Expectations for Student Behavior in the Learning Environment
Instructor Expectations, Rights, and Procedures
The learning environment is under the domain of the instructor who is responsible for maintaining a safe learning environment for all students in the class. The learning environment is not limited to the classroom, but also includes any other communication related to the academic enterprise.
In an effort to create an environment conducive to learning, students may challenge the instructor’s position or approach, as long as this inquiry is done with civility, respect, and professionalism. It is never appropriate for a student to personally attack, threaten, intimidate, or abuse the instructor or classmates, either in public classroom discourse or in private communications. Conversely, LAPU instructors may not attack or verbally abuse students, although instructors are expected to critique student work (as long as it is conducted in a professional and civil manner) within the context of the coursework.
Guidelines for Student Behavior
Student behavior that includes making threats against instructors or other students, or endangers the safety of others, may result in immediate dismissal from the university and/or the university contacting local law enforcement.
Guidelines for Online Communication
Free discussion, inquiry, and expression are encouraged in every class. The ability to communicate effectively and professionally is especially critical in an online educational environment where other cues such as verbal tone and facial expression are absent. Communication guidelines for members of the online learning community are critical for creating an environment conducive to learning. These guidelines, commonly called “netiquette,” include the following for both students and instructors:
- Be Courteous: Since your emails, texts, and posts are the only means of communicating in an online environment, be aware of what you write. Could your message be interpreted as rude, disrespectful, insulting, or discriminatory? How would you view the message if you were to receive it? Extend to others the same courtesy you would want extended to you.
- Be Encouraging: The amount of online experience in an online classroom varies from person to person. Some students may spend more time observing and reading than posting. Craft your posts in such a way that they provide encouragement for positive and critical conversation.
- Be Helpful: Even a well-presented course may not be clear to every student. Sometimes it is easy to get lost among links and other sites. When students lose their way, offer guidance in the right online direction so they can gain confidence in navigating a course site.
- Be Patient: LAPU works in an asynchronous environment, which means the instructor or other students may not be online when you are. Be aware instructors have 24 hours to respond to an email. If you require immediate attention, it may be helpful to pick up the phone and give the instructor a call. Please do not assume instructors or other students are ignoring you or are being negligent. Give others the benefit of the doubt that you would want others to give to you.
- Be Respectful: Treat each other with respect. Read and respond to others in a way that cultivates a positive learning environment. As a member of the learning community, be aware that others learn from your posts and emails. Respectful communication is a foundation for rich learning.
Behaviors that should be avoided include:
- “Shouting”: Shouting is when a message is written in all capital letters, and is considered a rude method of communicating. Avoid using all capital letters in your online communications.
Behaviors that are not tolerated include:
- “Flaming”: Flaming or cyberbullying is a term of general disrespect. This behavior occurs when a writer “shouts,” curses, bullies, threatens, intimidates, humiliates, or discriminates against other members of the online community. Flaming or cyberbullying will not be tolerated.
- Prejudicially discriminatory language: Inappropriate and derogatory statements about race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, and veteran status will not be tolerated.
Violations to these guidelines could result in the following disciplinary action:
Step 1: Notification to Student
The instructor is to notify the student in writing within 72 hours of the initial post of the inappropriate behavior. A private email identifying the behavior and explaining why it is inappropriate will be sent to the student. The email will instruct the student to reply within 72 hours. The instructor should notify the assistant dean, who will in turn notify the chief academic officer.
Step 2: Institutional Action
If the instructor has made a “good faith” attempt to correct the student, and the student did not respond in a timely manner or continued to display disruptive behavior toward the instructor or the class, the instructor will notify the assistant dean within 72 hours of notifying the student of the inappropriate behavior. The assistant dean will in turn notify the chief academic officer and the Director of Student Success. Depending on the severity of the infraction, the administration may choose to respond accordingly which may include any of the following:
- Require the student to initiate reparations with involved parties as specified by the Office of Academic Affairs. If the student is enrolled in any other course at LAPU with a different instructor, that instructor will be notified of the situation with the disruptive student. The assistant dean will determine whether to the student will be allowed to enroll in any additional courses in the university. A write-up of the occurrence will be put in the student’s file.
- Immediately remove the student from class and allow the student to complete the class in absentia. An alternate instructor will be designated, and that instructor’s grade will be non-negotiable and binding to the student.If the student is enrolled in any other course at LAPU with a different instructor, that instructor will be notified of the situation with the disruptive student. The assistant dean will determine whether to the student will be allowed to enroll in any additional courses in the university. A write-up of the occurrence will be put in the student’s file.
- Immediately remove the student from class, without monetary refund and without opportunity to complete the coursework. A letter from the university will be sent to the student via email and Certified Mail reiterating relevant findings.If the student is enrolled in any other course at LAPU with a different instructor, that instructor will be notified of the situation with the disruptive student. The assistant dean will determine whether to the student will be allowed to enroll in any additional courses in the university. A write-up of the occurrence will be put in the student’s file.
- Immediately dismiss the student from the university. A letter from the university will be sent to the student via email and Certified Mail reiterating relevant findings. A write-up of the occurrence will be put in the student’s file. The student may petition to re-enroll only after no enrollment for at least one full semester.
- If the disruptive student has made overt or covert threats to anyone in the classroom, all students will be notified, as well as the LAPU executive leadership. In addition, the San Dimas Police Department and the disruptive student’s local police authorities will also be alerted.
See the “Grievance Policy.”