The University of Western Ontario
Note: This is a “template” for course outlines for Computer Science courses, with explanations and/or reasons given where appropriate. All course outlines need not look exactly like this template; it is meant to be a list of requirements, such that all course outlines should contain the information outlined here in some shape or form. In this template, statements that are required by the University are italicized and shown in red. Statements that are suggested by the Department and/or Faculty of Science are italicized and shown in green. (You do not need to use red/green/italics in your course outlines! This is just so that you notice what is required.)
This section should contain a brief general description of course content, goals, and what the student should achieve by the end of the course.
Prerequisites, Antirequisites (if any)
Unless you have either the requisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you will be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.
Office Hours ("to be announced", if not yet known)
If the course is taught by more than one instructor, the name of the person who is responsible for the course (course coordinator) shall be included.
Textbook, lecture notes, any specific electronic devices
Lectures: schedule, location
Labs: schedule, location (or link to online timetable at https://studentservices.uwo.ca/secure/Timetables/mastertt/ttindex.cfm if multiple sections and labs)
TA Consulting Hours (to be announced)
For senior courses: Each student will be given an account on the Computer Science Department senior undergraduate computing facility, GAUL. In accepting the GAUL account, a student agrees to abide by the department's Rules of Ethical Conduct .
We occasionally need to send email messages to the class or to students individually. Email is sent to the UWO email address as assigned to you by Information Technology Services (ITS), i.e. your email address @uwo.ca. It is your responsibility to read this email on a frequent and regular basis, or to have it forwarded to an alternative email address if preferred. See the ITS website for directions on forwarding email.
However, note that email at ITS (your UWO account) and other email providers may have quotas or limits on the amount of space they dedicate to each account. Unchecked email may accumulate beyond those limits and you may be unable to retrieve important messages from your instructors. Losing email is not an acceptable excuse for not knowing about the information that was sent.
Give the relative weights of assignments, tests, exams, etc. plus other criteria for achieving a passing grade (e.g. minimum weighted average of exams, etc.)
IMPORTANT: The student evaluation procedure cannot be changed from that given in the course outline without prior consultation with the Undergraduate Chair and approval of the Dean of Science.
A clear indication of how cancelled
assignments will be handled must be given, for example:
If for any reason the assignment schedule given above cannot be adhered to, the assignment marks will be pro-rated. (The n assignments are worth k% of the overall mark for the course. If an assignment has to be cancelled for any reason, the remaining assignment weights will be prorated to add up to k%. ) (The same statement could be made for quizzes or tests, if necessary).
Every effort will be made to have assignments marked and handed back within 3 weeks of the handin date, preferably sooner. Midterm exam marks will be available within 2 weeks of the exam at the latest.
Academic Accommodation for Medical Illness
· for work representing 10% or more of the overall grade in the course:
are unable to meet a course requirement due to illness or other serious
circumstances, you must provide valid medical or other supporting documentation
to your Dean's office as soon as possible and contact your instructor
immediately. It is the student's
responsibility to make alternative arrangements with their instructor once the
accommodation has been approved and the instructor has been informed. In the
event of a missed final exam, a "Recommendation of Special
Examination" form must be obtained from the Dean's Office immediately. For
further information please see:
A student requiring academic accommodation due to illness should use the Student Medical Certificate when visiting an off-campus medical facility or request a Record's Release Form (located in the Dean's Office) for visits to Student Health Services. The form can be found here: https://studentservices.uwo.ca/secure/medical_document.pdf
Assignment and Exam / Test / Quiz Schedule
Assignment Weights, Due Dates,
Workload (light, medium, heavy)
Exam / Test / Quiz Schedule
The UWO guidelines say that if exact dates cannot be given, a tentative schedule must be given (with the exact schedule to follow as soon as possible). Mark your schedule as "tentative" until dates have been coordinated and approved by the Department. Any subsequent changes to the schedule must be cleared with the Undergraduate Chair.
If computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams are given and software
might be used to check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may
indicate cheating, the following statement must be added to the course outline:
Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams may be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating.
A clear statement must be given of what electronic devices will or will not be allowed during tests/exams (e.g. calculators).
If you will not be having makeup tests or midterm exams, this should be stated in the course outline. However, you must offer a Special Exam in cases of conflict with a religious holiday as long as the student has notified the Dean's office well in advance. Here is some suggested wording (with 2 weeks chosen as a suitable time for advance notice and for post-exam documentation as well.)
There will be no makeup
Midterm Exam, except for students requesting a Special Midterm Exam for
religious reasons. These students must have notified the course instructor and
filed documentation with their Dean's office at least 2 weeks prior to the
If you miss the Midterm Exam for any other reason, follow the procedure for Academic Accommodation for Medical Illness given above. If accommodation is approved by your Dean’s office, your Final Exam mark will be reweighted to include the weight of the Midterm Exam.
Submission of Assignments: where and how. It is suggested that you use the Assignment Submission Form, which requires that students declare that the assignment is their own work and affix their signature.
Late Assignment Policy: late penalty
Extensions: Extensions may be granted only by the course instructor. If you have serious medical or compassionate grounds for an extension, you should follow the procedure for Academic Accommodation for Medical Illness as given above.
Assignment Marking: marked by whom, criteria used in marking
Use of Personal Response Systems (“Clickers”)
If clickers are used in the course, a reference to the Guidelines for their use (found in http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/handbook/exam/courseoutlines_undergrad.pdf ) must be included. Instructors are to communicate clearly how clickers will be used, including: how a student’s privacy will be protected, how clickers may be used by the instructor for data gathering and for evaluating the student, and that the misuse of a clicker is a scholastic offence.
Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 661-2111 x 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.
Scholastic offences are taken seriously and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence, at the following Web site: http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/handbook/appeals/scholoff.pdf.
Plagiarism: Students must write their essays and assignments in their own words. Whenever students take an idea, or a passage from another author, they must acknowledge their debt both by using quotation marks where appropriate and by proper referencing such as footnotes or citations. Plagiarism is a major academic offence.
If assignments are to be individual assignments: All assignments are individual assignments. You may discuss approaches to problems among yourselves; however, the actual details of the work (assignment coding, answers to concept questions, etc.) must be an individual effort.
The standard departmental penalty for assignments that are judged to be the result of academic dishonesty is, for the student's first offence, a mark of zero for the assignment, with an additional penalty equal to the weight of the assignment also being applied. You are responsible for reading and respecting the Computer Science Department's policy on Scholastic Offences and Rules of Ethical Conduct .
The University of Western Ontario uses software for plagiarism checking. Students may be required to submit their written work and programs in electronic form for plagiarism checking.
If written work will be assigned in the
course and plagiarism-checking software might be used, the following statement
must be included:
All required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to the commercial plagiarism detection software under license to the University for detection of plagiarism. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between The University of Western Ontario and Turnitin.com (http://www.turnitin.com/).
Tutoring (if applicable)
The role of tutoring is to help students understand course material. Tutors should not write assignments or take-home tests for the students who hire them. Having employed the same tutor as another student is not a legitimate defense against an accusation of collusion, should two students hand in assignments judged similar beyond the possibility of coincidence.