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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 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 .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 The Basics—What Is a Saylor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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