Student Handbook Updated August 2012 Welcome to Saylor.org!

This Student Handbook is designed to provide you with a clear understanding of Saylor.org and its offerings. It will clarify the various privileges and responsibilities that you can expect as a Saylor.org student. Note that The Saylor Foundation reserves the right to change any provision listed in this handbook and agrees to make a good faith effort to alert all community members and students to any such changes. If you have any questions about the information contained in this handbook, please email us at contact@saylor.org.

The Saylor Foundation

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org Page 2 of 14 .org Course? Course Materials Learning Outcomes Grading System The Final Exam Grading Errors Study Recommendations Student Records and Information Computing and Networking Resources Access Browser Requirements The Saylor Foundation Saylor.org The Basics—What Is a Saylor.TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction Director’s Welcome History and Mission Accreditation Trustee Student Rights and Responsibilities Community Standards Non-Discrimination Policy Community Code of Conduct Academic Code of Conduct Disciplinary Action Study at Saylor.

Alana Harrington Director. aligned with measurable learning outcomes. Saylor. higher education system. and very bold idea: Education should be free. like many of us. We believe that this rigor will serve you well in any future endeavors you undertake. you do not need to worry about enrollment periods or schedules—our courses are always on and always accessible. We look forward to your success here at Saylor. As such. each of our courses will require dedication and serious academic work. Once more. At The Saylor Foundation. We eventually hope to expand to offer courseware at all levels of education. The Saylor Foundation has recruited credentialed professors to design a suite of cost-free. founder and CEO of business intelligence firm MicroStrategy.S. Here. master an entire area of study. self-paced courses that align with the highest enrollment disciplines in the U.org’s cost -free. Put simply. I should warn you. a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established by Michael J. top-quality learning experiences. Saylor established the Foundation because he had a very simple. While this difficulty can be attributed to any number of obstacles.org courses are designed to provide challenging. from Kindergarten through Post-Doctorate. Mr. Thanks to our open design. not to confuse ease of access with ease of coursework! Saylor. Saylor. All you need is Internet access and a desire to learn. are facing these challenges. and subjected to a rigorous peer review process. you will be able to access courses designed by professors from institutions around the country without paying a penny.org! Whether you are planning to complete a course. supplement your learning experience at another institution.org Page 3 of 14 . meaning that you can work through our courses at your own pace wherever and whenever you are ready. The Saylor Foundation History and Mission Saylor. the mission of the Saylor Foundation is to harness technology to make education free. however. The Saylor Foundation Saylor. we believe the sheer cost of education to be the primary barrier. complete program requirements. Our automated courses are comprised of carefully curated openly-licensed and open-access content. If you. I am thrilled to welcome you. or spend some time exploring just for the sake of learning.org can serve as a solution. from geographical distance to fixed class schedules.org is operated by The Saylor Foundation. Saylor. openaccess courses are designed for you. very earnest.org! Yours. Guided by this vision and made largely possible by recent advances in technology. and otherwise access educational opportunities. we recognize that many students are finding it increasingly difficult to enroll in college courses.INTRODUCTION Director’s Welcome Welcome to Saylor.

Saylor graduated at the top of his high school class and attended MIT on a ROTC scholarship. you can learn to program a computer. He brings this drive and conscientious attention to the Saylor Foundation’s Free Education project. the same academic-authored books–substantially the same experiences–are now offered for free to anyone with an Internet connection. (For more information on PLAR. we encourage you to use your Saylor. very earnest.org certificates (note that when you pass a course’s final exam. We believe that the real-life value of this knowledge speaks for itself. Trustee Michael J.Accreditation Saylor. Yet those very same MIT lectures. We also understand..org transfer credit opportunities and/or their acceptability in your Prior Learning Assessment Recognition (PLAR) portfolio. Nevertheless. he has long felt that great learning needn’t require a great deal of money or a brick-and-mortar institution. and very bold idea: Education should be free.org courses can be valuable and useful in a variety of ways. Technology. completing dual degrees in Aeronautics & Astronautics and Science. CEO. However. transformative way. Saylor founded the company that he helms today.org course in the context of an independent study program. Until then. integrated solutions–and empowerment.org Page 4 of 14 . A voracious and often self-directed learner. chairman. you may consider reaching out to your academic advisor at your home institution to determine whether you can use a Saylor. The only problem lies in connecting these materials to students in a meaningful. communicate in basic French. Inc. Many of you are here simply because you want to learn and you recognize the inherent value of education. and president of MicroStrategy. & Society. Within two years of graduation. has served as the sole trustee of the Saylor Foundation since its inception in 1999. Saylor. He believes that current technology–and its increasing diffusion among people in all countries–makes it possible to drive the marginal cost of each new unit of education. He established The Saylor Foundation because he had a very simple. write more effectively. To this end. unique. please read here. however. much of his world-class education had been gained from the back of a 500person lecture hall at considerable expense for all involved. that we live in a world where college credits and degrees carry weight. Employers use these credentials in order to evaluate and differentiate between applicants. growing it through sustained attention to providing clients useful. or improve the way in which you manage your small business—just to name a few examples. to zero.) Alternately. effectively. founder. we are currently exploring various partnership opportunities that may enable us to secure transfer credit arrangements. Here.org is not an accredited institution and cannot confer degrees. The Saylor Foundation Saylor. we believe that the completion of Saylor. you will receive a PDF certificate of completion) to ask your home institution about Saylor.

