Mutual Expectations of Students and Instructors

Official university documents state that as part of its mission, the University of Western Ontario “seeks to provide an environment of free and creative inquiry within which critical thinking, humane values, and practical skills are cultivated and sustained”. A first step in creating and maintaining this environment in the class is to have some mutual expectations between the instructor and the students on the atmosphere for instruction in the course.

From the instructor, students should expect:

  • to receive a clear course outline at the beginning of term (see Senate Regulations as outlined on the web at for content of the outline);
  • that the instructor will come prepared for class;
  • that the instructor will attend lectures regularly;
  • that the instructor will begin punctually and not run beyond the allotted time for the class;
  • that out of class the instructor will hold and be available at regularly posted office hours; and
  • that term tests and assignments will be returned within a reasonable period of time after submission.

From the students, the instructor should expect:

  • that students will not engage in disruptive behaviour, including talking out of turn or social chatting, during class time;
  • that the submitted version of an assignment represents the student’s independent work—this does not preclude true collaboration in discussing problems (the submission of a fraudulent assignment is a Scholastic Offence as outlined in Senate Regulations in the Western Academic Calendar); and
  • that requests for rescheduling of exams or for extension of assignment deadlines will be made prior to the examination or assignment deadline time.


Any student who, in the opinion of the instructor, is absent too frequently from class or lab periods in any course, will be reported to the Dean (after due warning has been given). On the recommendation of the Department concerned, and with the permission of the Dean, the student will be debarred from taking the regular examination in the course.


Students must write their essays and assignments in their own words.  Whenever students take an idea or a passage from another author, they must acknowledge their debt both by using quotation marks where appropriate and by proper referencing, such as footnotes or citations.  Plagiarism is a major academic offence (see Scholastic Offence Policy in the Western Academic Calendar).