Online with
Louise Ripley

Teaching Policies
Frequently Asked Questions
For all courses taught by M Louise Ripley
 Teaching Policies

Ground Rules







The Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions
(others follow below this in the form of a self-quiz)
  1. Can I get my mark raised?
  2. Can I enter the course late and still do well?
  3. Can I hand in my assignment late?
  4. What will this course be like?
  5. What do I need to do to get a good grade?
  6. What if I don't get a C+ and can't go on in Marketing?
  7. Will we talk about the Internet?
  8. Will I have a good time?
  9. What if I don't speak/write English very well?
  10. What can I do to improve my writing?

Self-Quiz on 20 more things frequently asked about

1. Can I get my mark raised? 
Answer: No

Not through me, at least. I have given you the mark you earned after careful consideration of all the material I have received from you. If you have reason to believe you need special consideration, there are avenues of appeal you can take, but I don't re-evaluate or change my marks. 

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2. Can I enter the course late and still do well?

This is an empirical answer, based on a quarter century of teaching experience at York. You can possibly repair the damage of one missed week, but beyond that, catch-up football is a tough game. With a double-time course such as Consumer Behaviour in the summer, don't even think about it. The Internet versions of courses allow you some more flexibility in when you do your work, but there still are deadlines to meet. 

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3. Can I hand in my assignment late?
Answer:  Almost never

Due to overly large class sizes, I can no longer make informal arrangements for any missed or late work; if you must for any reason defer work or miss a test, you will need to file a petition for Deferred Standing:  

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4. What will this course be like?
Read the Course Kit

For most questions, in course work and in life, the answer is "Read the Manual." Use the website Index

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5. What do I need to do to get a good grade in this course?
Work, Will, and Wiliness

  • Working Hard
    Read, study, listen, and communicate well and often and from an informed point of view. Start working early in the course and keep it up. Take an active part in as many offered learning opportunities as you can. Take notes as you read on what you consider important items. Use questions in the back of chapters and any online or printed study guides provided to quiz yourself on your understanding of what you have read. Use all required learning aids such as CD-ROMs and course websites. Use charts, exhibits, and examples to enhance and review your knowledge of your reading. They provide an excellent way to preview a chapter before reading, to review the text both after you have finished reading and to study for tests. Answer either in class or online all "Waving Hand Exercises" offered in course kits. Organize a study group with whom to do all this. Read all sections on Ground Rules, Tests, and Grades and follow recommendations found there.
  • Willingness to Listen and Learn 
    Work with your group in any required group work, and with other students in any course; pay attention to the professor, fellow students, guest speakers, instructions on tests and assignments. Even if you have worked in business for many years, assume that you can learn something from anyone. I learn a lot from my students. 
  • Wiliness in Organization
    Have what you need where and when you need it and know how to find it
    Get to class on time and prepared or keep up a regularly schedule of your Internet course work
    Read the course syllabus and learning units
    Participate in a study group
    Finish papers early to give yourself time to review and revise 
    Don't get behind and if you do, get caught up quickly
    Do your share of group work and do it on time
    Speak up in class/participate in Internet Discussion Groups 
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6. What if I don't get a C+ and can't go on in Marketing? 
It ain't necessarily so

Students who have earned a grade lower than C+ in Introductory Marketing sometimes worry that they will not be able to get into the Marketing Honours Option or take Marketing Honours level courses. This is a misconception arising from alternative ways of getting into Honours courses. To take a Marketing Honours course, you need to be or qualify as an Honours student, regardless of the mark you made in Introductory Marketing, OR you can be unqualified for Honours (by choice or by sad circumstances) or have no desire ever to be an Honours student, and still take Marketing Honours courses by passing Introductory Marketing with a grade of C+ or better. If you made less than a C+ in Introductory Marketing you can still qualify for the Marketing Honours option provided your overall grade average is at the required level for Honours standing as described in the Calendar. If you are in doubt about this, consult the Calendar in the course description for any ADMS4000 course in Marketing.

