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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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.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 Page 2 of 14 .org The Basics—What Is a Saylor.

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

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

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

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

as well as to any and all credits/certifications. The Saylor Foundation will conduct an investigation into the case and will notify the student(s) involved of the report. • Academic Expulsion The student is permanently barred access to all site features requiring a Saylor Foundation account.org Page 7 of 14 . The Saylor Foundation will send a written charge to the student explaining the nature of the misconduct. The Saylor Foundation Saylor. • 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. discussion forums. or any other such features. Should a Saylor student be found guilty of infringing upon the standards outlined in our Codes of Conduct. the evidence on which it is based. such as the ePortfolio system.Upon receipt of a report of suspected misconduct. If the investigation finds the student(s) guilty of misconduct. and the resulting disciplinary action. 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.

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

and abilities that you should be able to demonstrate upon completion of a learning sequence. For a full explanation of the various copyright and reuse issues that pertain to our courses and their materials.org courses. and abilities that you will be able to demonstrate upon completion of a given unit.” Learning Outcomes are written statements that identify the knowledge. Learning Outcomes Throughout our courses. the only official grade you can receive is the score you earn on your multiple-choice. If you receive lower than a 70%.org Page 9 of 14 . This PDF will include your name.org logo/seal. and other types of assessments and assignments. If you earn a 70% or higher on a Saylor.learning outcomes. you will find lists of “Learning Outcomes.org course. and abilities that you will be able to demonstrate upon completion of the entire course. tests. and a unique identification code. guide to responding. All course materials are completely cost-free. Saylor. the Saylor. please read here. Grading System As explained above. you will receive a PDF certificate indicating that you have successfully passed a Saylor. You will also find unit -specific learning outcomes within each unit. you have not successfully passed the course. as explained below. You may choose to re-take the exam. the scores you earn on them will not count towards your final grade. Please pay special attention to the various terms of use outlined in our course materials. 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. the course title.org courses feature quizzes. Though we encourage you to complete these assessments and assignments because they will help you master the course’s stated learning outcomes. range. just beneath the unit introduction and the unit time advisory. skills. You will not receive grades or feedback from a professor. students will be able to define and identify the domain. auto-graded final exam.” In Saylor. you will find course-wide learning outcomes listed just beneath the “Purpose of Course” on a course homepage. please see the next section). skills. and graph of a function. Each of these will be accompanied by an answer key. the date of your exam.org courses are automated. Final Exams The Saylor Foundation Saylor. skills. 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. while the unit-specific outcomes will specify the knowledge. Instead.org final exam. Some Saylor. An example of a learning outcome might be: “Upon successful completion of this course. The course-wide outcomes will specify the knowledge.

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

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

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

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

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