Course Guidelines

The following guidelines will be applicable to this course. Please read this page completely to ensure understanding of what is expected of you for successful completion of this course. Your instructor will expect that you understand all material discussed here. You may click on the links below to jump to the specific sections of this page.

image of textbook, Essentials of OceanographyCourse Materials

In addition to regular high-speed internet access, the following textbook is required:

Essentials of Oceanography, Tenth Edition, Alan Trujillo and Harold Thurman, ISBN: 0-321-70224-7 (unbound version)

You must purchase the 10th edition; the 9th edition is over 3 years old and is outdated.

This text can be purchased at the campus bookstore, Indy College Bookstore, or The Textbook Alternative. The unbound version of the text available at these bookstores costs 40% less than the bound version. You may also use the bound version or the e-version if it is available to you.

Your learning will be focused upon online lectures within Oncourse, called modules. These modules will give you your reading assignments, contain additional material to aid in your learning of text concepts, and will contain instructions for assessments. You may find these modules under "Module Index" in the left menu bar of OncourseCL. Modules will become active as the semester progresses and most will be available at least a week before their listed date in the course calendar.

Technology Requirements

The ability to use the technology enabled in this course is your responsibility. Technology problems, whether hardware-related, software-related, or user-related (you) are your responsibility. Your instructor will be of limited help in troubleshooting technology problems not directly related to course content. If you use the internet and email on a regular basis, without problems, and have a basic understanding of how to use OncourseCL—you should not have a problem. If you do have a problem, contact UITS and your instructor immediately. The UITS Help Line, 317-274-HELP, is an excellent resource for technology problems, Oncourse issues and general computer help.

You must meet the following technology guidelines:

Resources to Help You

Your instructor is the main contact for help and learning more about the course material, other resources are discussed below. You may find links to all IUPUI Student Resources here: of Jennifer Nelson, instructor
Hello! I am Jennifer Nelson, your instructor for this semester's offering of online Oceanography. You will learn more about me in your first course assessment. Feel free to email me anytime with questions or concerns! I am looking forward to a great semester!

Your Instructor

You can link to your instructor's contact information by clicking the "Help/Contact" link on every page. Please contact the instructor if you are having trouble or want to learn more about a particular topic.  The instructor can meet with you or call you in addition to emailing you through Oncourse. The earlier you ask for help or ask questions, the better prepared you will be.

Communication Tools

University Information Technology Support (UITS)

The UITS Help Line, 317-274-HELP, is an excellent resource for technology problems, Oncourse issues and general computer help. Your instructor will have limited resources to help troubleshoot technology problems, please have the help line number ready in case of difficulties.

Adaptive Education Services

Students needing testing or learning accommodations because of disability (physical, learning, etc.) will need to register with Adaptive Educational Services and complete the appropriate forms issued by AES before accommodations will be given. AES can also assist in determining the presence of a disability (or referring you to someone else). Contact information for AES can be found at

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

During the semester, if you find that life stressors are interfering with your academic or personal success, consider contacting Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). All IUPUI students are eligible for counseling services at minimal fees. CAPS also performs evaluations for learning disorders and ADHD; fees are charged for testing. CAPS is located in UN418 and can be contacted by phone (317-274-2548). For more information, see the CAPS web-site at:

Student Advocate

In most cases, your instructor can work with you to resolve any conflicts within this course. If he/she cannot, the advocate is available to answer your questions, direct you to the appropriate departments and people, familiarize you with university policies and procedures, and give you guidance as you look at ways to solve problems and make choices. The Student Advocate Office is located in the Campus Center, Suite 350 and can be contacted by phone at 278-7594 or email at . For more information, see the Student Advocate website

Yourself! Personal Responsibility

As a general rule for all college courses, you should plan to spend an additional 3 hours of study time for every one credit hour you are taking. That means, for a 3-credit course like this one, you should realistically plan to spend at least 12-15 hours per week reading, reviewing modules, and studying for and completing assessments. Course assignments and materials are designed with this time commitment in mind.

The goal of a 100-level college course is not only to build your learning skills, but to build responsibility. Meeting deadlines on time, completing assessments, and informing your instructor immediately about problems demonstrates your sense of personal responsibility and ownership of your education.

If you have an issue that prevents you from completing an assessment—contact your instructor immediately. Contacting your instructor within hours of a deadline, or well after the fact, about your failure to complete assigned work is not acceptable. You will be expected to be proactive in your learning, take the initiative to complete your work in a timely manner and work constructively with your instructor to remedy problems if they arise.

Your grade is issued based on the quality of the work you submit on time. All assessment guidelines will contain clear instructions on what is expected of you. Criteria for calculating course grades are provided to you in this syllabus – this information is provided so that you may calculate your grade at any time.