org Page 5 of 14 . Your use of Saylor. you are afforded the following important rights: 1. The Saylor Foundation has extended you an invitation to join its academic community as a Saylor. Freedom to pursue your own educational goals. unbiased. The Saylor Foundation Saylor.STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES In making Saylor. 4. As a Saylor.org and its courses and course materials completely free and open access.org student and to remain a part of this community as long as you uphold the community standards outlined in the section below. Access to fair. provided that all communications abide by the community standards outlined below. 3. Due process in the case of disciplinary action. and clear academic assessment. 2. Freedom of inquiry and expression.org represents a voluntary decision on your part to uphold the community standards established by The Saylor Foundation and outlined in this document.org student.

or acts of harassment or embarrassment at the expense of others in any communication surrounding or using our materials. forgery. age.org Page 6 of 14 . and regulations. The Saylor Foundation will not tolerate any offensive or threatening behavior. and administration. Non-Discrimination Policy The Saylor Foundation is committed to equality of opportunity. This non-discrimination policy applies to Saylor.COMMUNITY STANDARDS All members of the Saylor Foundation academic community. disseminating or sharing exam questions and answers. The Saylor Foundation Saylor. and/or veteran status and will comply with all federal and state non-discrimination. please report the violation by submitting a report to The Saylor Foundation at contact@saylor.org. plagiarism. Many do not understand what plagiarism is and/or do not grasp the severity of its offense. including faculty. sex. failing to put a quotation in quotation marks. and/or turning in the work of another as one’s own. are expected to assist in maintaining the integrity of the Saylor Foundation by upholding the community standards outlined here and by reporting any incidents that violate them. falsification. Disciplinary Action If you believe that the codes of conduct outlined above have been violated. students. national origin. or collusion. including instances of cheating. Plagiarism is a particularly pervasive problem in today’s digital age. receiving external assistance on an assignment or exam (except where authorized). religion. and facilitating another individual’s acts of intellectual dishonesty. Academic Code of Conduct The Saylor Foundation upholds high standards of academic integrity and will not tolerate acts of dishonesty. misrepresentation. profanity. the Saylor Foundation does not engage in discrimination against any person on the basis of race. completing an assignment or exam for another. equal opportunity and affirmative action laws. The Saylor Foundation defines plagiarism as the act of copying words or ideas from a source without appropriate attribution. We encourage you to think seriously about the way in which you are interacting with and using the content you find on the Internet. color. sexual orientation including gender identity or gender expression. Consistent with this principle and applicable laws.org educational programs and activities as well as employment terms and conditions. Community Code of Conduct The Saylor Foundation values highly freedom of expression and diversity of opinion when exercised in conjunction with civility and respect for others. orders. genetic information. tampering with the academic work of another. falsifying or withholding information about the source of a quotation.

If the investigation finds the student(s) guilty of misconduct. The Saylor Foundation Saylor. Should a Saylor student be found guilty of infringing upon the standards outlined in our Codes of Conduct. such as the ePortfolio system. disciplinary actions may include: • Formal Warning The student will be warned that any additional violations of Saylor policies may result in more serious disciplinary action. • Academic Expulsion The student is permanently barred access to all site features requiring a Saylor Foundation account. or any other such features. the evidence on which it is based.org Page 7 of 14 . as well as to any and all credits/certifications. and the resulting disciplinary action.Upon receipt of a report of suspected misconduct. The Saylor Foundation will send a written charge to the student explaining the nature of the misconduct. discussion forums. • Denial or Retraction of Course Credit/Course Certificate • Academic Probation The student is not permitted to maintain a Saylor Foundation account for up to two years and is consequently unable to use the ePortfolio or discussion forums or to earn credit/certification for any coursework completed during that time. The Saylor Foundation will conduct an investigation into the case and will notify the student(s) involved of the report.

