• Guidelines for Online Discussions

    In posting messages to the online discussion activities (Discussion Board), please follow these guidelines or "netiquette":

    1. Post your initial message as early in the week as possible so people will have time to read and respond to your contribution. Post additional messages throughout the week that are either new contributions or replies to someone else.
    2. Keep your messages concise and clearly written. Most ideas can be stated in a couple of paragraphs, although sometimes a longer message may be needed to develop your thoughts adequately. Keep in mind that people are more apt to read and digest shorter messages than long ones.
    3. Be respectful of other's ideas, opinions, and beliefs. It's fine to disagree with someone, but please respect their right to think differently.
    4. Avoid posting simple two or three word statements such as "I agree" or "Good point". If you think someone has made an especially cogent point and you want to say so, then explain why by adding a few sentences and describing your response or adding to the original point.
    5. A message that demonstrates substance contributes to the understanding and application of ideas by doing one or more of the following:
      1. Reflection about meaning: Describe thoughtfully what something means or new insights it provides, or raise a question as a seed for clarification or further discussion.
      2. Analysis: Discuss relevant themes, concepts, main ideas, components, or relationships among ideas. Or, identify hidden assumptions or fallacies in reasoning.
      3. Elaboration: Build on ideas of others or ideas found in the readings by adding details, examples, a different viewpoint, or other relevant information.
      4. Application: Provide examples of how principles or concepts can be applied to actual situations, or discuss the implications of theory for practice.
      5. Synthesis: Integrate multiple views to provide a summary, a new perspective, or a creative refashioning of ideas.
      6. Evaluation: Assess the accuracy, reasonableness, or quality of ideas.
    6. Avoid using all caps. IT SEEMS LIKE SHOUTING!
    7. Maintain the privacy of participants, including privacy of comments made during electronic conversation that is to be shared only with those participating in the course.
    8. Abide by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) rules which find academic information is confidential and forbids disclosure of academic information without the participant's consent.
    9. Operate within the guidelines of Hamline University’s Technology Use Policy
    10. Notify the course instructor as far in advance as possible of any time exceeding 3 days in which participation will not be possible during an online course.

    Source: “Message Guidelines.” Copyright of Dr. Chris Olgren, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Distance Education Certificate Program, DEPD 101. (Used with permission.)