DTM*4800 Special Study Project II

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The following description is for the course offering in Winter 2023 and is subject to change. It is provided for information only. The course outline distributed to the class at the beginning of the semester describes the course content and delivery, and defines the methods and criteria to be used in establishing the final grades for the course.

This is a self-directed student project focusing on a topic of academic and/or practical interest to the student.  The student will identify and propose a detailed course outline to be reviewed and approved by the faculty supervisor prior to the commencement of the project.  The project could include a research assignment, a literature review, and/or a hands-on assignment with specific learning objectives and milestones for achieving these objectives.  

This is a self-directed student project focusing on a topic of academic and/or practical interest to the student. The student will identify a topic of interest and secure a project advisor (DTM faculty/instructor) to engage with throughout the course of the semester. The project could include a research assignment, a literature review, a report, a presentation, a hands-on project, or a combination of the above. Prior to beginning to project, the student will be required to present a detailed Learning Contract to their project advisor for approval. In The Learning Contract, the student must propose any additional learning objectives (beyond those listed here in the course outline) they wish to achieve during the project, as well as listing a schedule of due dates to ensure progress is taking place. The project advisor will maintain complete discretion over The Learning Contract approvals and ensuring the scope of work in the project meets the minimum requirements to qualify for a credit. If there is sufficient interest and availability, students may organize and lead a special study group consisting of two or more students studying a specific topic over the course of the semester. The group may meet on a regular basis as indicated in The Learning Contract. Students are to invite the selected project advisor, and/or several interested faculty members and instructors to attend these study sessions in order to ensure learning outcomes are being met. The project advisor may require students to conduct regular quizzes, tests or a final exam on the course study materials.

Pre-Requisites: 6.00 Credits
Equates: DHRT*3910

Restricted to Associate Diploma students in the Turfgrass Management program.



Teaching Assistant:

Credit Weight:


Course Level:

  • Diploma

Academic Department (or campus):

Department of Plant Agriculture



Semester Offering:

  • Winter

Class Schedule and Location:

As indicated in the Course Learning Contract.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Have an in-depth understanding of a specific turf management topic.
  2. Conduct a detailed investigation of a specialized topic related to turf management.
  3. Create a detailed report, project and/or presentation on a specialized turf management topic.
  4. Demonstrate critical skills in project management with a particular focus on personal discipline, organization, accountability and time management

Additional learning outcomes specific to the special study project are to be included in the Course Learning Contract.

Lecture Content:

As indicated in the Course Learning Contract.

Labs & Seminars:

As indicated in the Course Learning Contract.

Course Assignments and Tests:

Grading distribution schemes are to be proposed in The Learning Contract by the student. The project advisor may suggest/require changes and/or adjustments to the proposed weighting or grade distributions prior to their approval.

Final examination:

There is no final examination scheduled for this course.

Course Resources:

Required Texts:


Recommended Texts:
  1. OMAFRA Turf Publication 845; Integrated Pest Management for Turf http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/pub845/pub845.pdf 
    This free PDF download may help to inspire areas of interest for this course. Please review the many topics, theories, principles and best management practices listed for some inspiration on selecting a good topic for this course.
  2. Turfgrass Management 1.0; Al Turgeon and John Kaminsky https://turfpath.com/
    This general turfgrass science textbook is a good resource for all topics related to turfgrass management. It is available in both hardcopy and digital format.
  3. MacLaughlin Library's Turfgrass Resource Collection
    The U of G library has a number of books and materials related to turfgrass science and management. Students are encouraged to become familiar with this collection and use it as required for this course.
Lab Manual:

As indicated in the Course Learning Contract.

Other Resources:

As indicated in the Course Learning Contract.

Field Trips:

As indicated in the Course Learning Contract.

Additional Costs:

As indicated in the Course Learning Contract.

Course Policies:

Grading Policies:
A penalty of 10% per weekday will be deducted for any assignments submitted after the corresponding due dates listed in The Learning Contract. The same penalty may apply to students who fail to plan and/or attend the progress report meetings. Requests for extensions due to illness or other personal issues must be made in writing, in advance of the due date(s) and be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation.
Students failing to complete and submit The Learning Contract (approved and signed by their project advisor) by the deadline listed in Section 6.2 will be penalized 2% of their final mark for every weekday The Learning Contract is late. In the event that the student does not complete and submit The Learning Contract on time, the course instructor and/or project advisor may, at their discretion, require the student to withdraw from the course.
All students will be provided with 20% of their course grade by the 40th day of class. No assignments will be accepted after the last day of regular classes without justifiable cause and reasonable notice. Additional grading policies and marking rubrics may be proposed by the student or determined by the project advisor, and outlined in The Learning Contract.
Course Policy on Group Work:

Group work may be permitted as authorized by the course instructor or project advisor who is supervising the approved special study group. Group work policy specific to this situation is to be indicated in the Learning Contract. Any tests, quizzes or exams that are to be administered, must be taken individually by each student.

Course Policy regarding use of electronic devices and recording of lectures:

Electronic recording of meetings, classes, and other gatherings is expressly forbidden without consent of the instructor. When recordings are permitted, they are solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor. In the case of a study group, consent from other participating students is required before recording.

Other Course Information:



University Policies

Academic Consideration

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the academic calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration:

Academic Misconduct

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community, faculty, staff, and students  to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring.

University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection. Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the University Calenders:


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For more information, contact CSD at 519-824-4120 ext. 56208 or email sas@uoguelph.ca or visit the Student Accessibility Services website: http://www.uoguelph.ca/csd/.

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