Course Policies

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Grading Policy:

In order to receive a Statement of Accomplishment, you must receive a 70% or greater across all multiple choice quizzes. In order to receive a Statement of Accomplishment with Distinction, you must also complete all three of the peer assessments. 


Quizzes are optional unless you wish to receive a Statement of Accomplishment. In order to receive a Statement of Accomplishment, you must receive a 70% or greater across all multiple choice quizzes. 

  • IMPORTANT: Graded quizzes are found on the Quizzes page.
  • You will be allowed 10 attempts on your quizzes.
  • Quizzes are automatically graded.
  • Each quiz is available for two weeks. There will be no late days.
  • In-video quizzes: In-video quizzes do not count toward your Statement of Accomplishment. In order to maximize your learning, you will be given up to three attempts to submit the right answer for the in-video quizzes.

Participatory Assignments

  • These assignments are optional and our chance to collaborate!
  • Some assignments will be on the forums, and others use outside collaborative tools (e.g.,RapGenius, YouTube, HASTAC).

Peer Assessments

Writing in this class will be peer-reviewed. In order to receive a Statement of Accomplishment with Distinction, you must complete all three of the peer assessments. 

  • Writing assignments are built in a peer assessment tool and have two phases: submission and evaluation. Each phase lasts one week.
  • Once the submission phase ends, you will then read the work of 5 colleagues and assign them grades according to a scoring rubric. 
  • Your final grade on a writing assignment is the median of the scores you receive.
  • Writing assignments (and writing evaluations) may not be submitted late!

Instructor and TA availability:

Students in this course should be aware that the instructor, Prof. Cathy Davidson, has donated her time to producing this course, above and beyond her regular duties and responsibilities as a faculty member of Duke University. In addition, there is only one of her and many thousands of students. Please take this into consideration and do not directly email Prof. Davidson about the class. You are, however, welcome to post any questions you have in the forums. Similarly, please do not contact the TAs outside of the Coursera forums. TAs will have posted office hours in the forums, when you have a higher probability of getting feedback on specific issues.  If there is some source of difficulty that we haven't anticipated, please be patient and bring the concern to our attention with a new discussion forum thread with a clear, specific title. Use the General Forum to share your thoughts about the course. The forum Course Material Feedback is most appropriate for questions about clarity of the class materials and policies. The Technical Feedback forum is most appropriate for difficulties using the website, problems with accessibility, or other technical problems. You will get a response either from Professor Davidson or one of the TAs.  

You can follow Professor Davidson on Twitter @CathyNDavidson or her blog on

Student diversity:

Professor Davidson and the teaching assistants (TAs) are aware that the students for this class are diverse in background and located across the world. Therefore, there is a wide range of cultures, languages, ages, accessibility, time zones, interest levels, experience with the subject matter, and other issues. We aim to be as considerate of those differences as far as possible and you should extend the same courtesy to your fellow students.

Expectations for discussion forum courtesy:

In the first video, Professor Davidson discusses her one rule for the course: No sympathy for the trolls! This means that inappropriate posts and comments will be removed and repeat offenders will be banned from this course.

In an online format where we are interacting through computers and not face to face, it is easy to write things on discussion forums that go beyond passion and rather are hurtful, offensive, or worse. The teaching staff does not aim to be "thought police," yet we are tasked with creating a learning environment that is respectful of a diverse array of opinions and backgrounds. Therefore we will require that all students conduct themselves on the discussion forum boards as they would in any professional environment, with respect towards their fellow students, the class TAs, and the instructor.

A good rule of thumb in crafting your comments is to stick to facts and ideas. Consider what your fellow students are saying on their merits. Do not question people's motivations or bring issues related to identities, backgrounds, religion, nationality or other personal characteristics into the discussion. Inappropriate posts and comments will be removed and repeat offenders will be banned from this course. The opportunity for cooperative learning through Coursera is tremendous, and we hope you will take advantage not only of other students' feedback and insight, but also contribute your own feedback where you can.

Created Mon 25 Feb 2013 5:17 PM PST
Last Modified Wed 19 Feb 2014 1:14 PM PST