Course Policy
Home Schedule Course Policy Assignments Project

Overall Credit Breakdown:

  • Weekly group assignments: 30% (10 exercises at 3% each)
  • Class participation: 20%
  •  Term project: 50%

Attendance at class meetings is essential, including any meetings devoted to group work on the term project. Skipping classes not just hurts you but also lets down your fellow group members and hurts their grades. Attendance will be taken at the beginning and end of all class meetings. Two class meetings may be missed without penalty or explanation. Missing three or four classes will result in a penalty of 2.5% for the third class and a further 2.5% for the fourth class. Missing five or more classes will result in immediate and automatic failure for the entire course. Exceptions require my approval and either advanced permission or written documentation of medical or family emergencies.

If you are more than five minutes late for class you may be credited with only partial attendance as follows: 5-15 minutes late equals 1/4 class missed. 16-35 minutes late equals half class missed. Unexcused early departures will likewise incur a penalty.

Participation Mark: Your participation in class will be used to set your participation mark. I will note down contribution by each student to each class meeting. If you make two well informed and relevant contributions to at least half the meetings then you should score very well. Participation credit can also be earned from taking a leading role in presentation of your group's work. These is no need to hog the discussion, and a few quiet meetings will not hurt your score. Exceptional performances may give extra credit. If you feel uncomfortable talking in a group, I will award credit for answers submitted in writing before the section meets.

Groups: Students will be assigned to groups of three to five people. I will make this assignment as the instructor based on the information you provide on student information forms. The same groups are used for weekly assignments and for the term project.

Weekly Assignments: Each group will be responsible for tackling an assigned homework problem, taken from or related to the textbook chapter currently being studied. The exercises are posted on the class schedule for each week. These are to be submitted for grading during the regular class meetings. Ten of these assignments will be set, and each will count for 4% of the overall course mark. Groups should come to class prepared to make a presentation of their work if called upon -- depending on enrollment it may not be possible for each group to present each week. I will try to give students a little time in class to work with group members, but this will be for reviewing and finalizing rather than preparing from scratch.

Group Credit Distribution (Weekly Assignments & Term Project): All students within the group will ordinarily receive the same mark, reflecting the performance of the group as a whole on that week's assignment. Each group can decide how to divide the work up internally. On four occasions each group member will report on the level of contribution made by each of the group members and recommend a fair division of credit. At this discretion of the instructor, this information may be used to redistribute credit within the group if effort levels seem to vary greatly between members. The information you provide on these forms cannot be kept anonymous. In the event that one or more group members suggests an uneven division of credit it will be necessary to hold a short meeting with the group to try to come up with an arrangement that seems fair to everyone.

The four group credit assignment forms cover the following:

  • Weekly assignments on chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6 (15% of overall grade)
  • Weekly assignments on chapter 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11 (15% of overall grade)
  • Term project - Drafts of Phase I and Phase II (12.5% of overall grade)
  • Term project - Draft of Phase III, final version of all phases (37.5% of overall grade)

Late Work: All work will be penalized by 5% for each day or part day after the deadline it is received. All deadlines are shown in the main "Schedule" page for the course. It is your responsibility to be aware of them. I suggest marking them on your calendars now. Deadline will never move forward from those shown at the start of the semester. The maximum reduction will be 50%. Extensions require a good reason and must be arranged in advance.

All Assignments Are Required: You must complete all required individual assignments and make satisfactory contributions to each phase of the group projects. Regardless of your average on other items, you cannot pass the course without completing all individual assignments.

Academic Misconduct: This course is subject to the University's Academic Misconduct policy, which can be found on the web here. Please read it carefully. Any evidence of plagiarism on the assignments or cheating on the examinations will be punished with a grade of 'F' for the entire course. This includes handing in work for which you have received credit in another course (even if it is your work), handing in someone elseís work or a portion of their work, copying material from real systems, templates, or web pages, or failing to acknowledge (cite) your sources. Directly quoted material not placed within quotation marks or indented is also plagiarism, even if you do include a citation. Be particularly careful when evaluating the features of software packages and preparing sample screen and report designs that you are not copying existing material without attribution.

Textbook: Systems Analysis and Design by Shelly, Cashman and Rosenblatt. Make sure that you buy the 7th edition (Thompson Publishing, 2007). The newer edition does not add anything much of value and I do not feel good making you spend a lot of extra money to obtain it. This should be available for a dollar or two plus shipping online at Amazon. You do not need the CDROM. For a few of the weeks, this may be supplemented with additional on-line reading. Bring the textbook with you to all class meetings.

Make-up Work: University policy forbids me from offering any make-up opportunity or a "do over" on an assignment to an individual student unless the same opportunity is presented to the entire class.

Some required statements from the university administration (a full list can be found at

Complaint Procedures: Students may direct complaints to the head of the academic unit or department in which the complaint occurs. If the complaint allegedly violates a specific university policy, it may be directed to the head of the department or academic unit in which the complaint occurred or to the appropriate university office responsible for enforcing the policy.

Grade Appeal Procedures: A student may appeal a grade on the grounds that it is based on a capricious or arbitrary decision of the course instructor. Such an appeal shall follow the established procedures adopted by the department, college, or school in which the course resides. These procedures are available in writing from the respective department chairperson or the Academic Dean of the College/School. A more detailed description of the grade Appeal Policy may be found in UWM Selected Academic and Administrative Policies, Policy #S-28 and UWM Faculty Document #1243.

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is reprehensible and will not be tolerated by the University. It subverts the mission of the University and threatens the careers, educational experience, and well being of students, faculty, and staff. The University will not tolerate behavior between or among members of the University community which creates an unacceptable working environment

Participation by Students with Disabilities: If you need special accommodations in order to meet any of the requirements of this course, please contact me as soon as possible.

Incompletes. A notation of "incomplete" may be given in lieu of a final grade to a student who has carried a subject successfully until the end of a semester but who, because of illness or other unusual and substantiated cause beyond the student's control, has been unable to take or complete the final examination or to complete some limited amount of term work. An incomplete is not given unless you prove to the instructor that you were prevented from completing course requirements for just cause as indicated above. A more detailed description of the Incomplete Policy may be found in UWM Selected Academic and Administrative Policies, Policy #S-31 and UWM Faculty Documents #1558 and #1602. Also, a description of this policy may be found in UWM Schedule of Classes.

Financial Obligation. The submission on your registration form and your subsequent assignment to classes obligates you to pay the fee-tuition for those classes or to withdraw your registration in writing no later than the date specified in the schedule of classes. It is important to both you and the University that you make payment on time. A complete description of UWM fee policies may be found in the Schedule of Classes.

Religious Observances. From time to time, students who are observing religious holidays or other days of special religious significance will find it necessary to be absent on a class day. While it is undoubtedly impossible to avoid the scheduling of tests and other major activities without conflicting with some religious observance, Wisconsin law (Chapter 36.43) and UWM Faculty Policy (Document 1918) require that we provide a reasonable accommodation of a studentís sincerely held religious beliefs with regard to all examinations and other academic requirements. Please make every effort to accommodate students who face conflicts between their academic responsibilities and religious commitments. A copy of the policy and links to the current religious calendar can be found from

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