Student Handbook

Introduction

Welcome to the Virtual Learning Centre (VLC) handbook. Going through the tabs below will help you know, navigate and understand the VLC environment.

Like all high schools in Ontario, the Virtual Learning Centre follows the Education Act. The Act includes the following requirements for students: A pupil shall a) be diligent in attempting to master such studies as are part of the program in which the pupil is enrolled; b) be courteous to fellow pupils and teachers; c) take such tests and examinations as are required by or under the Act or as may be directed by the Minister.

Code of Conduct

Virtual Learning Centre Program: Lindsay Adult and Continuing Education Centre

Acceptable and Expected Behaviour

All members of the VLC community must:

  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity
  • Respect the differences in people, their ideas and opinions
  • Treat one another with respect and dignity especially when there is disagreement
  • Respect the need of others to work in an environment that is conducive learning and teaching in an online setting
  • Be courteous and polite at all times especially in electronic mail exchanges

 

In addition all students must:

  • Respect the integrity of all online systems and networks
  • Respect all copyright laws
  • Respect the personal information and privacy of others
  • Be active and engaged participants in the learning program
  • Be accountable for off-school internet services which may have a negative impact on the VLC program, teachers or students
  • Obey directions from teaching and administrative staff
  • Complete all assignments and work in a timely and thorough manner

Unacceptable Behaviour

All members of the VLC community must not:

  • Engage in bullying or aggressive behaviour while registered as a student during the school year
    Threaten or intimidate others, during our outside of the school day.
  • Engage in behaviours motivated by hate or bias
  • Commit any act of vandalism that causes damage to VLC property or servers
  • Create a disturbance with interrupts or disquiets the proceedings of the VLC, a class, or any learning environment
  • Engage in any behaviour that would be considered as conduct injurious to the moral tone of the VLC or injurious to the physical or mental well being of others
  • Misrepresent an identity or assume the identity of another by using login credentials other than those specifically assigned. This includes using email or login information issued to another including family members
    promoting external servers for student meetings.

 

In addition, all students must not:

  • Share login credentials with anyone else including family members
  • Knowingly upload any file or program that contains a virus, malware or other malicious code
  • Reproduce course content including assessments, electronic mail correspondence, digital captures, discussion or chat threads in any fashion and to any other server without explicit written permission from the VLC principal or designate
  • Use anyone else’s login account
  • Discuss in any open forum information that is critical of another student or teacher
  • Engage in any of the following acts of academic misconduct: Cheating: The act or attempted act of deception, in which a participant falsely represents that he or she has learned information in an academic exercise including unauthorized collaboration with others. Plagiarism: Representing the words, data or ideas of another as one’s own in any academic exercise. Collusion: Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another commit academic misconduct such as substituting for a test or completing an assignment for someone else. Collaborating with others while taking online tests or similar summative evaluation.

 

Students can expect that:

  • Appropriate and progressive discipline will result when VLC rules are broken
  • While parental input is welcomed and considered, it is the responsibility of the VLC staff and administration to make decisions about discipline
  • Login privileges will be revoked at the discretion of the VLC Principal for acts deemed injurious to the moral tone of the program, injurious to the physical or mental well-being of any other member of the VLC community, or contrary to the Board or VLC Code of Conduct.
  • Suspension pending expulsion must be considered by the Principal for any act considered by the Principal to be significantly injurious to the moral tone of the program and/or to the physical well-being of others or for any conduct which is so refractory as to demonstrate that the student is unwilling to respect or respond to authority and/or respect the rights or dignity of other VLC community members despite having been given reasonable opportunity to do so.

Online Communication Protocol

In an online learning environment, it is important to remember that social and body language cues are not present. In order to be understood, verbal and written communication should be as clear and respectful as possible.

  • Be courteous and considerate in all communication
    • Use formal language
    • Approach communication with a positive attitude
    • Avoid interrupting others
  • Avoid profane or improper language
  • Emails to teachers and the VLC office should be formal in nature; proofread before you send!
    • Include your course code
    • Make sure any requests are not demanding
  • In class, keep chat on topic – respect the learning environment of others
    • Request to use the microphone, avoid interrupting
  • Communication to teachers should take place during school hours. When not possible, expect that your teacher will not reply until school hours resume.
    • Give at least 24 hours (during the school week) for a response before sending another email.
  • Do not give out your personal information (address, phone number) and/or passwords to anyone

 

If you are disrespectful in an email, live meeting, telephone conversation or discussion area, you will be warned about acceptable behaviour. If the behaviour persists, you may be removed from the course.

Examination

Most courses offered by the VIrtual Learning Centre include a final examination component. If your course has a final exam, you are required to attempt the exam in order to obtain the credit for the course. The expectation is that students will write their exam during the exam period (see VLC Calendar). More specific information about a course exam will be provided by your VLC teacher.

The Virtual Learning Centre uses Proctorio (Learn more about proctorio here) software for students as they complete their exams. When students start their exam they will have to complete a security screening when they authorize their computer to share their webcam and screen with us, then they will experience the same exam/test process they are used to seeing. Using Proctorio allows students to complete their exam in the same location that they typically do their course work.

Students will need to use a Windows, Mac or Chrome operating system computer with a chrome browser installed. They will also be required to have a webcam and microphone in order to take their final exam. iPads and tablets cannot be used for the final exam.

Late and Missed Assignments, Quizzes and Tests

Late and missing assignments, quizzes and tests will have a mark of zero placed into the students gradebook as a placeholder until the completed work has been received even if an extension is requested.

If students require an extension they must submit the request via the extension request form in each of their courses at least 24 hours prior to the assignment due date. The approval and duration of the extension is at the discretion of the individual teachers. Our teachers spend time getting to know their students and have an understanding of what is upcoming in the course to help students balance current and upcoming obligations and use this information when determining the approval of extensions.

Late work will not be accepted past the last instructional day as communicated in the Student Guide as the final date to hand in overdue work and the calendar on the school website. Overdue work handed in significantly past the deadline without an extension request will be graded but will not receive feedback.

Phase One: Classroom Teacher

Adapted from TLDSB Policy and Procedure: ES 5003 – Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting

With respect to prevention, and using professional judgement, teachers will select and use several of the following strategies:

  • communicate expectations and deadlines (post and regularly revisit);
  • provide sufficient notice for major evaluations and include these on the course outline;
  • where possible, create deadlines with students;
  • chunk assignments and monitor with checkpoints and student conferences;
  • recognize mitigating circumstances;
  • plan with special circumstances and IEP expectations,
    accommodations, and strategies in mind;
  • negotiate student extension requests;
  • involve parents/guardians through personal communication;
  • where late mark deduction applies (see below), communicate the possibility of late mark deduction.

 

It is the responsibility of classroom teachers to establish deadlines for the submission of assignments for evaluation and clearly communicate those deadlines to students and, where appropriate, to parents.

Phase Two: Late Mark Deduction and Referral to Student Success Team

  1. If a deadline for a assignment, quiz​​ or tests is missed, teachers may apply the following mark deductions:
    • No late marks may be deducted in Grade 9 -10 courses
    • 10% deduction for all Grade 11-12 courses
  2. Teachers may refer students to the Student Services Teacher for further support/intervention. This referral should only be made after a number of the preventions and interventions listed earlier have been attempted. At a minimum, ​prior ​​to referral, classroom teachers should have:
    • Conferenced with the student (this may include a negotiated extension)
    • Communicated with home
  3. Once referred, students are expected to provide the Student Success Teacher with an action plan on how they plan to catch up on outstanding work while completing current assignments.

Phase Three: Referral to Administration

If students are not completing their plan or sticking to the timelines negotiated for completing the assignment, they may be referred to administration for further intervention. This may include assigned zeroes or removal from our program.

Academic Dishonesty & Plagiarism

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty includes practices such as plagiarism and/or cheating on tests, examinations and assignments.

Students need to be aware that any form of academic dishonesty is not acceptable and may result in a suspension of privileges and/or loss of credit.

