Below are some things that I've used for my courses. They are pretty much copied verbatim from the boilerplate for my syllabuses/syllabi. I hope you find them useful. Please feel free to send me any suggestions for improvement or variation.
No Device Policy
Class sessions offer key opportunities to extend your learning beyond reading or working on assignments. Thus, it is important that you be fully present and engaged in class discussion. Because laptops, phones, tablets, and similar devices are known* to pose a distraction for you and those around you, I require that you put away and not use such devices during class time.
* see articles here: http://www.robertkgarcia.com/resources-for-students/
Participation & Professionalism Policy
[Rationale: I encourage students to write professional emails. It prepares them for their post-graduation professional careers, where writing unprofessional emails may not go over so well (you can find discussions of this problem on-line). And, it keeps them from annoying me and wasting my time. At any rate, here is what I say in my syllabus:]
You are expected to (i) take an active role in class activities and (ii) interact with the professor in a professional manner. Failure to meet these expectations may result in point deductions from your final grade. You can lose points in the following ways:
- You will lose 2 points for every unprofessional email (see below).
- You will lose 2 points each time you violate the “Technology Policy” without permission.
- You will lose 5 points each time you fail to turn in a short writing assignment on time and in-class.
An email is unprofessional if it fails to satisfy all of these conditions:
- It should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org (and not one of my other tamu addresses).
- It should include the course name in the subject line, followed by a word or two that conveys your purpose in writing (e.g., “PHIL 251: Request for excused absence on Mar. 29).
- It should address Dr. Garcia by title and name: “Dear Professor Garcia” or “Dear Dr. Garcia”.
- It should not ask a question that is clearly answered in the syllabus or in other documents distributed to the class.
- Here is an example of a question you should not ask because it is answered by the syllabus: "Did I miss anything important/Did we do anything important in class?" The answer to this question is always YES.
- It should not be written in all-caps or in ornate or colored font.
- It should be proofread; it should not contain typos, sentence fragments, or other types of mechanical problems.
- It should be free of emoticons, internet acronyms, text message jargon, abbreviations, initialisms, cyberslang, leetspeak, SMS code, textese and so on.
- It should sign off with your full name (e.g., “Sincerely, Pat Smith”).