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7. Will we talk about the Internet and other current topics?
Answer: Yes! 

We study theory and practice, historical and current, and much of today's current business practice centres on the Internet. I strongly urge you to consider doing any course-related work in relationship to the internet. If you are writing a marketing plan, do it for a product sold on the internet. If you are interviewing managers, talk to some who are involved in e-commerce. This is more than just another channel of distribution; it is a whole new way of conceptualizing communication, distribution, and Marketing itself, as those of you who are taking courses by Internet already know. Read widely in newspapers and the business press to keep up with what is happening in the world today; it all affects business. 

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8. Will I have a good time?
Answer: I hope so 

Education should be fun. It doesn't mean that you won't work hard, or that there won't be days when you will want to tear your hair out in frustration, nights when you wish you got more sleep, or afternoons when you're torn between getting a project at work finished, your paper for York printed before 7 p.m., or seeing your child star in the fifth-grade play. It may help you to know that I did both my post-secondary degrees part time while working full time, and for three years of my doctorate I worked full time AND went to school full time and then I added a baby into the equation. I've been there; I know what it's like. 

Ultimately education should be fun. When I started my M.B.A., which I did part time while working full time with full household responsibility, I worried how I would ever find the energy; but it was so much fun going back to school, stretching my brain again after four years away from academic work, engaging with other students, meeting the academic challenges of the programme, that I found myself energized by classes instead of drained. I hope you will have the same experience, and it is one of my personal goals to help ensure that you do. 

Remember to schedule some down time for yourself. If we work too hard with no time for play, we eventually burn out. I know because I did it and it took me about ten years to recover (My name is Louise and I'm a recovering workaholic). No matter how busy your schedule, plan a little time for yourself in each week if not each day. 

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9. What if I don't speak or write English very well?
Answer: You're not alone 

Consider a few things that may put you more at ease. We are a multi-disciplinary university in a multicultural cosmopolitan city in a nation of people who, with the exception of the First Nations, had either themselves or their ancestors come here from somewhere else, and it is believed that even many of the First Nations people crossed over the Bering Strait at one time. You are not the only person for whom English is not your first language. I come from a family with a fluency for languages and I'm in my third decade of teaching at York hearing a variety of accents and dialects; even if I cannot speak your language, I can usually understand your English. Consider that if I were dropped into the centre of a city in China or India (or even Paris) I would starve in the gutter given my current ability to speak those languages. I will never judge you harshly for any difficulties you might have with my native tongue. Instead, I stand in awe and admiration of you for studying at the university level in a language which is not your first. Just keep talking; we'll make ourselves understood to each other, and it's the best way to practice. Take all opportunities to practice speaking, no matter how scary; classroom presentations are a good chance to do this, especially mine where there are no marks involved. 

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10. What can I do to improve my writing?
Answer: Lots

Visit the Essay Writing Centre

Visit the Counseling Centre's website for information on their workshops.

Ask a friend to read and comment on your writing. It doesn't have to be someone majoring in your field; it's actually better if it is not. My mother edited my doctoral thesis for me. My mother knows from nothing about Marketing Channels or Transaction Cost Analysis and I figured if I could write well enough to enable her to understand it, any committee of Marketing professors would find it easy. Remember, and review if you need to, the basic rules of writing. Remember grammar and structure and spelling and what makes up a paper. See a section of my website that gives you some suggestions on How To Write Better Assignments. Remember the rule that holds for not only the paper but in really good writing for each and every paragraph -- tell your reader what you're going to tell her, tell it to her, then tell her what you told her (introduction, body, conclusion). When you are asked to write an essay, or generally to compose a paper, I assume you will include these parts. Use the liberal arts/electives part of your degree to take courses that require you to read and write. Write as often as you can, even if it is a letter home or a journal or diary. Join a creative writing group. Do more than one draft of anything you write; it's easier on a computer than it used to be with a typewriter or hand-written. Finish papers ahead of time so you have time to re-read and revise them before handing them in. 

