Course Syllabus

Review the Course Syllabus CS391 Syllabus here in PDF format

Here is a course mapping of the course and module learning objectives. 

NOTE: Some links in this syllabus page may only be accessible to currently enrolled students.


Contacting the TAs and Instructor

Details about how to contact the TAs and Instructor as well as office hours are listed on the Start Here - Instructor Information & Communication Policy of the Syllabus.

The order of precedence for conflicting information is as follows (items higher on the list have more priority):
1. The syllabus
2. What the Instructor says on Teams
3. Notes on assignments in Canvas
4. Videos and or Readings 
5. If you cannot find your answer in any of the above, email the instructor for clarity

Technical Questions about Canvas

If you have a technical issue or question when using Canvas, 24/7 support is available in Canvas via chat, phone, or e-mail through the Help link in the menu on your left. Additional technical support (use of software/browsers) can be accessed through the OSU Computer Helpdesk

Academic and Student Support Services

For all other academic and student support services, refer to the Student Services link found in the course menu.

The following services are available to all Ecampus students:

Counseling Services

I want you to know that mental health issues are a valid concern and if you need any help, OSU offers the following professional resources :

  • Student Success Counselors: 1-800-667-1435
  • OSU Counseling and Psychological Services: 541-737-2131 (answered 24/7)
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Reach Out for Success: University students encounter setbacks from time to time. If you encounter difficulties and need assistance, it’s important to reach out. Consider discussing the situation with an instructor or academic advisor. Learn about resources that assist with wellness and academic success at If you are in immediate crisis, please call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting OREGON to 741-741.

Accessibility Support

The following services and tools are available to all Ecampus students:

  • Disability Access Services
  • ReadSpeaker - Embedded in this Start Here module, reads text on Canvas course pages aloud.
  • TextAid - is an additional tool that allows users to have nearly any text highlighted and read aloud, including documents, web sites, text composed by a user, and more.
  • More information on ReadSpeaker and Text Aid

Tutoring Support

Academic Support | College of Engineering | Oregon State University 

Discussion Participation

Students are expected to participate in all graded discussions. While online courses have great flexibility, this is not a self-paced course. Discussion participation is expected and mandatory, adhering to the course Netiquette policy.

If you are not active in your Canvas discussion groups or on Teams, you will be missing a large portion of the mandatory requirements of this course. Discussions are meant for you to all experience various perspectives, understand the viewpoints from other backgrounds and cultures, and learn from your peers. Understanding ethics and morality in society is going to require a communal effort. We ask that you stay professional and civil. Ethics and morality are fluid topics with no one right or wrong answer. Differences of opinion are expected and will enrich your experience. Embrace various viewpoints and refrain from being accusatory or combative in your discussions. Explain your side, viewpoint, and opinion while avoiding downplaying or disrespecting someone else's.

Managing this course

Each weekly module will have three pages: "Overview," "Learn," and "Review." The Overview page will briefly list the week's topics, the learning outcomes, and the tasks you need to accomplish. The Learn page will have content for you to read and understand. Sometimes, it will include videos, reading links, or activities to help you grasp the material. The Review page will recap what you should have learned in that module. Sometimes, there will be special "required reading" on the Overview page, which you must read for the discussions or assignments.

Videos and Reading Links

Each module will contain various videos, referenced articles, and interactive tools. You must watch all videos on the Learn pages and/or within the assignments. These videos provide a broader explanation and/or professional and non-professional examinations of the discussed topic. Throughout the Learn pages, you will notice articles referenced within instruction. You are expected to familiarize yourself with the full perspective of the reading, not just my snippet or description. One way to eliminate bias is to have the full story. My perspective of the reading is not what is important. Rather, an understanding of your own perspective is.

Assignment Modifications

Assignment changes that require updates to the content of the assignment will generally be minimal and be released at least 5 days before the assignment's due date. Changes that only impact the formatting of the deliverables (file type, number of files, etc) can be changed up to 3 days before the assignment's due date.

The order of precedence for conflicting information is as follows (items higher on the list have more priority):
1. The syllabus
2. What I say on Teams
3. Notes on assignments in Canvas
4. Videos / Readings

Late Work Policy

Each assignment must be submitted before the Due date and time specified in the Canvas Home tab. Excused absences will not be given for airline reservations, routine illnesses (colds, flu, stomach aches), other common ailments, or requests made after the due date has passed. Excused absences will generally not be given after the absence has occurred, except under very unusual circumstances. Emergency documentation may be requested. 

Assignments may be completed until the availability date ends and the assignment closes. The Available Until date and time constitutes a grace period, which can be used in an emergency or if you are ill (it cannot be used for every assignment). No additional permission or documentation is needed to complete an assignment while it is open and available. Students who submit using the Available Until date may incur a 10% score reduction.

Students on a DAS Flexibility Contract typically have 48-hour to 72-hour Available Until dates. Abuse of the Flexibility Contract will be reported to DAS. You are responsible for contacting me per our flexibility agreement for any DAS extensions. 

Note that discussions must be made on time for peer discussion to succeed. There are no extensions on Poll/Survey assignments. Pay attention to the weekly announcements for any upcoming due dates. 

Proctored Exams

There are no proctored exams in this course.


Incomplete (INC) grades will be granted only in emergency cases (usually only for a death in the family, major illness or injury, or birth of your child) and if the student has turned in 80% of the points possible (in other words, usually everything but the final paper). If you are having any difficulty that might prevent you from completing the coursework, please don’t wait until the end of the term; let me know right away.