Examples of academic dishonesty include:

  • cheating, using unauthorized notes or copying others answers on assignments, tests, or exams,
  • substituting or impersonating for another student in any aspect of the online program
  • paying or asking someone else to write an essay and submitting it as your own work
  • obtaining information in whole / part of an unauthorized test or exam beforehand
  • giving assignments, test or exam answers to other current and potential students
  • adding references to a bibliography/works cited/references page that are not used in the assignment
  • exaggerating or fabricating data in reports etc.
  • using another’s work, words or ideas without giving proper credit
  • using another’s work, words or ideas for an assignment that requires original ideas

Plagiarism

Working in an online environment presents students and educators with many challenges. Among those challenges for educators is creating a positive working relationship with students when the educator may never actually have face to face meetings with the student.
Consequently, relationships between student and teacher are dependent upon the written word. The teacher must feel confident that the written words of a student are his or her own. Without that confidence a teacher cannot objectively evaluate a student’s performance.

For this reason, the Virtual Learning Centre has a strict plagiarism policy that recognizes that the relationship between student and teacher online is very different from one established in a bricks and mortar classroom.

Please carefully read over this policy before you submit assignments in any VLC courses. It would be a good idea to print the policy procedure and keep it handy before you submit any assignments in your courses.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism can be defined as: using someone else’s words, ideas or thoughts as if they were your own. Plagiarized material may be an entire paper, a paragraph or even a single sentence. Without exception, your teachers want you to submit your assignments in your own words, and to give credit to sources that you have used for information, data, graphics and ideas. Where you have used ideas or information from another source, you should name the source of that information in a bibliography. The format of your bibliography will be prescribed by your teacher.

Improper Collaboration

Improper Collaboration is the act of sharing your work with another student, in whole or in part, with the intention that they will use your work in the course. Improper collaboration is also working on a course together, when the expectation is that each student is required to submit their own work. If it is unclear whether or not collaboration is allowed on an assignment, the teacher needs to be consulted.

Proper Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is the technique that authors use when they would like to borrow information from sources. Paraphrased information uses your own words to express the ideas of another author. In assignments where research is required, paraphrasing is allowed, but must be done properly. If an assignment is completed without paraphrasing properly, that is plagiarism. For more information about paraphrasing properly, please see the student guide.

Students should know that their assignments will be scrutinized by state of the art software which determines how much of an assignment has been plagiarized and its point source. The software also maintains an anonymous database of previously submitted assignments and will compare your work to that of other students.

You should always assume that your teacher requires material to be written in your own words. In courses where there is a textbook, it may not be required to reference those assignments drawn from the text. However, you should always write your answer in your own words – not the text’s!

If you have additional questions, speak with your teacher.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. As such, many education providers, including the VLC, purchase online services that identify plagiarism in student work.

Students should be aware that post secondary institutions frequently remove students from courses or entire programs for plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty.
Where a student has been found to have plagiarized material – whether a single sentence, a paragraph or an entire assignment, the following will apply:

First Incident: The teacher will inform the student, their guardians and the principal as to which parts of the assignment have been plagiarized. You will be assigned a zero for the plagiarized questions and given an opportunity to resubmit those questions. Marks will be awarded for any resubmitted questions or an alternative assignment will be provided at the teacher’s discretion. Students will also be required to complete the plagiarism module in the student guide.

Second Incident: The teacher will inform the student, their guardians and the principal as to which parts of the assignment have been plagiarized. You will receive zero on the entire assignment. (This may mean a zero for the assignments portion for that particular module). The students will be required to meet in a conference with the teacher. Students will also be required to complete the plagiarism module in the student guide.

Third Incident: Your teacher will inform the student, their guardians and the principal as to which parts of the assignment have been plagiarized. Where a student has shown a pattern of plagiarism despite warnings, the consequence may be a loss of this credit for this student. Students and guardians will be required to meet with the principal to discuss next steps.

Virtual Learning Centre

230 Angeline St. South
Lindsay, ON. K9V 0J8
Telephone: 705-328-2925
Fax: 705-878-8891

© Virtual Learning Centre 2020