This is from my syllabus from the 6th grade online class that I teach. I found that the syllabus is a very effective place to put the guidelines and then in the first week I have the students communicate with me in all the formats we will be using throughout the class to make sure everyone understands how to complete everything. I emphasize in the directions that students need to refer to the syllabus to make sure they are following the communication guidelines for the class. I go over scheduling since this is often a difficulty for the students since they often feel they don’t have a regular class to attend. I also have the students access all of the online resources that we will be using regularly and installing any programs that we will be using during the first week. This way most of the technical problems are solved by the end of the first week of class and the students have become a lot more comfortable with learning in an online format.
General Communication Guidelines
- When communicating please remember that anything may end up being forwarded to someone else and then forwarded again. Remember not to put anything in writing that you wouldn’t want everyone to know. Proofread before sending to make sure what you send can’t be taken in a negative way.
- Capital letters, fancy fonts, icons that blink and move, and lots of exclamation points make it hard to read. Keep it simple and grab everyone’s attention by what you have to say. Do try to use complete sentences and proper English. I don’t know texting abbreviations and this is not the place to use them.
- Smiley’s that aren’t animated, or emoticons 🙂 are a great way to add emphasis to what you are saying.
- Whatever you send through the internet, however you send it, can always be retrieved and is permanent. Don’t send anything that you wouldn’t want your mother, father, grandparents, or future boss to read!
- I will be reviewing all methods of communication twice on most days. If what you post or send is inappropriate I will be contacting you directly and you may lose all ability to post directly to anyone else in the class. If severe enough or frequent enough you will be withdrawn from the class.
- You may check and send emails from the home page.
- Email and groups may also be accessed from the communications tab.
- Email to me and other students in our class must take place through our official email.
- When emailing please put your course and subject in the email line. Hi is not a subject.
- When asking a question please give as much information as possible. That will save both of us a lot of time emailing back and forth.
- Keep your background blank. It takes a long time to load some backgrounds. If you want to add some individuality to your page add an interesting signature, you may include a small picture or fancy fonts there if you want.
- Stay on topic. Everyone’s time is worthwhile and no one wants to read through responses that have nothing to do with the topic.
- Respond in a timely manner.
- Stay on topic.
- If it is a live chat, be there on time. Everyone’s time is worthwhile.