Forum Etiquette/Safety/Privacy Guidelines for Students
General Discussion: Forum Etiquette and Safety/Privacy Guidelines for Students
Instructors will generally provide a set of guidelines in their course for how they expect students to participate in the discussion forums within their course(s). Provided below is a sample set of guidelines to give you an idea of what may be expected - but again, it is at the discretion of the instructor(s) of your course(s).
1. Manage your time. Posting and responding to posts takes time. Sometimes it takes a few minutes, sometimes it can take hours depending on what is being asked of you or what you feel you need to post.
2. Timely Responses.
Instructors can set time limits on opportunities to respond to posts so you need to check your assignment due dates and plan accordingly. Also, if you post a response and are asking for/expecting replies, check your posts frequently and reply in a timely fashion. Online this usually means within 24 hours.
3. Descriptive Subject Headings. If
you are creating a new post, then make the subject of the post make sense. It will make it easier for you and others to find later and follow.
4. Keep It Brief and Together. If you're going to type a long response - group it into paragraphs and keep the paragraphs about 5-6 lines or less.
5. Spelling & Grammar. There is a spell checker in the HTML editor. Use it. Also, PROOFREAD what you type. As the software suggests, "Write carefully."
You only have 30 minutes to edit your post - and that's only if someone doesn't reply to it right away. (This also helps prevent mis-communications.)
6. Don't SHOUT unless you mean it. Using
ALL CAPS is the equivalent of shouting online. Don't use them unless you really mean them or want to emphasize your point.
7. No flaming! Simply put, no personal attacks. Debates and discussions are good - they promote learning and creative thinking. Disagree with the ideas but not the person. Personal insults and attacks on character are poor form,
derogatory, and may lead to disciplinary/legal action against you. So just don't do it.
8. We're all human. So,
give yourself, peers, and instructor the benefit of the doubt first. Sometimes we make mistakes or word things in ways that may offend others. So, if this happens, consider first that the person may not have meant it that way. If it still bothers you, try emailing or messaging the person individually for clarification and explaining why
what they wrote offended you first before blasting them publicly on the forums. If you think it's serious, inform your instructor for further action.
9. No trolls! You're a troll if you consciously post something to purposely incite argument and cause rife amongst your class members and then you sit back and watch the battle. The difference between trolling and debating is that trolling has the intent of causing no productive outcome other than anger and hate and debating is taking on heated discussions and loaded topics with the aim of learning a new perspective or coming to some form of resolution, agreement, or understanding. Trolls aren't looking for enlightenment, just reactions. Trolls don't create that "safe space" for difference in opinions.
10. Respect and Common Courtesy. Be
open to others' ideas and opinions. Tolerance and respect are key to good discussions. Try to avoid sarcasm because some may just not get it and may flame you for it. "Assume the best of others in the class and expect the best from them." (Dr. Susan Shaw)
11. Use "I" Statements. Begin your responses with an "I" statement. Express how you feel or think in your posts. Example using an "I" statement: "I feel confused when I read this paragraph. It would help me understand it better if it was separated into two paragraphs." Instead of: "This is confusing."
12. Personal Commitment. You're here to meet a goal you've set. Generally, that goal is to learn, meet the class requirements, and progress forward. So, make a commitment to learning about, understanding, and supporting your peers. You're all in this course together and discussion is collaborative learning. Who knows what you might find out or who you may network with through the class discussions for that future job or community connection?
Safety & Legal
13. No offensive or threatening posts. "Acknowledge
the impact of sexism, racism, ethnocentrism, classism, heterosexism, ageism, and ableism on the lives of class members." (Dr. Susan Shaw)
14. No spamming. Spamming in discussion forums is like spamming in emails. No self-promotion or commercial promotion in the forums.
15. Be Aware of What You Share. You are in online course, but you're still online. CCSF has safety and security measures in place to protect your student information. However, what you choose to share on the forums is your choice. Use
good judgment and discretion. In other words, kind of like with your banking information - don't publicly post passwords, your login information, your phone number or address in a discussion board. If you're trying to connect with a group or another class member on a project, email them privately instead of in the forum.
A Note on Censorship
16. Posts may be censored
for profanity, threatening, and/or inappropriate content by the course instructor or system administrator. Any content entered into or uploaded to the Insight system is available for viewing and monitoring by your instructor and the system administrator and is subject to the CCSF Student Code of Conduct.
Instructors may also delete posts that are deemed inappropriate or violate the CCSF College Catalog - Rules of Student Conduct or CCSF Computer Usage Policy at any time.
Violation of Local, State and/or Federal Laws will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The above guidelines were compiled with assistance from the following resources: