2019 Learning Agreement

Dear students,

Wharton’s reputation rests on its mission of learning and academic excellence, and we are constantly striving to improve the classroom experience. A group of students, faculty, and administrators have jointly shaped a new Learning Agreement, a set of ideal standards for both students and faculty to create and enjoy an engaging classroom environment.

WGA students wrote the initial draft, and we have been circulating this with faculty, students, and administrators since then to create a collaborative, well-rounded set of standards. The last time Wharton crafted a Learning Agreement was 15 years ago, and it was time to calibrate it to the current classroom environment, and to emphasize that we need to hold each other accountable to these standards to benefit from Wharton’s education.

Several of you might recall the term concert rules. I think the concert rules are still visible in the Learning Agreement, but the term will phase out eventually. This new Learning Agreement is an improvement, as it speaks more specifically to aspects such as preparation and interaction, an inclusive learning environment for all students, and the focus on impactful real-world knowledge.

Thanks to all of you for your commitment to the classroom, to the WGA for supporting this initiative from day one, and to the many stakeholders wanting to help each other in the learning process. Without all of you, we could not create such a world-class MBA program.

Wishing you a great Fall semester, Stephan Dieckmann


Learning Agreement 2019


Student Standards


Classroom Conduct

·       Arrive on time, ready to begin, and minimize disruptions throughout the session.

·       Display your Wharton name tent to allow for a personalized classroom experience.

·       Turn off and put away your phone. If you must keep a phone on by reason of a personal emergency, you must inform the instructor before class begins.

·       Do not use your laptop or tablet unless for educational purposes as permitted by the instructor (e.g., notetaking, reading, or data analysis).

·       Respect the physical environment by maintaining classroom cleanliness.


Preparation and Interaction

·       Be prepared to engage fully in each session through your focused attention and active involvement; this is crucial to achieve positive learning outcomes for you and other students.

·       Encourage an inclusive learning environment and show respect for the point of view of others.



·       Contribute your fair share; free-riding can be a substantial distractor to your own learning and the learning of others.

·       Hold teammates and yourself accountable to team goals and assignments.

·       Be supportive and encouraging with your teammates.

·       Appreciate the diversity of knowledge, skills, and abilities within the team.

·       Be honest and transparent in your evaluation of teammates.



·       Promote the growth of ethically responsible business leaders and adhere to the highest standards of honesty and academic integrity.


Instructor Standards


Classroom Conduct

·       Arrive on time, ready to begin, and end class on time.

·       Create a classroom experience that motivates learning through intriguing content directed towards useful applications and compelling discussions of relevant business issues and decisions.

·       Engage students in activities that promote the analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of class content, cognizant of the balance of student-centered activities and presentation-style instruction.

·       Lead the class to foster a respectful and inclusive learning environment.



·       State the learning objectives for the course.

·       Explain how students are graded, provide due dates and times for assessments and deliverables, and articulate guidelines for collaborative work.

·       Identify required and recommended course materials.

·       List opportunities for office hours and availability outside of the classroom.

·       Make an updated syllabus available prior to the beginning of the course.


Student Support

·       Provide students with feedback on assessments, class participation, and deliverables to facilitate their growth and learning, including the distribution of results.

·       Communicate how students can improve if learning objectives are not met.

·       Commit to deadlines for grading, feedback, and submitting final grades.

·       Make course materials available in a timely manner to foster course preparation.

·       Respond to student requests and inquiries in a timely and respectful manner, and be available through posted office hours as well as by appointment.

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