Grading Policy

Grading Policy: Students are expected to attend class, complete the readings, participate in class discussions, and consult the website throughout the term. These steps will help you to learn the material covered on the exams. There will also be several, group take-home activities assigned during the term. They will allow you to gauge your progress and provide you with credit for class participation. Grades will be based on the assigned work as follows:


Grading Instrument Undergraduate Graduate

Midterm exams

(Two exams worth 15% each)
33.3% 30%
Cumulative Final Exam 33.3% 30%
Homework/Class Participation 33.3% 20%
Graduate Term Project
Total 100%

Group activities: Homework for the class will consist of readings and occasional group take home activities. Students are encouraged to discuss the readings with others students in the class before and after class meetings.

Undergraduate Term Project: During Week 12 the undergraduates in the class will be split into four groups to conduct a “jigsaw” assignment in which each group is assigned to read and present material on the regional oceanography of a major ocean basis. Each group will have half the assigned class time to present on the regional oceanography of the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian or Southern Ocean.

Graduate Term Project: This course will require significant amounts of independent scholarship at the graduate level. Graduate student will be expected to research a particular topic of interest on the syllabus, generate a bibliography of publications from the literature and complete a term paper on the subject. Students will be guided through this process during the term as they complete various stages of the project: (1) Bibliography of sources, (2) description of research question, (3) outline, (4) initial draft, (5) final draft.

Exams: Each exam will consist of short answer and essay questions. The questions may involve calculations or the interpretation of maps, diagrams, and graphs. The midterm exams will give students an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the material presented. While the midterm exams will be non-cumulative, the final exam will be cumulative.  Exam scores may be curved at the discretion of the instructor, but each student has the potential to succeed in this course. Students are expected to pick up their graded exam papers in class when they are returned, or to make arrangements to do so at office hours.

Make-up Exams: Students are expected to manage their academic and personal activities responsibly during the term. Students who miss an exam must provide a written excuse no later than 48 hours after the scheduled start time of the missed exam in order to receive a make-up exam. Make-up exams will consist of several essays and short answers that cover the same material as the in-class exam. Legitimate excuses for missing an exam include written documentation for the following: conflict with another official Kent State University activity (such as a field trip), your own illness, a death in the family, and military or intercollegiate athletic commitments. If you are involved in military or official university athletic activities, review the exam schedule at the beginning of the term and consult with the instructor prior to the exam if you have a conflict.  If you have an illness, personal crisis or family tragedy that results in missing an exam, you must contact the instructor by phone or email no later than 48 hours after the scheduled start time of the exam.  It is very important that you provide your name and an email or phone where you can be reached in your message.