International Open University

> Code of Student Conduct and Student Disciplinary and Grievance policy

Code of Student Conduct  and  Student Disciplinary and Grievance policy

The Code of Student Conduct sets out how students are expected to behave and the procedures the University uses to address allegations of unacceptable behavior by students.

The University expects all students to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner in their day-to-day activities, including in their dealings with other students, staff and external organizations.

Scope:

The Code of Student Conduct applies to all students of the University. The University aims to deal with allegations of misconduct in a fair and consistent manner.  Following are the procedures set out in the Code of Student Conduct.

General Code of Student Conduct

Students must establish and maintain a positive and supportive online learning environment.

  1. Students must refrain from sharing their username and password with anyone.
  2. Students must treat all other students, faculty and staff and their opinions with respect, sensitivity and politeness.
  3. Students should be responsive on emails and discussion forums and participate to the best of their ability.
  4. Students need to stick to topics during the live classes, events, webinars, coaching sessions and in discussion forums as their participation and conduct is monitored and assessed by the University.
  5. Students should ensure their presence on time for all live classes, events, webinars, and coaching sessions.
  6. Students are requested to communicate only in English (or Arabic) at all times;
  7. Students may raise any concern that they have about other students, faculty or staff as per the grievance procedure outlined by the University.
  8. Students must not employ threatening behavior towards any student, staff, and faculty.
  9. A student should not represent the university without being authorized to.
  10. Student should ensure to avoid using indecent or obscene language on emails;
  11. Students should abstain from committing or involving in any act of deceit, fraud, or forgery with the university, students, staff, and faculty.
  12. Students are required to strictly follow university policy and Islamic etiquettes.

Islamic Code of Student Conduct

  1. The Quran and Hadith (recorded sayings of the Prophet Muhammad SAW) both emphasize the importance of being forgiven and being willing to forgive others. If the offense is intentional and cannot be ignored, forgiveness is still required in addition to repaying the offense with kindness and good deeds.
  2. Demonstrate honesty and integrity.
  3. Respect differences in people, their ideas, and opinions.
  4. Treat one another with dignity and respect at all times, and especially when there is disagreement;
  5. Respect and treat others fairly, regardless of their race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, religion, gender, age, or disability.
  6. Students should avoid arguing on the disagreements of the people of knowledge, because that breeds confusion and perplexity.
  7. Students should be humble with all teachers, class-fellows, university staff and guest speakers.

Academic Code of Student Conduct

  1. Students must contact their teachers through the contact method given on the course pages.
  2. Students should also complete all self-study tasks required of them on time.
  3. Students are advised to be supportive and constructive when offering feedback to other students in collaborative group tasks.
  4. Students are required to complete all tasks and assignments on their own.
  5. Students must not download, transmit and/or upload the provided course material, including notes, tests and exams to any other person, platform or website.
  6. Students must refrain from posting or uploading inappropriate messages, content, unauthorized advertising, promotional material, private programs or classes to the discussion forums, course site, social media platforms or the virtual classroom.
  7. Students must not disclose, or share exam/test content during or after they have taken an exam/test with anyone.
  8. Students must not obtain exam/test content from other students with or without coercion.
  9. Students must not upload exam/test content online on any website, blog, or social media platform.
  10. Students must not copy and submit any material from another student, or from another source such as the Internet Plagiarism, including the use of Internet material without proper citation.
  11. Students must not use cell phones or other electronics to obtain outside information during a test/exam.
  12. Students must not use a dictionary, translation tools, or any other media to understand the meaning of the term used during the test/exam.
  13. Students must not Submit their own work in one assignment that was completed for another assignment (self-plagiarism).
  14. Students can directly go for grievance in case they have any grievance related to any live session, faculty, course instructor, Head of Department, learning center coordinator, country representative, Student Representative Council member or student as per the grievance procedure.
  15. In case students have any reservation about their marks, they should not immediately rush to go for a grievance, rather they should discuss it with their teacher. If the matter is not solved here, then they can send an email to the respective HoD about their reservation. HoD’s decision would be final. However, in a very special case the matter can be taken up to the respective Dean and Dean’s verdict would be the last one.

Social Media Code of Student Conduct

Social Media includes all the official handles of the University, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Telegram, Linked In, YouTube and WhatsApp.

  1. Students must not create mixed gender study groups on any social media platform.
  2. Students must be careful about what they post online and consider how it would affect the people they know and don’t know.
  3. Students must post accurate information on social media platforms and be accountable for what they say or post online.
  4. Students while using social media platforms are advised to avoid negativity, profanity, and cyberbullying.
  5. Refrain content that can be interpreted that could infringe on the rights of an individual’s identities, including race, religion, gender, gender identity, or organization affiliation, etc.
  6. Students are asked to correct misinformation and/or address negative posts in a respectful manner.
  7. Students must avoid engaging in behavior that could raise actual or apparent conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment on social networks.
  8. Students need to avoid expressing political opinions on IOU social media accounts.
  9. Students must think twice about how they post content if they are feeling angry about something and consider the effect that this might have on the situation.
  10. Students are also required not to post confidential material online without permission. This might be personal confidential information about an individual or information which is confidential for professional reasons.
  11. Students are not allowed to use racist, abusive terms, swear words or language that may cause offense.
  12. Students must not infringe copyright regulations.
  13. Students must not post or upload anything on social media platforms that is off-topic, offensive, abusive or illegal on the discussion forums, live sessions or any other official forums.
  14. Students must not fraudulently assume the identity of another on social media platforms.
  15. Any grievance related to any live event, webinar, training session, guest speaker, social media post, content and poster must be raised as per the grievance procedure.

