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Electronic Devices in Classroom Policy

Department of Sociology

The absence of unnecessary distractions and interruptions being essential for an effective learning environment, the Department of Sociology requires that each and every student adhere to the following rules regarding the use of electronic devices in the classroom. These guidelines constitute department policy and the student’s receipt and acceptance of a course syllabus containing a course instructor’s rules on the use of electronic devices shall constitute acceptance of this policy.

Electronic device includes cell phones (including smartphones), computers (laptops, notebooks, netbooks, and handhelds), mp3 and other digital audio and video players (including DVD players), and analog and digital audio and video recording devices (still and movie cameras).
  1. A student may not use an electronic device during class time without the express permission of the instructor. Use of cell/smartphones during class time is always prohibited, as is leaving the room to answer or make a call.
  2. A student with a diagnosed disability must present to the course instructor the appropriate paperwork from the Office of Disability Services in order to work out an accommodation for the use of otherwise prohibited electronic devices.
  3. In all cases, when permission has been granted by an instructor for the use of an electronic device in the classroom, the student shall employ such device solely in a manner appropriate to the course work and avoiding distractions or interruptions to fellow students or the instructor, including leaving the room to use such device.
  4. The course instructor has the discretion to grant either individual or a blanket approval or prohibition for the use of one or more types of electronic devices in the classroom.
  5. The course instructor reserves the right to withdraw previously granted approval for the use of an electronic device, on an individual or blanket basis, if in the instructor’s best judgment continued use of such device detracts from the effectiveness of the classroom learning environment.
  6. The course instructor shall include in each course syllabus a statement establishing under what conditions electronic devices may be used in the classroom, and the manner in which a violation of the instructor’s rules of use of such devices shall be addressed.  In case of a change in status of an electronic device in the course of the semester, the instructor will update the course syllabus as appropriate.
  7. A student violating an instructor’s classroom policy or individual instructions on the use electronic devices in the classroom shall be subject to any or all of the following actions: 

- Confiscation of the device by the instructor for the remainder of the class period

- Dismissal from the class for the day on which the offense occurs

- Referral of the student to the Office of Student Justice for disciplinary action under the Code of
  Student Conduct