My colleagues and I at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee have been discussing the need for setting expectations in the classroom and I volunteered to put together some student conduct guidelines. After much editing, we've put together the following expectations that are now posted on our College of Business website.
Dear College of Business Student:
If we were to ask you why you decided to get a degree in business, you would probably answer that you wanted to get the best education and training possible in order to be successful in your future career. While that certainly means a working knowledge of finance, accounting, marketing, and management information, theories and tools, another equally important aspect to success is to learn and practice what it takes to be a professional. Thus, your professors will role model the business etiquette used in the workplace and will have high expectations that you too will practice these behaviors. We want you to be successful in your current role as student as well as in your business or service career. As a result, future employers can count on our business graduates to possess the academic, time management, team member, and leadership skills they want in a new employee.
In order for your professor to do his or her job of helping you to learn through a variety of teaching methods as well as by bringing in real world applications to give substance to the theories being taught, the following will be expected from you, the student:
You will be in class, seated, and ready to participate at the beginning of the class period. You will also stay in class until dismissed by the professor.
You will come to class prepared, having read the required materials or completed the assignments given. You are encouraged to bring up issues raised in the reading materials for clarification and elaboration in class.
You will take care of any needs for restroom breaks, coffee, returning phone calls, etc. before class begins so you can stay and pay attention for the entire class period.
You will turn off your cell phones before class and refrain from checking your messages during class (in case of an anticipated emergency situation, please inform your instructor before class and place the phone on vibrate)
You will be expected to do your own work for assignments, papers, tests, and projects and turn in your assignments in on time.
You will be expected to contribute your share of work to your team projects and to do your best to make the team experience a positive one for all members.
You will pay attention during class: no talking while classmates or the instructor is talking, no sleeping, no reading newspapers, no doing work for other classes.
You will keep in mind that the course rules and policies, exam dates, and grading scale apply to all students equally, and will not ask for special treatment.
If you have to miss class, you will get the lecture notes from another student and will pick up any handouts you missed.
You will keep an open mind and treat members of the class, guest speakers, and your professors with respect and dignity.
Have we missed anything? I'm also curious whether other universities post student expectations on their websites.