Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What if your credit card company wrote your syllabus?

Classes are out for the summer and my husband and I are slowly getting ready to prepare our classes for the upcoming fall semester. The following post is inspired by a recent letter from one of our credit card companies announcing a change in their terms and conditions - a practice that most major banks and credit card institutions seem to be engaging in right now from what I hear (also see this report). Since we were working on our syllabi as this letter landed in our mailbox, it inspired the following thought: What if your credit card company wrote your syllabus? Here's the answer (should be 7 pt. font but noone would be able to read it):

Contents and Effectiveness of Agreement. This syllabus governs your classroom experience with your professor. This syllabus becomes effective and you agree to its terms by either showing up in class or by failing to drop the class within 3 business days of receipt of this syllabus.

Amendment of this Syllabus. Your professor may amend this syllabus by changing, adding or deleting any assignment, required reading or due date at any time. S/he will provide you with notice of the amendment to the extent required by university policies.
‡ Please note that your professor reserves the right to change how each assignment is weighted throughout the semester. For example an assignment originally worth 9.99% of your grade may increase to but not
exceed 29.99% of your grade. If you are late on any assignment during the semester you will be required to perform additional work on each assignment and will also need to submit an extra credit assignment for each late submission.

Performance information: Your professor may periodically review your overall class performance by obtaining information from your other professors concerning your work in their classes. Should it be found that you did poorly on any assignment for another instructor, your professor may adjust your grades for his/her class accordingly. In addition, your professor may report information about you to the dean's office. You have the right to dispute the accuracy of information reported. Your professor may at any time during the semester and for any assignment require that you perform more work than originally outlined. In that case, your instructor must give a one week notice before new requirements go into effect. Depending upon how your professor and his or her colleagues like you, you will be graded more or less harshly than other students in your class. If at any point during the semester, you do not agree with the professor's changes to the syllabus you may choose to drop out of the class--however, all homework will still be required. Please don't worry about your prof, however, as should your class perform poorly, s/he may receive additional funding from the provost.


Anonymous said...

Love it! I will appropriate some caveats, terms and conditions for my own course syllabus. Transparency and brevity be damned!

Pamela said...

This scary and funny at the same time. Truly terrifying, so glad this is not the case!!

Jessica Mosley said...

I have to say that this makes me very pleased about graduating so I won't have to deal with your changes in service! :)