Academic Assessment, Standards and Grading

Why Standards?

Norms indicate course expectations for assignments.  Knowing them increases efficiency for the learner and the facilitator.

The following standards will be used throughout the course.

Guidelines for Written Assignments

Written assignments allow you to share your ideas with others. Poor writing mechanics may overshadow or nullify your ideas:

  1. All written assignments must be uploaded as a MS Word file or pasted into the online submission box.  The JDI does not permit the submission of any written assignments or exams via email.  Any material submitted via email will be considered as informal, draft input and will not be graded.
  2. Written assessments should be grammatically correct, punctuated correctly, and have no spelling errors.
  3. Use 12-point font in any legible style. (Times New Roman or Calibri is suggested.)
  4. Use 1” margins, include page numbers in your header or footer and double space your text.
  5. For writing and citations, follow the style guidelines defined in:
    A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate L. Turabian (Author), 
    ISBN-13: 978-0226816388 ISBN-10: 0226816389 
    This guide is available in paperback and eBook.

Academic Honesty 

Academic honesty is expected of all students. Academic dishonesty is both an academic and a serious formational issue.

Academic dishonesty occurs when a student cheats on an examination, project, report, or written assignment. It includes plagiarism, which occurs when a student uses another writer’s words, information, or ideas without giving credit to the source of that material. In effect, the student creates a false impression that these words or ideas are his original work. Any student who is uncertain about plagiarism and standard methods of giving credit to sources of material should consult the most recent edition of the A Manual for Writers by Kate L. Turabian (see Guidelines for Written Assignments) and request help from the course facilitator or the director of distance learning.

A related form of academic dishonesty would occur if a student fabricates research material, providing notes and bibliography entries for books or articles that do not exist or that the student has not consulted.

Academic dishonesty is also present when one student assists another student in cheating or plagiarism, such as providing a student with a copy of an upcoming exam or writing a paper for another student to turn in as his own work.

The consequences of academic dishonesty in a particular course may range from failure on the exams or assignment in which the dishonesty happened, to failure in the entire course, at the discretion of the course instructor(s).

A student who believes that he has been unjustly accused of academic dishonesty may appeal to the academic dean who will review the case and reach a decision on the case after interviewing both the student and the instructor(s), separately, and after reviewing all pertinent evidence.

Protocols for Chat and Video Conference Calls

JDI courses use video conference calls and may use chat sessions.  Chat and Video Conference calls allow for communication with multiple people in real time. The value of these sessions can be lost if the protocols and guidelines are not followed.

Video Conference Calls:

  1. Click on the video link in the course module just before the scheduled start time.  If the instructor has not connected, a status message will be displayed.  Please wait online until the instructor arrives.  The video conference program sends the instructor a reminder email when you connect.
  2. Identify yourself when you first join the call and when the instructor calls the roll.  See the Video Conference notes for managing your camera and microphone.
  3. Identify yourself when you speak.
  4. Avoid background noises which may not seem loud to you but make it difficult for others on the call to hear.  Use the MUTE button on your screen.
  5. Video calls are recorded for use by the instructor and students.  You must request permission from the instructor in advance of the call if you wish to record the call. 

Chat sessions:

  1. Indicate you have something to say by typing //. This is a way to electronically "raise your hand".
  2. Let others know you have a question by typing ??

Protocols for Electronic Communication

Electronic communication, i.e., messages, Forums, assignments, journals, seem instantaneous since there is a send/post button.  However, until the message is “opened” and read, it is not visible anyone else.

  1. The primary means of contacting your facilitator and other students is through the LMS messaging system.  Begin by clicking the participant list in the navigation box and then click on the name of the person.  Click "Send message" at the bottom of the profile.
  2. All assignments are to be posted online in forums, assignments and journals.  No assignments are to be e-mailed.  If you do not post or upload your assignment to the proper location, you will receive a zero grade on that assignment.
  3. On electronically transmitted assignments, include your name and module number.
  4. Be concise in your communications.
  5. Avoid internet, texting and other informal communication short-hand.
  6. Take time to reflect on your thoughts before you hit the send or post button.

Academic Assessment

 Your grade represents your Facilitator’s considered judgment of your achievement in this course.  This grade is determined by the combined results of assignments, forum activities, projects, quizzes and examinations.

All assignments, forum posts, chat sessions, and conference calls provide the opportunity for your facilitator to determine that you have integrated and absorbed the information from the course. 


Official Grades are recorded in the Student Records and Registration System. The grades reported in the Learning Management System are not official and are provided to help the students to assess their progress during the course. Final grades are NOT recorded in the Learning Management System. 

Grading Scale








Above Average



Upper Average






Below Average











If length is important, it will be noted with each assignment.


Presume that your audience is your facilitator, unless noted.


All material presented must be your own work.  When you are including the work of others you must provide appropriate references to make the source of the material clear.  Any work that fails to provide appropriate references will not be accepted.

End-of-Course Assessment

Courses will use a combination of objective and/or subjective written assessments, and/or projects or audio files to demonstrate your mastery of the course learning objectives.

Final Exam: End-of-Course Assessment of Knowledge

The final exam and/or final project will provide a knowledge assessment for this course.  All exams will be given online and all project materials will be uploaded in the course.