all of the following three conditions are true:

  1. the pasted text is surrounded by quotation marks or set off as a block quote, and
  2. the pasted text is attributed in your text to its author and its source (e.g., “As Jane Smith writes on her blog . . . “), and
  3. the pasted text is cited in a footnote, endnote, and/or a bibliography (e.g., “Smith, Jane. Smith Stuff. Blog. Available http://smithstuff.wordpress.com. Accessed August 1, 2012.”)

Conventions for copying and pasting computer code are less strict, but even when you copy and paste code, if you can identify the actual individual who wrote the code, you should give the coder’s name and the source of the code in a code comment. If you find and use images, audio, or video on the web, you should also cite the creator (if known) and the source (at the very least) of that media file, usually in a caption as well as in a footnote, endnote, or bibliography. Note that reproducing someone else’s text, image, audio, or video file in full on your own public website may constitute copyright infringement, even with proper attribution. We’ll cover copyright later in the course.

Communications: In general, the best way to get hold of me is by email (GMU email only); I am usually online between 8am and 10pm and will certainly respond within 24 hours. You may also contact me through Twitter @HistoriErin.

Mason Email: Mason uses only Mason email accounts to communicate with enrolled students. Students must activate their Mason email account, use it to communicate with their department and other administrative units, and check it regularly for important university information including messages related to this class.

Laptops/Tablets:  Because we will be doing quite a few in-class exercises, I encourage you to bring your laptop or tablet to class. A central theme of this course is being connected, so connect! However, if you are clearly checked out and on Facebook, YouTube, World of Warcraft, etc., I will call you out and your class participation grade will suffer.

Technology Meltdowns: Computers are awesome, but with any technology, you have to expect that you will encounter problems at some point. Prepare for any possible computer meltdown well in advance. Back up your work on an external hard drive or in a Dropbox account. Have a “plan B” for computer use or software access should your primary options fail you. Computer problems are not acceptable as excuses for missed assignments. I’ll say it again, back up your work!

Medical and Other Excuses: Every semester someone is forced to miss either an examination or the due date for an assignment as the result of an illness or a family emergency. If you find yourself in this situation, fairness to all students in the class requires the proper documentation, without which your excuses will not be accepted. If you need to know more about this process consult me as soon as the emergency is taken care of.

Cell phone ringers: Please turn off your phone or set it to vibrate before you come to class. If you take a call or text your friends in class, I will penalize you severely in that all important class participation grade. However, I hope you’ll be tweeting or blogging about class during class (more on this in class) and if your phone is your primary access point to the Internet, then by all means use it.

Food, Drink, Tobacco: No eating in class. Due to the length of our class time, we will be taking breaks during class each week; you are free to snack then, but please finish before class resumes. Drinks are fine. No tobacco products of any kind.

Enrollment Status: Students are responsible for verifying their enrollment status in this course. Any change in that status is the responsibility of the student and must be made by the dates listed in the Schedule of Classes. After the last day to drop a course, withdrawal from the course must be approved by the Dean and will be approved only for nonacademic reasons. Undergraduate students may choose to exercise a selective withdrawal. See the Schedule of Classes for selective withdrawal procedures.