Unexpected Occurances (Technical Failures, Medical Issues, ...)

Unexpected events (technical failures, medical problems, …) are inevitable. When they happen, we will cope. Please the course staff know about things as soon as possible.

If you have a medical or personal issue, contact the Professor as soon as possible so we can make arrangements. Because of the privacy concerns, this is a case where email is allowable.

Resources to help you with problems are listed on the Getting Help page. The page lists various University resources for your health, wellness, and technology needs, as well as how to get help from course staff.

Technical Failures are never convenient. I have them too (for example, a neighborhood-wide internet service outage while I was trying to proctor the CS559 final exam in Spring 2020).

We expect that many people will have something unexpected happen at some point during the semester that interferes with class.

Unexpected events vary. They aren't always bad. You might get a once-in-a-lifetime interview opportunity. You might get sick. You might need to take your cat to the vet, or find your dog who escaped. You might have a power or internet outage. Your roomate might pour a cup of coffee in your computer right before an exam.  

If you miss something because of a technical failure or personal/medical issue, you should:

  1. Let us know as quickly as possible. You might not be able to send us email or a Piazza message if your internet is out (since, generally, you need the internet to communicate with us), but make as best an effort that you can. You might be able to send email using your cell phone, or text message a friend who can send email to us.

  2. Try to do the best you can to recover. You may not be able to listen or discuss in a synchronous lecture, but you can read the material and watch the video afterwards. If you can’t turn something in on time because there is a service problem, turn it in as soon as you can. (and let us know)

  3. If you have a chronic problem, try to address it. If things fail once or twice in a semester, that’s expected. If you are often unable to participate in class, you may need to see if there is something you can improve about your technology.

  4. If there is something major, let us know. For example, if there is a bad storm that disconnects you for an extended period of time, or you have a medical or personal issue that disrupts your work for an extended period of time.

Each problem situation is unique - and we will work with you to find a way to address it.

The University provides some advice to dealing with internet connection issues on the UW Internet Connection Doctor page.

Usual Remedies

  1. If you miss a survey, generally you cannot make it up. However, we have drop 2 grading because we expect everyone will have a problem somewhere along the semester.

  2. If you miss a workbook, there is a relatively lenient late policy.

  3. If you miss an exam, this can be more problematic. Try hard not to miss exams.