Class etiquette

People come to my classes with diverse earlier experiences, and that includes different expectations about class behavior. As a result, I hope it is helpful for me to make my own expectations explicit, so that they don't become barriers to anyone's success in the class. For example:

  • Be fully present. Class is a place for focus, not multitasking. Humans are notoriously bad at multitasking—far worse than they think they are. Do yourself a favor and focus on class while in class. It will make the experience better for everyone. Avoiding screen devices whenever possible is a good way to aid your focus.
  • Avoid coming and going during class. Please come to class prepared to stay the entire time, without getting up to leave in the middle—consider what your body and mind might need in order to do that. Coming and going is distracting to me and to fellow students. Of course, emergencies happen, and we understand if they do. If you know you will need to leave early, tell me ahead of time so I can expect it.
  • Disagreement is welcome. Healthy conflict is an important part of learning. You are very welcome to explain your disagreement with me or other students, as long as you keep the focus on the ideas, not the person. I also commit to honor your disagreement and not allow it to interfere with my evaluation of your work. (In fact, I typically try to reward students who present contrary perspectives while grading.)