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Course Materials

What You Should Already Know

There are no prerequisites.

Learning Outcomes

In this course, you will

Course Materials

A webcam is necessary to complete required signing appointments. A headset/mic and speakers will also be helpful, but are not required. For optimal connection speeds during signing appointments, it is recommended that you use a hard-wired, high-speed Internet connection. For your final exam, plan ahead with your proctor to ensure you have access to a DVD player to view the videos during the exam.

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Course Organization

Each unit starts with an overview of the dialogue you’ll be studying and practicing. You’ll learn about the dialogue, read it in English, break it down into individual signs and sentences, and then explore it as a complete dialogue in ASL. You’ll also learn something about Deaf culture in every unit. This process helps take you through learning step by step, starting with your understanding in English and ultimately leading to your understanding in the target language (ASL). Just like scaffolding builds upon the layers below it, this course will continue building on what you already know, which then helps support you as you continue to learn more! In addition to the daily lesson content, every unit (except the pre-unit) has a unit signing appointment and a unit quiz to test your mastery of the unit content.

Course Orientation

This course also includes a course orientation. You must complete the orientation quiz before continuing in the course. More information is available on the Course Introduction page.


Unit Quizzes

There is a quiz at the end of every unit. The quizzes are comprehensive and include videos that test vocabulary and concepts taught in the current unit, as well as cultural information presented in that unit. As every unit builds upon the last, it is important to continue practicing and revisiting vocabulary, grammar, and other concepts throughout your journey learning ASL. You are allowed to your quizzes one time, with no penalty. The highest score will count toward your final grade. Quizzes make up 30% of your final grade.

Conversation Café and Signing Appointments

The Conversation Café is a virtual room where conversation practice and signing appointments take place. Minimal English is used in the Café. Activities are moderated by a TA/instructor. Hours of the Café are posted on the Communication and Conversation Café page. Spend as much time as possible in the Café, practicing the concepts you learn! Before you complete your signing appointment, you must spend some time practicing in the Conversation Café. You must complete the first Conversation Café to move on in the course.

Signing appointments are graded oral assessments. You will be required to complete certain language tasks or have a dialogue with the TA/instructor during your signing appointment. A signing appointment is a required part of every unit and must be completed before you move on to the next unit. TA-graded signing appointments are completed on a first-come, first-served basis (no scheduling) in the Conversation Café room. The second, seventh, and final exam signing appointments will be scheduled with your instructor and will take place in the instructor’s virtual room. These appointments require a photo ID and a webcam. You can complete only one Signing Appointment per day. If you are not able to keep your scheduled appointment, you must reschedule or cancel at least 24 hours before the appointment. If you fail to show up at your scheduled time, you will receive a 0.

A grade will be posted within 24 hours of the appointment. The lowest score from all of your signing appointments will be dropped. (This does not include the final signing appointment.) See “Grading” below to see what percentage of your final grade the signing appointments are on.

We strongly encourage you not to use notes during your signing appointments. That will help you be better prepared for the final signing appointment where no notes are allowed. Note: You should complete all signing appointments in the correct order. For more specific information about each signing appointment, please refer to each assignment in the course.


You will prepare two presentations that you will share with your instructor and a small audience. You need to submit your written presentation to your instructor, including sources for your research/findings, before your appointment takes place. Your presentations count for 10% of your final grade.

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Other Resources

In your course under “Course Resources” and "Reference Materials" folders at the end of the course, you will find a student discussion board, course wiki, expansive dictionary, and other useful helps. The discussion board is designed for students to connect, discuss course-related matters, and share ideas with each other. The wiki is designed for the instructor to post information that may provide enrichment or to post relevant information for the course.

Technical Considerations

This course functions best in a web browser other than Internet Explorer. If you only have Internet Explorer, you can download other browsers (e.g., Firefox, Safari, etc.) for free online. If you have trouble doing this, contact Technical Support at 1-877-897-8085 or istech@byu.edu.


There are two parts to the final exam: a final signing appointment and a final written exam. Your final signing appointment will be in the same format as the others you’ve had in the course and must be completed before you request your written exam.

The written final exam is a proctored test that will cover the same material found in your quizzes. There is no time limit. If you study the course material, the quizzes, and the “Final Exam Preparation” section in your course, you should be adequately prepared for the test. The final exam, both parts combined, is worth 30 percent of your final grade. Notes will not be allowed during your final signing appointment. If you use notes during the final signing appointment, you will receive a 0 grade and fail the course. 

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Your final grade will be broken down as follows:

Assignment Portion of Final Grade
10 Unit Quizzes 30%
8 Signing Appointments 30%
2 Presentations 10%
1 Final Speaking Appointment and 1 Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

Note: The lowest signing appointment score will be dropped. One retake is permitted on quizzes.

Grading Scale
A 93–100
A− 90–92
B+ 87–89
B 83–86
B− 80–82
C+ 77–79
C 73–76
C− 70–72
D+ 67–69
D 63–66
D− 60–62
E (fail) 59 or below

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


10 unit quizzes (may retake once), 10 signing appointments. The lowest signing appointment score will be dropped, the assignments may not be resubmitted.


1 final signing appointment (may retake once for a fee; no-shows count as attempts and are given zeros), and 1 proctored, computer-graded final exam (may retake once for a fee). To pass the course, you must pass both the final speaking appointment and the final exam with at least a 60 percent on each.

Course Duration

Because of the nature of some assignments, you will not be able to complete this course in less than 2 months. You may only complete one signing appointment per day. No exceptions. You have 1 year to complete this course, but if you need more than a year, you may purchase one 3-month extension.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is defined as the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work. This may also include when a student copies and pastes directly from another source and passes it off as his or her own, copies computer-generated text from a translation tool and uses it as his or her own, or fails to cite a source after loosely summarizing its content in his or her own words.

As determined by your instructor or the BYU Independent Study administration, if evidence of academic misconduct on assignments or exams is established, one of the two following consequences will apply to each incidence:

First Offense of Plagiarism

  1. You will fail the unit and be allowed the opportunity to resubmit the unit (or)
  2. You will fail the unit and be denied the opportunity to resubmit the unit

Second Offense of Plagiarism

  1. You will fail the unit and fail the class (or)
  2. You will fail the unit, fail the class, and may be ineligible to enroll in a specific course or any of our courses without going through an appeals process which will determine the severity of your plagiarism

University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.