Class Policies‎ > ‎

Grade Assessment

Course requirements will be weighted toward your final grade as follows:

Professionalism 15%
Class Assignments (i.e., Homework, Discussions, Quizzes)
Assessments (Tests, Final Exam)

Professionalism (15%)
In today’s competitive job market, it becomes imperative that employees are able to differentiate themselves not only from their technical aptitude and ability but also in their behavior while on the job.  Professionalism requires that a person does his/her job with sincerity, earnestly and with honesty.  In addition, a person must at all times maintain professional etiquette and ethics in the workplace. 

As part of your overall grade, 15% will be assigned as a professionalism grade.  At the beginning of the semester, students will automatically receive a 100 for a professionalism grade.  This 100 is a “standing” score until a student fails to meet an obligation and/or scheduled deadline.  Criteria includes:

 Criteria     # of points
Being unprepared for class (lack of textbook, writing utensils, paper to write on, etc, unprepared to discuss assigned readings).  2 points
 Tardy To Class     3 points
 Absent From Class  5 points
 Missing a deadline for an assignment  5 points

Each time a student meets one of the criteria listed in the table, the requisite points will be taken off.  For example:  

Taylor has missed 3 days of class and has been tardy twice during the semester.  She also came unprepared to the Friday before spring break.  Her Professionalism grade would be calculated as follows:

 Absent from Class  3 days X 5 points  = 15 points
 Tardy  2 days X 3 points  =  6 points
 Unprepared  1 day X 2 points  =  2 points
 Total    =  23 points

Professionalism Grade at Start of Semester  =  100 points
Points Subtracted  =  23 points
Total Professionalism Score   =   77 points

In this example, Taylor would have earned a 77 on her professionalism grade.  This grade will be recorded  in the grade book and will count towards a student’s overall score.  

Class Assignments (20%)
Throughout the semester you will be given various assignments that will count 20% of your overall grade.  These assignments will cover a wide variety of information that you will learn in and outside of the classroom.  Assignments can include but are not limited to the following: 
  • Business Communications (Memos, Technical Papers, Proposals, etc)
    • Please note the Business Communications Category below as this is how you will be graded on any major writing assignments
  • Quizzes
    • Quizzes may be given daily or weekly at the beginning of classes.  Students who are absent on a day that a quiz is given will not be allowed to make up the quiz.  In addition, if a student is tardy when a quiz is given, they will be allotted only the time left to complete the quiz.  For example, if a student is 10 minutes late and 15 minutes is allotted for the quiz, then the student will have 5 minutes to complete the quiz.  If a student is 20 minutes late, then the quiz grade will be counted as a zero.
  • Bulletins
  • Discussions
  • Informational Posters
  • Other various assignment types

Business Communications - (This will count in the Homework/Projects/Quizzes Category at 20%)
In the business environment, employees are expected to be able to communicate effectively orally and in writing in order to persuade, dissuade, or inform their peers about a variety of topics.  In the Digital Forensics and Cyber Security Program, students will be required to express themselves through presentations, technical papers, pamphlets, or by other means to communicate pertinent information about topics that they are studying and/or discussing in class.  

For each writing assignment, students will be expected to write with the following:
  • Organization
  • Correct Grammar
  • Correct Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Persuasion and/or Informational Writing
Students will be graded on how well they organize their thought and use correct grammar and spelling.  Also, they are expected to ensure that the goal of their papers, presentations have been met; otherwise, they have not communicated effectively.  For each writing assignments, grading will consist of the following process:
  • Students will be required to submit a cover sheet with their writing to determine how they feel about their composition.  This should include areas of strength and weakness, if the student felt that their point was proven, and what areas of improvement that the student feels need to be worked on.
  • The instructor will read the composition and then provide feedback to determine if the overall goal of the project / written assignment was met.
  • Editing will not be done by the instructor, but errors will be pointed out within the feedback
  • Students are expected to improve with each writing assignment.  Those who do not improve will have their grades impacted.
  • Students will be given a grade of Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
    • Excellent (89 - 100) - This grade will be awarded when the student meets the following criteria: 
      • No spelling and capitalization errors
      • No grammatical errors
      • No organization errors
      • Paper can be followed without difficulty (excellent flow)
      • Student fully met the objective of the assignment
    • Good (79 - 88.99) - This grade will be awarded when the student meets the following criteria:
      • Very few spelling and capitalization errors
      • Very few grammatical errors
      • Maybe some organization problems
      • Paper can be followed with little difficulty (may have some flow problems)
      • Student almost meets the objective of the assignment
  • Fair (70 - 78.99) - This grade will be awarded when the student meets the following criteria:
    • Assignment has many spelling and capitalization errors
    • Assignment has many grammatical errors
    • Assignment has organization problems
    • Paper can not be followed without difficulty
    • Student does may meet the objective of the assignment but other elements significantly distract from the reader being able to determine the objective
  • Poor (Grade of 0) - This grade will be awarded when the student meets the following criteria:
    • The paper is unreadable
    • The paper is returned to the student without the instructor reading it
    • Students who fall into this criteria will be referred to the Writing Center; subsequent papers may be not accepted unless proof of a writing center visit can be provided.
Students will also be given assignments throughout the semester.  These may be discussion postings, papers, pamphlets, flyers, hands on labs/exercises, etc that will require the student to apply the knowledge they have learned in class.  Any assignment that is not classified as a quiz or exam, will be classified as a special project and will be weighted as such.  Students will be notified prior to the assignment so that they will know how the assignment will be weighted.  Special projects will be specific to each class and students will be given specific instructions in the tab that depicts their class.