Overarching Course Guidelines

Just like in a normal lecture course, you will have to take quizzes and submit homework on a specific date. See the "Assignments" link above for more specific information on these types of assignments. The specific number and types of assessments your section will be given and their due dates are listed in the course calendar. This information may not be available within the course modules - it is your responsibility to keep up with due dates as they are listed in the course calendar and your instructor's weekly correspondence.


Online correspondence can easily be misread and misinterpreted due to the absence of facial expressions, body language and voice cues. Netiquette is "the rules of conduct as established in a networked society." Netiquette provides a framework for emails, chats and forum in an online environment. Netiquette says that you should treat your instructor and fellow students in a professional and respectful manner, similar to how you would treat them in the classroom or face-to-face setting.

All course correspondence should be composed in a professional tone. Email messages should be composed in complete sentences and complete words (no chat text) that provide a clear context to your question and any information your instructor needs to answer your question or concern. The subject line should contain keywords as to the subject of your email. Following these guidelines will help your instructor to answer your question efficiently. Following the rules of Netiquette, you can expect your instructor to address all correspondence in a polite and professional manner. Your instructor will expect the same respect of you and may send a warning, choose not to reply to, or take action against rude, offensive, or accusatory messages.

You may report any violations of netiquette to your instructor. Please review an online guide to Netiquette to prepare yourself for online communications.

Academic Honesty

Please read Sections 1 through 6 of Part G: Academic Responsibilities & Misconductof the IUPUI Student Code of Conduct carefully by clicking on the link in this sentence. Your instructor will assume that you have read and agree with all terms of the code and will grade your submitted assessments and evaluate your communications accordingly. Your grade may be penalized for any infraction of this code.

Section G of the IUPUI Student Code of Conduct clearly defines academic dishonesty in the form of cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, interference, violation of course rules and facilitating academic dishonesty for the IUPUI Community.  Any form of academic misconduct will result in a failing grade for that assignment or a failing grade for the course.  Whenever you attach your name to an exam or assignment in this class, it will be assumed by the professor that you are familiar with the IUPUI definition of academic misconduct. It will also be assumed that you have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on the exam or assignment. Evidence to the contrary may result in a zero grade or penalty on an assessment.

Consequences of academic dishonesty--depending on the situation--may include A) a warning from the instructor with a clear course of action in the event of future infractions, B) a penalty that may vary from redoing the assignment to receiving a zero or failing grade on the assignment, or C) a formal charge of academic dishonesty brought forward with the School of Science, with a penalty up to failing the course.

Infractions will be evaluated on an individual basis. In addition to the items listed in Part G of the code of conduct, the following items are grounds for academic dishonesty in this course:

Incompletes/Dropping the Course/Missed Assignment

The last day to drop this course is Monday January 14 (with 100% refund).

The last day to withdraw from this course without an instructor signature (advisor signature only) is Friday March 1.

The last day to withdraw (W or F) from this course with an instructor signature is Monday April 1. You MUST be passing the course at this point to receive a "W". If you are not passing, you will receive an “F”.

University College freshmen (25 hours or below) may not drop more than one course per semester.  This policy will be enforced through advisor sign-off on drop requests.  The policy does not include course adjustments made during the first week of class.

Once you have registered, you are formally enrolled in the course. If you decide to drop the course, you must do so by officially filling out a drop form. If you stop submitting assessments, you will receive an automatic “F” for the course. This course and instructor will utilize both paper and e-drop requests. See the IUPUI webpage for Drops and Adds for more information.

After April 1, you will only be able to receive a withdrawal or incomplete (with the opportunity to make up missed assignments) in extenuating and critical circumstances. Requests for incompletes and withdrawals after this date will require a meeting with your instructor and proper documentation and evidence for the request. You should also contact the undergraduate dean in your school, or the dean of students, and alert them about your situation—as a serious problem would affect your learning in all of your courses. These will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The course calendar lists all due dates for the entire semester – these will not change. Make-ups on assessments will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and will only be considered with significant advance notice (at least 5 days prior to the due date) and a documented reason for missing the assessment. If a make-up is granted, you will be asked to identify an alternate date by which you can complete the assessment. If you fail to complete the make-up by the agreed upon date, you will receive a zero.

Requests for make-ups without documentable reason or significant advance notice (5 days prior to due date) will not be granted and you will receive a zero on the assessment. The instructor has the right to refuse requests for make-up work.

Administrative Withdrawal

A basic requirement of this course is that you will participate in all class meetings and conscientiously complete all required course activities and/or assignments. Keep in touch with your instructor if you are unable to attend, participate, or complete an assignment on time. If you miss the first two assessments of the course without contacting your instructor, you may be administratively withdrawn from this course. Administrative withdrawal may have academic, financial, and financial aid implications. Administrative withdrawal will take place after the full refund period, and if you are administratively withdrawn from the course you will not be eligible for a tuition refund. If you have questions about the administrative withdrawal policy at any point during the semester, please contact your instructor.