All course materials have been carefully selected. meaning that you do not need to enroll. you will be asked to complete a final exam. from the top of the page to the bottom of the page. to the extent possible. and/or developed by our professors so that they will enable you to achieve the course’s stated learning outcomes (for an explanation of The Saylor Foundation Saylor. course materials. In order to take a course. Though course content is entirely open-access. meaning that there are absolutely no fees associated with our courses. framed. you will need to navigate to the course home page and begin to work through each of its listed units. a lecture series from a higher education institution on iTunes U. At the end. and more. and repositories. Further.Org Course? Saylor. web media. Aside from these features. lectures.org courses are different from many online courses in that they are:     zero-cost. As noted above. and open-access. As you work through each unit.org courses to emulate. each course contains time advisories that estimate the specific time investment that it will require.STUDY AT SAYLOR. view various videos. You may also opt to create a free ePortfolio account in order to keep track of your progress through courses and areas of study.ORG The Basics—What Is A Saylor. (You might find a textbook from our open textbook challenge. Course Materials Each Saylor. and that there are no enrollment periods or start dates. you will need to create a free account in order to access this final exam. You can read more about time advisories here. our professors have designed all Saylor. the learning experience you might encounter in a traditional higher education institution. assessments. you will need to create a free account if you choose to take a final exam. register. Many of these materials are from other institutions.org course contains a unique combination of readings. and complete various assignments. or log in to take a course. though—as noted above—you may choose to work through a course as quickly or slowly as you please. This means that all courses are designed to require a semester-long period of engagement (roughly 15 weeks or 135 hours). though this not required.org Page 8 of 14 . assignments. collections. self-paced. you will be presented with instructions to read various texts. meaning that it is your responsibility to define your own schedule and to progress through the course and its assigned materials as quickly or slowly as you wish. meaning that there are no professors that will grade your work or provide you with feedback. or site. automated. and course notes and quizzes from MIT—all in the same course!) You will also often find materials that our professors have developed specifically for our courses.

auto-graded final exam.org final exam. and other types of assessments and assignments. guide to responding. For a full explanation of the various copyright and reuse issues that pertain to our courses and their materials. Learning Outcomes Throughout our courses. You may choose to re-take the exam. just beneath the unit introduction and the unit time advisory. skills. and abilities that you will be able to demonstrate upon completion of a given unit. you will receive a PDF certificate indicating that you have successfully passed a Saylor. and abilities that you should be able to demonstrate upon completion of a learning sequence. If you receive lower than a 70%. Some Saylor. you have not successfully passed the course. Instead. range. Each of these will be accompanied by an answer key. You will also find unit -specific learning outcomes within each unit. you will find course-wide learning outcomes listed just beneath the “Purpose of Course” on a course homepage. Many of the materials we include in our courses cannot be reused or reposted elsewhere on the web without explicit permission from various copyright holders. An example of a learning outcome might be: “Upon successful completion of this course. while the unit-specific outcomes will specify the knowledge. the only official grade you can receive is the score you earn on your multiple-choice. The course-wide outcomes will specify the knowledge. Final Exams The Saylor Foundation Saylor. you will find lists of “Learning Outcomes. and graph of a function. All course materials are completely cost-free.org courses feature quizzes. Grading System As explained above. You will not receive grades or feedback from a professor. This PDF will include your name. Saylor. the date of your exam. skills. students will be able to define and identify the domain. If you earn a 70% or higher on a Saylor.org courses.org Page 9 of 14 . please read here. the Saylor. tests.” In Saylor. the scores you earn on them will not count towards your final grade. or self-assessment rubric (a rubric is a list of criteria that you can use to determine the quality of a particular type of work) so that you can score your own work. Please pay special attention to the various terms of use outlined in our course materials. the course title.org logo/seal. and abilities that you will be able to demonstrate upon completion of the entire course.org courses are automated. and a unique identification code.” Learning Outcomes are written statements that identify the knowledge. Though we encourage you to complete these assessments and assignments because they will help you master the course’s stated learning outcomes. as explained below. please see the next section).org course.learning outcomes. skills.