Students are encouraged to meet with the professor and make appointments with the Writing Center to get help so that their Writing Skills can be improved.  The expectation for the student is that the student's writing will/must improve.

Assessments (Tests / Final Exam) (65%)
Students will be given frequent tests and quizzes throughout the semester.  Since all of the courses in the Digital Forensics and Cyber Security minor are geared towards industry standard certification, students will be required to successfully pass these quizzes and exams before they attempt the industry standard certifications.  Students who are unsuccessful in their exams/quizzes will not be allowed to purchase exam vouchers until they can prove they can be successful with the content.  Tests/Quizzes will be weighted at 35%.

For each class, there will be three class exams and one final exam.  They will be a combination of multiple choice, problem solving and interpretation of results by assimilating data into visual representations as well as technical papers.  The exams are designed to test assimilation and understanding of all information learned by the student.  Exams will be taken during class time unless otherwise specified by the instructor.  If there is an output requirement of an exam that cannot be completed during class time, then requirements will be discussed the class period prior to the exam.  The output portion will be due the day of the exam and turned in prior to commencement of the exam.  No extensions on the output will be granted.

Final Exam (Included with the Assessments Calculation)
Students will be given a final exam that will encompass the totality of the course.  Any information in terms of reading material, presentations, assigned podcasts, YouTube videos, etc that cover content will be fair game on the final exam.  This exam will help the instructor determine if the student is ready to take the corresponding industry standard certification test.   Students who score in the 85% - 100% on all tests and quizzes (not averaged) will be allowed to purchase vouchers for the corresponding certification exam.  If a student is granted permission to take the certification exam and they pass the exam, a grade of 100 will be recorded for the student's final exam grade.  Students are not required to take the certification test to pass the course - but will be encouraged if they do well on the corresponding exams and tests.  The final exam is averaged in the Assessments category along with Quizzes and Tests.

Final Exams will be given according to Methodist University's Final Exam Schedule.

Extra Credit
Extra Credit will be given/granted at the sole discretion of the instructor.  Only students who have completed all assignments and quizzes will be eligible to receive extra credit assignments (if approved / granted by the instructor). 

Other Miscellaneous Information
Participation:  Classroom participation is expected and will be evaluated.  Students are responsible for their own learning as well as their classmates’ learning.  Each student will be expected to contribute to class discussions and group exercises.  Participation will be judged on both the quality and frequency of student’s contributions.  There is no particular number of times students must join the classroom discussion, but remaining silent the majority of time in classroom is not acceptable. 

Knowledge.  Students are responsible for all knowledge imparted through the assigned readings as well as that developed in class through discussion or classroom exercises.  Fulfilling that responsibility will be demonstrated through classroom participation and performance on the assignments and examinations.

Integrity.  Students are expected to adhere to the Methodist University Honor Code in all your academic endeavors.  The Honor Code policy in the Student Handbook will be followed.  All work submitted to instructor must be in compliance with the rules of the Honor Code and “pledged” as an indication of its conformity to the rules of the Honor Code.  Violations of the code may be reported by any member of the Methodist University community.  

Plagiarism and cheating.  In academic work, theft, and academic misrepresentation (lying) are offenses that fall under the jurisdiction of the Methodist University Honor Code.  Students who are caught cheating, lying and plagiarizing will receive an automatic "F" in the course and will be referred to the Honor Board.  Please make sure you review both the course policies and the Honor Code listed in your Student Handbook.  **Methodist University Computer Use Policy, Honor Code, Course Policy, Justice Studies Cyber Lab Policy, as well as any other appropriate MU Policies apply.

Examinations.  There will be three class exams and one final exam. They may be a combination of multiple choice, short answer, lists, and essay that requires the student to problem-solving, and interpret results by assimilating data.  The exams are designed to test assimilation and understanding of the information, NOT necessarily memorization, so students may be allowed to complete examinations outside of class.  Unless otherwise specified by the instructor, exams will be taken during class time.  If a student can not complete an exam during class time, then the student will need to make arrangements to complete the exam by the next class period.  If the exam can not be completed at that time, the exam will be graded based upon the answers that the student has given.  No tests will be graded until all tests have been turned in.  Exams that are turned in late (if taken outside of class) will receive a grade of zero unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor. (See Due Date and Make Up Policy)

Grading Scale
The following MU Grading Scale will be used when calculating graded assignments:

 A 93.00 - 100
 A- 90.00-92.99
 B+ 87.00 - 89.99 
 B 83.00-86.99 
 C+ 77.00-79.99 
 C 73.00-76.99 
 C- 70.00-72.99 
 D+ 67.00-69.99 
 D 63.00-66.99 
 D- 60.00-62.99 
 F 00.00-59.99