It is in your best interest to attend every lecture and view all films, since this is the best way to learn about cinema. For online courses, class attendance and participation are measured in terms of timely completion of weekly assignments, quizzes and exams, and discussion board conversations. In on-campus classes, always arrive five minutes early to class lectures and tests, not only because we will start promptly but also because late arrivals are extremely disruptive. If you attend all classes, you will earn *extra credit* on your attendance grade. If necessary, two absences will not adversely affect your grade (an A), but each absence thereafter will lower your attendance grade by a full letter grade (an A to a B, etc.). Thus, you should use these two absences well: save them for illness, religious worship, travel, etc. If you arrive at class after I have taken roll, you will be marked “late”; two “late” marks equal one absence. Absence from more than 20% of class meetings is grounds for course failure (an F) and/or administrative withdrawal.
Except in cases of emergency or medical treatment with official written documentation, excuses for absences are irrelevant. If you find that you must miss a class, you are still responsible for the material covered during your absence. Be advised that some of our in-class films may be difficult to obtain outside of class. Excuses for tardiness are also irrelevant, again because these behaviors are so disruptive to your classmates and professor, so if you must arrive late, just enter the class as quietly as you can: have your pen and paper out of your backpack before you enter the room, turn your phone off before you enter the room, close the door quietly behind you, sit quickly on an aisle seat in the back of the room, etc.
Those who choose to text, to frequently exit the classroom mid-lecture, or to create other disruptions will be asked to leave the classroom since these behaviors disrupt your classmates and professor very much. Each disruptive instance will be marked as a tardy or absence. Thus, any texting in class or repeatedly leaving the classroom during lecture will also lower your final course grade.
University Attendance Policy: Students are expected to attend and participate in every class meeting. Instructors establish specific policies relating to absences in their courses and communicate these policies to the students through the course syllabi. Individual instructors, based upon the nature of the course, determine what effect excused and unexcused absences have in determining grades and upon students’ ability to remain enrolled in their courses. The university reserves the right to determine that excessive absences, whether justified or not, are sufficient cause for institutional withdrawals or failing grades.
You are expected to attend all classes--lectures and films--and to screen all assigned films outside of class, to be punctual and attentive, and to be prepared to participate in daily class discussion of our assignments. Note that your presence or absence in the classroom determines only your attendance grade; your participation grade depends upon your demonstrated involvement with our assigned material during class discussions. To do so, you should:
1) Complete assignments before the class meeting for which they are assigned
2) Bring the assigned readings and your notes *written on them* to class
3) Demonstrate evidence of your having read the texts and films with care
4) Raise interesting questions and comments in discussion
5) Offer informed, interesting answers to others’ questions and comments
Since everyone will contribute to the teaching/learning experience this semester, this means that you must contribute to the class discussion daily. For all class meetings, you should prepare yourself for discussion by engaging actively with the readings and screenings, taking copious notes on all texts, and formulating your questions on each.
Some of our texts can be quite challenging in their format and ideas. To help you most productively interpret and respond to these texts, always practice the following habits during and after each of your readings and screenings:
1) Write down a brief summary the author's(s')/directors' ('s) main points
2) Praise at least two points AND critique at least two points from the reading/film
3) Compare this text to previously assigned readings, films, or class discussions
4) Pose provocative questions for discussion based on the reading/film
If you find something in your readings about which you are confused or curious, don’t just wait until class to ask questions about it. Look up the topic on your own first; often you can find direct references to the subject in the article’s own endnotes or bibliography. And by all means, share your findings with the class so we can all learn more thoroughly about the topic. Also, if you see or hear something outside of class that you think is relevant to our course (including great new films you recommend), please bring that information to class to share with us.
See the Assignments page for a breakdown of the remaining 80% of your overall course grade.