To Learn to Write Better
Below are some of my personal favourites

In addition to reading your textbook and online materials, read business magazines and journals. Subscribe to or read in the library Canadian Business, Journal of Marketing, Maclean's, Forbes, Financial Post, Harvard Business Review. The Globe and Mail has a good business section, and in general has excellent writing throughout. Even if you only read the Arts Review section (and there are days this is all I choose to do), you will be improving your skills. 

Read good books, often. Find some time in every day to put down your text books and pick up a good novel. My time is just before sleep, for a half hour or so. My personal favourite author is John Irving (or maybe Alistair Macleod) . Irving's book A Widow For One Year is very possibly the best novel I've ever read, but it's not my favourite; that's A Prayer For Owen Meany, and in a world where my constant complaint is so "So many books So little time" that I rarely ever re-read a book, I have read this  five times. I've also read his Cider House Rules twice. Read A Son of the Circus. The hero is a middle-aged East Indian medical doctor who will change forever your understanding of how the way we treat immigrants in Toronto affects their lives. I am still haunted by Dr. Daruwalla and his efforts to find a place where he felt at home. For a true understanding of modern India written by an Indian, read Rohinton Mistry's Family Matters (he recently received an honourary degree from York, by the way). Read Margaret Atwood. Oryx and Crake is one of the finest books I've ever read; Atwood is a magnificent story-teller. If you grew up as a girl or friends with a girl, read Cat's Eye; you will recognize, no matter what country you grew up in, the cruelty we can inflict on each other. The Blind Assassin is a tour-de-force of good writing with a plot that will leave you gasping. Read Timothy Findley. His Not Wanted on the Voyage will turn around everything you ever thought about Noah's Ark, whether you grew up a devout Christian, or a Muslim who heard about Noah from a friend, or an atheist who never believed any of it. Ann Marie MacDonald's Fall on Your Knees will tear at the heart of anyone, even if you haven't spent time on the east coast of Canada. It has within it a poignant and miraculous story of perseverance, something dear to my own heart... When told by her friend in New York that she would have loved to visit but had no way to get there, the (lame) girl who did so in the other direction says simply, "You could have walked..." MacDonald's subsequent novel As The Crow Flies is a scathing condemnation of those who abuse children, as well as being a cliff-hanging tale based on a true Canadian story. Read Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, Mordecai Richler, W.O. Mitchell - all good and well-known Canadian authors. Check the remainders sales at bookstores like Chapters; you can often buy good hardback novels there for less than the cost of a paperback or even of a magazine. 

I also love murder mysteries, and count among my favourite authors Elizaebeth George, Michael Connelley, Minette Walters, Peter Robinson, and Sue Grafton. These are not only thrillers, they also are well written.

Read non-fiction as well. A current favourite of mine is How Not to be Wrong: the Power of Mathematical Thinking, by Jordan Ellenberg. He writes in an easy to understand style about fascinating things that happen when you begin to think like a mathematician. Another favourite is Linda McQuaig who wrote, among many others, Don't Shoot the Hippo. This is a discussion of the problems with having the upper upper class, those 1% who hold some huge percent of the nation's wealth, continually cutting back on jobs, salaries, benefits, full time work, things like zoos that make a city a wonderful place to live... McQuaig asks, if they keep cutting back, eventually there won't be any working people left to buy the products or services they provide and where will more wealth come from then?

