Code of Conduct for Online Interactions

The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture
Code of Conduct for Online Interactions | September 15, 2020

Online classes with a global student body present opportunities and challenges for all. The Cooper Union is committed to fostering an online community of students and faculty within a creative environment of intellectual investigation and intuitive exploration that provides a welcoming and safe environment for all students—regardless of race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, or religious belief.

Technology-mediated interactions (such as online classes) are subject to the same guidelines and regulations as in-person interactions. We also recognize that there are multiple ways of speaking and interacting (words, gestures, acts, etc.), depending on cultural backgrounds, educational backgrounds and practices, and technology that mediate these interactions in slightly different ways, so be respectful, considerate, and collaborative.

A respectful open dialogue and interaction among students, classes, and faculty can lead to rigorous inquiry, spirited discussion, and constructive critique as well as the pervasive sharing of knowledge, experiences, ideas, and methodologies when all students are present and actively engaged in the virtual classroom. 

Students must attend class and be prepared to communicate and share their ideas in both group and individual interactions. Students, in return, should expect candid, constructive feedback from faculty, student teachers, and their peers. 

Faculty members and instructors set the expectations of their specific courses, which includes behavior in learning spaces such as classrooms, labs, studios, and all other spaces of instruction including virtual class engagements. Students are expected to comply with the expectations and standards of conduct  presented by their individual faculty members and instructors. Faculty members and instructors have the discretion, in conjunction with their academic dean, to remove a student from class for failure to comply with expressed expectations and standards of classroom conduct.

At the beginning of each course, and perhaps periodically throughout the semester, the guidelines for participation in the course should be discussed openly and established by the professor with the input of the students.

Synchronous classes meet live at a specific time (Eastern Standard Time) and students must plan to attend/be present and participate during that time period, regardless of global time zone differences.  

Attendance and participation in synchronous classes make it possible for all students and faculty to share in the teaching and learning process, exchange ideas with each other in real time, and simultaneously participate. Instructor audio and video will be on for the lecture/presentation and student audio and video must be on for full classroom/studio engagement. Attendance requires the full presence, attention and, where appropriate, participation of all students in order to sustain an impactful intellectual community. A professor may converse independently with a student during studio hours, with or without participation of other students in the same class.

Synchronous lectures that do not require student participation may be recorded and made available for students to view asynchronously. Recorded lectures make it possible for a student to view or re-view a lecture or presentation at a later time; this must be accomplished in advance of the next class or required deadline. Students wishing to view recorded lectures asynchronously must receive permission from the faculty member in advance to do so. For the purpose of preparing asynchronous lectures, faculty should record the lecture or presentation component of the class only, without subsequent student discussion, and make it accessible for online viewing. Recorded lectures or seminars are for non-public use and will remain within the school’s resources for the remainder of the semester. Viewing lectures asynchronously does not excuse students from attending discussion sessions required for the class. 

Individual or small group sessions may be scheduled at mutually convenient times for faculty, student teaching assistants, and students as long as such sessions do not conflict with students’ other scheduled classes. Faculty must poll their class at the start of the semester to ascertain which time zones their students reside in. Sessions may not be scheduled during club hours on Tuesdays from 12 – 2 pm EST. 

In order for these sessions not to conflict with the meeting times of other scheduled classes in which the student/s are registered, they must be formally scheduled through the Architecture Office. Since these tutorials have been specifically arranged, attendance and full participation (audio and video) are required. 

Discrimination, intimidation, harassment, and fraud will not be tolerated.

The above forms of etiquette apply to emails, chats, and social media as well as to virtual classes/lessons/tutorials/presentations/critiques, synchronous and asynchronous.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.