Live Events Code of Student Conduct

  1. Maintain Islamic etiquette and good manners when interacting with teachers/speakers or students, in particular show patience and tolerance if someone has a different opinion or viewpoint.
  2. The university may invite guest speakers, Muslims or non-Muslims, who may or may not be following all Islamic guidelines or code of conduct. The primary objective of inviting such guest speakers is to offer relevant professional development skills within the student body, however,  the University may not endorse all ideas and opinions held/propagated by the relevant speakers or their actions. As a student, you are required to keep discussion and comments off the speaker and take benefit from the content that is being presented.
  3. Do not post anything in the chat box, comment section or on social media that you would not want the world to see or that may offend the speaker or specific audience.
  4. In case of difference of opinion, keep discussion and comments off the speaker especially during live events and instead discuss the matter through proper channels that is through a grievance process.
  5. Do not chat, except when you are called upon by the teacher/speaker as it distracts others.
  6. During the events on Zoom and YouTube, use the raise-hand icon to indicate any questions or comments you would like to present; then wait for the speaker to call your name. Once called upon, you may ask your question or post your comment in the chat box.
  7. Keep all questions related to the topic. Off topic questions will not be responded to.
  8. To save time, please have all questions typed out beforehand and copy-paste them into the chat box when the speaker starts taking questions.
  9. Should the teacher/speaker go offline for some reasons, remain calm and simply wait for his/her return.
  10. If the time for salah (prayer) comes during the session, you may leave the room without asking for permission. If there is time remaining after you finish your prayers you may re-enter the room.
  11. Timings that are set for the live sessions shall remain the same, hence, do not ask the teachers to change the timings.
  12. Photographing, video or audio recording of slides, oral or poster presentations without presenter/author’s permission are not allowed.
  13. Participants are expected to respect the choices of the speaker in selecting topics, questions, comments, managing session times, etc.

Exam Code of Student Conduct

  1. Students need to ensure that their equipment is working properly (computer/laptop, webcam, internet connection, etc.) while doing the tests and exams.
  2. Students must ensure that they are completing the tests and exams well before the deadline.
  3. Students are required to be present in person at the exam center during their final exam.
  4. Students must not ask any other student or individual to attempt their tests, assignments and exams.
  5. Students must not communicate with another person online or offline during the exam.
  6. Students must not share their username or password with any other individual.
  7. It is the responsibility of the students to agree on dates and times with the centers where they will take their exams within the given period.
  8. Students are required to take their photo IDs (national identity card, passport, driver’s license, etc.) to the exam center. These will be checked by the proctor to establish the identity of the students before allowing them to take the exams.
  9. Students are allowed to use a blank paper and a pencil in final exams if needed for analyzing the Arabic structure of the sentences.
  10.  Students are not allowed to share or disclose the exam questions, content or MCQs with any other student during or after the exam.
  11. Students must not obtain exam/test content from other students with or without coercion.
  12. Students must not share exam/test content online on any website, blog, or social media platform
  13. Students must not use cell phones or other electronics to obtain outside information during a test/exam.
  14. Students must use a dictionary, translation tools, or any other media to understand the meaning of the term used during the test/exam.
  15. Students should follow the Islamic etiquette and avoid any form of cheating or malpractices during the exams.
  16. Students are strictly advised to not cheat, fabricate, facilitate academic dishonesty, or conduct plagiarism.

Exam Center Code of Student Conduct

  1. Do not be late to the exam center. Reach the exam center a few minutes before the given time. Do not go very early and start revising there as it will create inconvenience to the center members. Remember that they gave you the time depending upon many factors and going there outside the approved hours may cause them inconvenience.
  2. Taking a photo id (national id card, passport) to the center as proof of identity for the proctor to check is compulsory.
  3. It is strictly forbidden for students to ask the center/proctors for the passwords at any time (even after the exams have been completed).  Any student found doing so will have their exams graded at zero and will face disciplinary action.
  4. If due to any misunderstanding, a proctor/center offers you the exam passwords you must not take them under any circumstances, doing so will result in a zero grade and action.
  5. During the exams it is forbidden to:
    1. Refer to notes, books, open other windows on the computer etc;
    2. Ask anyone for help with answering questions;
    3. Chat with other students, friends etc;
    4. Disturb other students, the proctor, members at the center etc. in any way.
  6. Scientific calculators and the use of blank sheets for calculation are allowed for the following subjects only:
    1. Calculus and Analytic Geometry (MAT 101)
    2. Discrete Structures (CMP 104)
    3. Probability and Statistics (STA 101)
    4. Principles of Accounting (ECM 104)
    5. Managerial Accounting (ECM 201) – Allowed to use Excel sheet for calculation purposes only for this subject
    6. Investment & Financial Statement Analysis (ECM 202)
    7. Fiqh of Inheritance (FQH 302)