Read authors from your own background. John Updike and Larry McMurtry write about Americans. Read good French literature in translation if you can't do it in the original -- try Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. Amy Tan writes poignant stories about what it meant to come to North America as a Chinese immigrant in the early part of the last century -- try The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God's Wife, and The Bonesetter's Daughter. David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars tells the terrible tale of what the U.S. did to Japanese immigrants and even citizens during the second world war (Canada did it too). Read Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses and decide for yourself if it deserved all the fuss. Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion  tells the story of the immigrant Macedonian, Greek, and Italian workers who built Toronto and specifically the water treatment plant down on the lake at the foot of Victoria Park Avenue; read the book then go down and look at the building and think about them lowering those ponies down into the holes to work. His book Anil's Ghost is a haunting tale based in the realities of the wars in Sri Lanka, where he was born. As the child of Irish immigrants on my father's side, I was deeply moved by Angela's Ashes, and Jane Urquart's Away and The Underpainter. The maternal Scottish side of my upbringing, and the fact that years ago I left a piece of my heart in Nova Scotia, brought such a strong reaction to Alistair MacLeod's No Small Mischief that the night I finished it, I went to sleep clutching it because I literally could not let it go. He has a collection of stories called Island which I recommend keeping by your desk for any time, any time whatsoever that you might feel that your life is hard and wonder how much the human spirit can withstand. When I retire I plan to read Scottish history; I already have on my Kindle the first volume, from 800 BC to 600 AD. Read poetry. Read good Science Fiction. I'm not a major sci-fi fan myself, but Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov are excellent. It was Isaac Asimov, who wrote in a book about writing, "if you want to learn to write well, read good writing." 

It was also Isaac Asimov from whom I finally learned how to eat alone in a restaurant. Asimov tells the story of his own reluctance, and of a friend challenging him - what makes you think that anyone else in a restaurant even notices you, much less cares that you are eating alone?! This enabled me to treat myself to a decent meal on some of the nights that I went to school while doing my MBA while working full time (I didn't have to commute the distance from downtown to York; the Loyola Business School was right downtown on the Magnificent Mile, right near Jovan's, Lowry's, not far from The Berghoff...don't get me started on Chicago restaurants!) and thereby have the energy, both physical and of spirit, to finish my degree. Of course, what really saved me was bringing a book to the restaurant to read, just in case people cared enough to stare at me (they didn't, but I had found a little more time to read). 

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Self-Quiz on Other Frequently Asked Questions 
Test your knowledge and review some of the major points from the Course Kit with this self-quiz. Choose your answer, then check it at the end of the quiz below. If there are answers you are not sure of, or if you don't find them here, ask me at  

1. The Administrative Studies/Government Documents Library is located
a. on the first floor of Atkinson
b. in the Schulich School of Business
c. in the back of Scott Library
d. in the back of the laundry room
e. it does not matter because you won’t need a library for business courses

2. If you do not perform well on multiple choice tests, you should
a. quit school now
b. see the Counselling Centre about their workshops
c. major in Ancient Etruscan art
d. read the section on Test Policies on multiple choice questions and participate in reviews
e. both b and d

3. If you enter a course late, you
a. don't need to worry, we waited for you to get here and didn't do anything yet
b. will still receive full marks for any work you did not do
c. are responsible for catching up but forfeit any marks you may have missed
d. will be assigned a personal tutor to help you catch up
e. can telephone the professor for individual instruction

4. For in-class tests, you must bring
a. your York student I.D. card
b. a baboon
c. a soft lead pencil
d. both a and c
e. none of the above

5. If you do poorly on a test, you can
a. put the weight on the next one
b. omit tests from the evaluation process that determines your mark
c. see the professor with a completed "Hints" sheet for advice on doing better
d. blame the professor for asking questions which are not in the textbook
e. tell the York President to tell me to raise your mark

6. If you have trouble getting into the Discussion Group or making email work, you should
a. not worry, business makes no use of electronic communication anyway
b. read the Communications Policy page
c. get a friend who knows computers to send threatening emails to the professor
d. claim you did not know you would have to do email in an Internet course
e. find a theorist in your Marketing readings who will support your claim

7. If you encounter any theories in the course you should
a. ignore them; they are just there to impress other professors
b. take them seriously; university level work makes use of theories
c. rewrite them; they are all wrong anyway
d. relate them to the "real world" as you read about it and encounter it
e. both b and d