The Saylor Foundation Saylor. Find a friend or fellow student to work alongside. and other ideas that occur to you as you work through our courses in a separate notebook or in a file on your computer. you will receive a PDF certificate that will confirm that you have completed and passed the course.saylor. Swap papers. Jot down questions. navigate to the final unit of the course. thoughts. Note that each time you access the exam for a course. Study Recommendations Though you may choose to work through our courses as you please. which feature briefer exams) are designed to take 90-120 minutes to complete. The Saylor.org) to introduce yourself. view lectures. If the Saylor Faculty confirms the error. You will need to wait two weeks before being able to access the examination again.In order to take a final exam. navigate to a course home page and click on the “Final Exam” in the Resource Center on the left-hand side of the page. important concepts. and try to set aside time to discuss the course. and registration-free. and ideas.org Faculty at contact@saylor. post suggestions. you are encouraged to re-take the exam after reviewing the course materials and studying further for the final exam. Grading Errors If you suspect an error in either the grading of the final exam or in the exam itself.org Administration will adjust the grade on any exam attempts taken within six months of the error’s reporting. the questions will be different. please email the Saylor.org Page 10 of 14 . etc. If the discussion for a course seems quiet. connect with other students. start the conversation!   Engaging with Other Students: Using ePortfolio and Discussion Forums While Saylor courses are designed to be self-paced. quizzes.org. complete readings. ask questions. you may choose to enhance your learning experience by using special features and tools we make available to students on our site. The final exam will always be the last assignment listed in the course. Then. automated.org:    Set aside regular time each week to dedicate to your studies in order to make steady progress and keep yourself motivated. we have outlined a couple of recommendations that may help you in your study here at Saylor. If you earn a 70% or higher on this final exam. Use the discussion forums (http://forums. If you do not earn 70% or higher. click the link in order to create a free account and access the exam. Revisit these notes frequently to maintain focus and work through issues. Alternately. Find a quiet study area that you can use to focus on the course’s assignments. and seek out further resources. All exams (except those in our budding Professional Development program.

If you need help with a course. you will be able to communicate and share with the Saylor community. By creating an ePortfolio account. and even view a roadmap for working through a full Area of Study. Ultimately.By creating an ePortfolio account or joining the Forums (or both – your login works for either one). you will be able to enroll in courses. With a Forum account. While we hope and encourage the Saylor Student Community to lead these discussions. For example. we hope that students will use the ePortfolio system and Forums as a means of fostering collaboration and engagement. If you feel that a student would make a good study partner. Furthermore. the system allows for the upload and sharing of coursework that you may have completed as part of finishing a Saylor course. be proactive: search the ePortfolio student directory for fellow students who are working through your Area of Study. View student profiles in order to see which courses your fellow students are taking and how active they have been on the Forums.org Page 11 of 14 .org course or any other topic related to The Saylor Foundation. do you have a question about where to find a resource? Whether people have enjoyed a course? When a new course or final exam will be added to the site? Pose these and any other questions you might have to the Forums and receive feedback from fellow Saylor students. Saylor staff is always happy to provide answers when we can. display the courses you have successfully completed. you can start or join a conversation about a Saylor. send him or her a message! The Saylor Foundation Saylor.

Accessing Your Account Information In the event that you lose any of your account information. If you choose to create an account in Moodle. however.STUDENT RECORDS AND INFORMATION As a Saylor. you are not required to provide any identifying information about yourself. these verification codes are also included in their entirety in your student transcript. If you choose to create an account in our ePortfolio system OR our Discussion Forums. you will need to provide the following information: ● First name ● Last Name ● Password ● Email address ● Country You may also sign up using an existing Facebook account. However. If you have created an account with our ePortfolio system. You may review our full Privacy Policy here. The Saylor Foundation is committed to maintaining your privacy and will not release any information about you or your activity at saylor. which is available through the ePortfolio system under your account.org website without requiring an account or login. you will need to provide the following information: ● Username ● Password ● Email address ● First name ● Last Name ● Country Our student database will store this account information along with any and all exam certificates that you earn (and the information that each contains). The verification code can be used on the http://school.saylor.org with your request and we will verify your account The Saylor Foundation Saylor. You may elect to do so. you may contact The Saylor Foundation at contact@saylor. and/or participate in our discussion forums. including by utilizing share functions of the ePortfolio system.org Page 12 of 14 . Each exam certificate includes a verification code that will allow you to prove that you have completed a Saylor.org student. school.org exam at a passing score of 70% or above. create an ePortfolio account to track your progress. by choosing to take a final exam (administered in Moodle).org to any third party. or other entity of your choosing. You may yourself provide any information you would like to an employer. Saylor will not provide any information to any such entity.

We may require additional information such as the course exams that you have completed and/or the areas of study in which you enrolled. and country. email address.information through your full name. The Saylor Foundation Saylor.org Page 13 of 14 .

 Open Microsoft files and documents (e. Browser Requirements Our courseware is best viewed using Microsoft Internet Explorer.xls.ppt. A high-speed Internet connection is recommended.org website is viewable on—though not optimized for—mobile and tablet devices. you must have Internet access.doc. . etc. . but you will need Internet access in order to fully work through all course materials and the final exam.COMPUTING AND NETWORK RESOURCES Access In order to access our courses and course materials.  download and save files and documents to your computer. or Google Chrome browsers..g. You must also have the ability/permission to:  install plug-ins or software (e. We are considering our next steps in appealing to mobile and tablet users.org Page 14 of 14 .) The Saylor. You may be able to download some course materials to your computer for offline use. .g. Adobe Reader or Flash). Mozilla Firefox. The Saylor Foundation Saylor. Please update to the latest versions.

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