Code of Conduct for Students About Live Events & Guest Speakers:

  1. Maintain Islamic etiquette and good manners when interacting with speakers, in particular show patience and tolerance if someone has a different opinion or viewpoint.
  2. The University strives to invite guest speakers whose views, attire and dress codes are as per Islamic guidelines. However, sometimes, the university may have to invite guest speakers, Muslims or non-Muslims, who may or may not be following all Islamic guidelines or code of conduct. The primary objective of inviting such guest speakers is to offer relevant professional development skills within the student body, however,  the University may not endorse all ideas and opinions held/propagated by the relevant speakers or their actions. As a student, you are required to keep discussion and comments off the speaker and take benefit from the content that is being presented.
  3. Students must not use language/comments/remarks intended to promote hatred, bigotry or animosity between or against groups of people, religion, or society.
  4. In case a student gets offended/disagrees with the views of the guest speaker that are not acceptable to his/her views or beliefs or Islamic guidelines, he/she can likely ignore his point of view respectfully and share his concerns privately with the organizers of the event.

Formal Dress Code for Corporate Sessions:

  1. The idea of International Open University behind arranging corporate sessions is to introduce students (both male and female) to the corporate world and showcase them as avid learners. To help them gain insight into the professional environment and familiarize them with professional experience. Therefore, it is important for students both male and female to dress formally (following the Islamic guidelines) during virtual corporate events/sessions.
    1. Formal dressing helps create a first impression.
    2. Formal dressing makes an individual feel confident.
    3. Formal Dress code makes an individual disciplined and inculcates a sense of maturity and seriousness.
  2. Disciplinary measures shall be taken against those students who would not follow the Islamic dress code during the Corporate sessions.

Grievance Procedure:

If a student has any complaint or grievance, academic or non-academic, against any staff, faculty or guest speaker, it must be raised as per the Grievance procedure.

Academic Grievance:

Assigning a grade or evaluating a student’s work performance involves the faculty’s professional judgment and is an integral part of the faculty’s teaching responsibilities; disagreement with a faculty member about a grade or evaluation is not a justifiable grievance.

  1. When complaints arise related to academics (other than assignment grades) between student and faculty, the student and the faculty member should attempt to resolve the problem by mutual one-on-one discussion. If no acceptable solution is reached, then students should raise the concern to the Head of the Department. When contacting the Head of the Department, the student must share all the relevant conversations with the faculty member as evidence.
  2. In case, if the Head of Department and faculty is the same person, or in case of non-resolution of the grievance, the student may approach the Dean.
  3. In case, if the Dean and Head of Department is the same person, the student may approach the Secretary of the Disciplinary and Grievance Committee D&GC) grievances@iou.edu.gm for the complaint.

 

Non-Academic Grievance:

  1. The international Open University encourages students to make every effort to resolve their problems and concerns directly and informally with the faculty members or other involved parties. The student must request, in an email, a meeting with the party(ies) involved. The meeting should take place within seven days from the reception of the student’s email.
  2. In case of non-resolution of the issue as per guidelines above, students may bring the issue to the notice of the Secretary of the committee by writing a formal email to grievances@iou.edu.gm

Community Service Work Policy

With regards to the teaching and community service work, students are bound to follow the below Code of Conduct:

International Open University  does not allow University members, e.g., its staff, students, and/or non-University members to offer or promote any kind of Quranic, Arabic,  other types of teaching or community service projects on its onsite campuses / centers or by using University’s online platform. Conducting any teaching or coaching activity must need authorization from the IOU’s management. It is essential to maintain the integrity of the teaching, other community projects and the quality of the instruction being provided by the IOU.

As an international university, IOU requires that all instructors and faculty be well qualified, and the only way we can regulate this is to disallow all unapproved instruction / teaching and community service projects, whether done on a voluntary or paid basis. Although, we understand that in a mosque setting or in a community center establishment these policies might be set by each institution and possibly allow for non-community members to provide any kind of instruction, our policy is to strictly disallow any non-authorized member of the University to provide any type of unapproved instructions or community service projects to our student body so as to allow for high quality instruction,  methodological transmission of knowledge and relevant services. Furthermore, no advertisements for private classes or community service projects should be posted on any of IOU’s social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages, WhatsApp groups, whether free of charge or with charge unless permission is given by IOU’s Management.

Disciplinary Procedure:

Where a student is found to have breached the Code of Student Conduct, the disciplinary procedure will be initiated against the student as per the Student’s Disciplinary and Grievance procedure which may lead a student to dismissal from the University.

Therefore, all students must familiarize themselves with regards to what constitutes misconduct and take all necessary measures to avoid it. An excuse that someone did not know about the code of conduct will not be accepted at all and serious action will be taken against that student.