Statement Regarding Religious Accommodation

Oregon State University is required to provide reasonable accommodations for employees and students with sincerely held religious beliefs. It is incumbent on the student requesting to make the faculty member aware of the request as soon as possible before the accommodation is needed. Requests regarding religious/holiday accommodations will not be accepted after the accommodation date. See the Religious Accommodation Process for Students

Guidelines for a Productive and Effective Online Classroom

(Adapted from Dr. Susan Shaw, Oregon State University)

Students are expected to conduct themselves in the course (e.g., on discussion boards, email) in compliance with the university’s regulations regarding civility. Civility is an essential ingredient for academic discourse. All communications for this course should be conducted constructively, civilly, and respectfully. Differences in beliefs, opinions, and approaches are to be expected. In all you say and do for this course, be professional. Please bring any communications you believe to be in violation of this class policy to the attention of your instructor.

Active interaction with peers and your instructor is essential to success in this online course, paying particular attention to the following:

  • Unless indicated otherwise, please complete the readings and view other instructional materials for each week before participating in the discussion board.
  • Read your posts carefully before submitting them.
  • Be respectful of others and their opinions, valuing diversity in backgrounds, abilities, and experiences.
  • Challenging the ideas held by others is an integral aspect of critical thinking and the academic process. Please word your responses carefully, and recognize that others are expected to challenge your ideas. A positive atmosphere of healthy debate is encouraged.

Expectations for Student Conduct

The following is adapted from Dr. Susan Shaw, Oregon State University

  • Make a personal commitment to learning about, understanding, and supporting your peers.
  • Assume the best of others in the class and expect the best from them.
  • Acknowledge the impact of sexism, racism, ethnocentrism, classism, heterosexism, ageism, and ableism on the lives of class members.
  • Recognize and value the experiences, abilities, and knowledge each person brings to class. Value the diversity of the class.
  • Participate actively in the discussions, having completed the readings and thought about the issues.
  • Pay close attention to what your classmates write in their online comments. Ask clarifying questions, when appropriate. These questions are meant to probe and shed new light, not to minimize or devalue comments.
  • Think through and re-read your comments before you post them.
  • Never make derogatory comments toward another person in the class.
  • Do not make sexist, racist, homophobic, or victim-blaming comments at all.
  • Disagree with ideas, but do not make personal attacks.
  • Be open to being challenged or confronted with your ideas or prejudices.
  • Challenge others with the intent of facilitating growth. Do not demean or embarrass others.
  • Encourage others to develop and share their ideas.
  • Be willing to change.

Student conduct is governed by the university’s policies, as explained in the Student Conduct Code ( Students are expected to conduct themselves in the course (e.g., on discussion boards, email postings) in compliance with the university's regulations regarding civility. By the time you finish this course and leave the university, you will want to have practiced appropriate ways to communicate in writing so that you appear professional at all times. NACE's Job Outlook 2018 lists attributes employers want to see on new college graduates' resumes. Written Communication Skills is in the top 3! Remember that when you communicate online, you cannot provide eye contact and body language to help explain yourself, so your message may be misunderstood. Sometimes, the thread of a message is lost, making readers rely on memory (which is often faulty). And if you need the reader to act on your request, good manners will help you be successful. Some topics we'll cover in this class will evoke negative feelings. So that the sharing of those feelings is met with support and not more negativity, our behavior towards each other will remain civil. We will use our best manners when questioning ideas so that all students (as well as the instructor and teaching assistants) feel safe and not alienated or bullied. This is the way of the world...without manners, the world descends into chaos. If you feel harassed or bullied in this course, please report it to the instructor immediately. Describe the situation and provide links to the harassment locations so the instructor can address it. Follow the discussion netiquette posted on Canvas as a golden rule on how to interact with your peers in this course, and others.

Any students who do not follow the guidelines above will be dealt with in the following ways:

  1. A private message from the instructor asking for a behavior change.
  2. Reporting to the Student Conduct Office (OSU Bullying Policy)
  3. Reporting to the Equal Opportunity Office (OSU Student Conduct Reporting)

Establishing a Positive Community:

It is important you feel safe and welcome in this course. If somebody is making discriminatory comments against you, sexually harassing you, or excluding you in other ways, contact the instructor your academic advisor and/or report what happened at so we can connect you with resources.

Academic Integrity

Integrity is a character-driven commitment to honesty, doing what is right, and guiding others to do what is right. Oregon State University Ecampus students and faculty have a responsibility to act with integrity in all of our educational work, and that integrity enables this community of learners to interact in the spirit of trust, honesty, and fairness across the globe.

Academic misconduct, or violations of academic integrity, can fall into seven broad areas, including but not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; falsification; assisting; tampering; multiple submissions of work; and unauthorized recording and use. It is important that you understand what student actions are defined as academic misconduct at Oregon State University. The OSU Libraries offer a tutorial on academic misconduct, and you can also refer to the OSU Student Code of Conduct and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standard’s website for more information. More importantly, if you are unsure if something will violate our academic integrity policy, ask your professors, GTAs, academic advisors, or academic integrity officers.

Please see the Academic Integrity policy posted on Canvas for the most up-to-date information.


Your instructor may ask you to submit one or more of your writings to Turnitin, a plagiarism prevention service. Your assignment content will be checked for potential plagiarism against Internet sources, academic journal articles, and the papers of other OSU students, for common or borrowed content. Turnitin generates a report that highlights any potentially unoriginal text in your paper. The report may be submitted directly to your instructor or your instructor may elect to have you submit initial drafts through Turnitin, and you will receive the report allowing you the opportunity to make adjustments and ensure that all source material has been properly cited. Papers you submit through Turnitin for this or any class will be added to the OSU Turnitin database and may be checked against other OSU paper submissions. You will retain all rights to your written work. For further information, visit Academic Integrity for Students: Turnitin – What is it?

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Course Summary:

Date Details Due