L103: Proceduoral information L103

Procedural information

Procedural information


Attendance in this course is very important. The "lectures" will be more than lectures; they will include problems for you to solve in the class that will then be discussed. The discussion sections will cover the homework problems and will illustrate the material covered in the textbook and lectures with more examples. Sometimes the discussion sections may cover material not covered in the lectures. You will also have more of an opportunity to ask questions in the discussion sections than in the lectures.

Computer use

The textbook for the course, the lecture notes (usually in Powerpoint format), all of the homework assignments, and all of the examinations except for the final will be available on the Web. Most communication between you and the instructors will be via e-mail. (In e-mail to any of us, please put "L103" in the subject line.) Therefore it is important that you be comfortable with e-mail, a Web browser, and the Annotate system that we will use for homework and exams.

What you're expected to know

You will be responsible for all of the material covered in the readings, the lectures, and the discussion sections, including material in the readings which is not discussed in class. For details about grading procedures, see the coursework page.

Collaboration and cheating

Collaboration with one other student on homework assignments is permitted, in fact encouraged. If you work together, make sure you tell us. You will never lose any points for collaborating on the homework. If you simply copy someone else's homework assignment, however, you will not be learning anything and will not be able to pass the exams, which will be based closely on the homework.

Except for the final examination, all of the examinations are "take-home". These will be posted on the Web at the Annotate site, and you will usually have a period of about 5 hours in which to do them. On exams, you may use any written materials you have access to, including the course textbook and lecture notes. But you may not collaborate on examinations. Consulting with others (inside or outside this class) about the examinations, copying anyone's exam answers, or allowing another student to copy your exam answers counts as cheating and will result in an F in the course.


The policy towards Incomplete grades in this course is the university's policy. The following is from the IU Academic Handbook.

The grade of Incomplete used on the final grade reports indicates that the work is satisfactory as of the end of the semester but has not been completed. The grade of Incomplete may be given only when the completed portion of a student's work in the course is of passing quality. Instructors may award the grade of Incomplete upon a showing of such hardship to a student as would render it unjust to hold the student to the time limits previously fixed for the completion of his/her work.

An Incomplete is not appropriate in a situation where a student has, for whatever reason, not completed enough of the coursework to base even a partial grade on.

Office hours and e-mail help

Students often find it hard to bring themselves to come to their instructors' office hours. Look at it this way. You're not going to lose any points for telling us you don't understand what's going on. And we're very likely to be able to help you more when it's one-on-one than when you're sitting out there among the multitudes.

And you can also come to office hours just to chat about some language-related topic or another. (You won't get brownie points for this, but you might learn more about what makes linguists tick :-)

If you have a question and would prefer to ask it by e-mail, be sure to send your message to both your AI and the instructor. This will maximize your chances of getting a quick response. In any case don't count on e-mail responses from us in the hour or two before an assignment is due.

Missed homework or exams

In my experience, a great deal of time is wasted in discussion of students' excuses, legitimate or otherwise, for not submitting assignments or for submitting them late. In fact since students vary a lot in how willing they are to make excuses, any consideration of them ends up being unfair. In any case, a grade has to be based on work that is done, not on good intentions or on the amount of hardship suffered during the semester.

For these reasons, in this class there are no excuses for late or missed assignments. Instead grading is very lenient: two of the homework grades are dropped, and each exam is followed by a makeup exam. Note also that you have three chances to pass each level-1 topic, the exam after it is first taught, the makeup exam following this exam, and the final exam. (See the Coursework page for details.)

So you have no reason whatsoever (unless what you want is sympathy) to inform us when you will not be able to attend a lecture or discussion section because of an athletic event you are participating in, when you were unable to complete an assignment because you were sick or your computer crashed, even when you didn't make it to an exam because of a family emergency.

Of course if you have missed a large proportion of the coursework, for whatever reason, you should consider withdrawing from the course before the deadline (W, 12 Mar), and if you have completed most of the coursework with a passing grade but are unable to finish the work at the end of the semester, you should consider asking for an Incomplete.

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