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Course Rules

Your success in this course

“The Great Pretender” is a course that encourages you to engage with complex and controversial ideas in a thoughtful and compassionate way.  Success in the course depends on your ability to be open to new learning, and to be respectful to your colleagues, your professor, all guests, and particularly guest lecturers.

Respect in class includes the following behaviours:

  • Turning off all electronic and communications devices and keeping them out of sight;
  • Entering the room quietly when the class is in progress, regardless of what is happening at the moment, but especially if there is a guest presentation, a lecture, or a film is being shown.  Close the door gently behind you;
  • Leaving class only if absolutely necessary, and doing so with minimal disruption, i.e. keeping noise to a minimum, holding the door to avoid slamming it, leaving quietly, and re-entering in the same quiet way;
  • Listening when a classmate or the professor is speaking or making a point. When the person who is speaking at a given time is finished, feel free to respond or make a new point. Natural “crowd responses” (e.g. laughing when appropriate, responding to a general yes/no question…) are encouraged. Listening intently and responding appropriately are evidence of your participation;
  • Eliminating, as much as possible, all distractions and side-conversations. Wait until class is ended to ask other students or the professor what you missed. Wait until after class is over to ask any questions that are about your school work or your progress in the class.

Participation and attendance

You begin the class with a participation mark of 10%. You will keep your  participation mark if you (a) attend at least 10 out of 14 full classes; (b) interact respectfully with all class members; (c) demonstrate, in your responses that you are engaging thoughtfully with the class content.

The premises on which the participation mark is based are as follow: You cannot participate if you are not in class. You disrupt your learning as well as other students’ learning if you are disrespectful. You cannot engage thoughtfully if you are not open to learning new ideas.

Keeping an accurate record of your attendance is your responsibility. On the second day of classes, you will receive a sign-in sheet with your name on it, that contains a schedule of all 14 classes. At the beginning of each class, pick up your attendance sheet from me.  You will sign it and return it to me at the end of classes. If you arrive late, pick it up from me at break.

If you forget to pick up your form and to sign it, you will be considered to be absent.

Your attendance mark out of 14 will be calculated as a mark out of 10.  Students who have missed MORE THAN FOUR classes out of 14 will relinquish/lose their entire mark (10%) for participation. Thus, a mark of less than 10 out of 14, will be not be considered, and will be deleted from the student’s evaluation.

See the table below to give you an idea of what your mark might be if you attend 10 classes or more.  Remember that even this mark is mediated by your actual class participation.

14 10
13.5 9.65
13 9.3
12.5 8.9
12 8.6
11.5 8.2
11 7.85
10.5 7.5
10 7.14
less than 10 = O



Your tests are scheduled for week 7 and week 15.  Remember that week 8 is Intersession Week. No rescheduling of tests will be accommodated without medical documentation, and without advising the professor, at least the day before, of a last-minute, unavoidable absence. Make-up tests might be oral/spoken tests, conducted on an individual basis.

A Final Word on Success

I am cheering for you! I want you to do well!  But neither I, nor anyone else, can be more invested in your success than you are…..Take the time to review the course materials, the class rules, and the code of conduct on a regular basis. I will not refer to them unless I have to, but remember that they represent a “contract” of our time together for these next 14 weeks.  I will assume that you will have read the information and that you will keep up to date and maintain good conduct.

I will also assume that if you have a concern or something that you need to communicate to me, you will do so right away by using the contact information provided on the Course Outline. Thus, “I didn’t know” will not be an acceptable response regarding the expectations of this course.

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