8. Your participation in a course
a. will be marked out of 1000 points
b. won't matter because you do not have to talk to succeed in business
c. is measured on the Richter scale
d. will help you learn more
e. all of the above

9. You can get "two more marks" on your final grade if
a. you are a Blue Jays fan
b. you have actually read the textbook
c. you are appointed Vice President of Marketing for Procter and Gamble
d. you are ready to graduate and need a half grade bump-up in which case you talk to the academic advisor
e. you are entering a monastery or nunnery and your last wish in the outside world is to graduate with a B in my course

10. What role will the Internet play in our course? 
a. you are forbidden to access it
b. you are urged to look at it but not use it
c. you are encouraged to make full use of it
d. do not bother; business has nothing to do with the Internet
e. the what??

11. How does your professor feel about your (audio) taping her in-class lectures?
a. she never lectures, so it does not matter
b. she wants union performance fees if you are planning on taping her
c. she allows it but doesn't want to see the thing in front of her because it makes her nervous
d. her former student and now her lawyer, James Tomlinson, will sue your socks off if you try
e. the professor will sue you herself using her extensive knowledge of the law gleaned from many hours of watching "Law and Order" and "Law and Order: Criminal Intent"

12. Students who earn less than a C+ in Intro Marketing
a. can never apply for graduate school
b. should never have taken the course in the first place
c. can still do Honours courses provided they meet Honours requirements
d. will never get jobs
e. will need to buy two Rolls Royces, one for the professor and one for her husband, in order to continue

13. If you need help putting together your assignment, you should
a. not worry about it; the structure of your work does not matter
b. consult the course Assignment page and any other relevant pages on the website
c. ask your professor to do it for you
d. hire J. Walter Thompson to do it for you
e. never have signed up for the course in the first place; we expect you to know everything when you arrive in class

14. You may have an extension on your assignment
a. if you were born on St. Patrick's day
b. if you own a dog
c. if you are a major level Blue Jays fan
d. if you are dead
e. you may not have an extension on assignments

15. The course materials provided online are
a. fun to put together and that's why your professor prepared them
b. all fakes; we don't really talk about all that stuff
c. important documents that you should study and use
d. copyrighted material and you may not sell them but may copy them for personal use
e. c and d

16. The format for an assignment
a. should be ignored
b. is just something stupid your dumb professor got from some other dumb professor
c. has nothing to do with the real world
d. is crucial and you must follow it 
e. does not matter if you are friends with the Chair of York’s Board of Governors

17. If you encounter an ethics question in the course, you should
a. complain to the Dean of the Faculty
b. ignore it; there are no ethics in business
c. call your lawyer
d. pay close attention; ethics is a crucial part of any business course
e. join the Hari Krishnas

18. If you do not like teamwork, you should
a. major in a field of business that has nothing to do with teamwork 
b. learn what is good about teams and try to make your team successful 
c. major in Ancient Etruscan Art - nobody works on teams there
d. become a hermit
e. quit the business programme

19. Your professor prefers to be addressed as
a. Hey you!
b. Yo! Miss!
c. Mrs. Bert Christensen
d. Erik's Mom
e. Louise, or if you can't manage that, Dr. Ripley, Professor Ripley, Doctor, or Professor 

20. Will you ever get to see me again after the course finishes?
(some students ask hopefully; some hoping they won't!)
a. no, you will never see me again
b. you may occasionally see me on the side of the road hitching a ride to Calgary
c. you never saw me to begin with; I am a figment of your overactive imagination
d. both b. and c. 
e. of course! See my policy on your life-long after-sales-service warranty

Below are the answers to the quiz. Try answering the questions before looking at the answers. 
















Don't look yet; try the questions!
























1. b
2. e
3. c
4. d
5. c
6. b
7. e
8. e
9. d
10. c
11. c
12. c
13. b
14. e
15. e
16. d
17. d
18. b
19. e
20. e

All online Web Materials by M Louise Ripley
Copyright © M Louise Ripley. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 08, 2014