Online Community Guidelines*

*Adapted from Arts Online Community Guidelines

Online teaching and learning environments require ethical conduct guided by an overarching notion of civility, fairness, and sensitivity to others.  Please read and follow the guidelines set out below before posting to discussion forums.  We welcome your contributions.

General Principles of Online Conversation

We encourage you to discuss ideas, to share your knowledge and expertise, and contribute your own perspective.  However, please remember to be succinct and relevant, and to support your opinions with facts and evidence.  Always include a subject header that reflects your message's content.

The Online Environment as a Public Forum

Once your comment is online, it will remain online and will be read by many others. So it is important to make sure that your comments are not likely to cause offence. Before posting, consider how your comments may be perceived by others. Remember that you are individually and legally responsible for the content of your postings.

Courtesy, Inclusivity and Respect Online

We encourage you to be open and frank, but also polite and courteous.  Do not make comments that are false, misleading, derogatory, inflammatory, defamatory, abusive, harassing, insulting, obscene, offensive, threatening or discriminatory.  Do not engage in emotional flame wars.

Accept and welcome the differences among your fellow students.  Their experiences may have something to teach you. Avoid, or explain, slang terms or phrases that people from other cultures or language backgrounds may not understand.  Before you post, consider the potential for causing offence or harm.  Remember to take into account differences based on things such as language, culture, social status, ethnicity, race, religion or faith, colour of skin, age, sexual orientation, gender, and disability.

If you observe offensive postings, please contact the unit coordinator privately, rather than attempting to deal with them yourself.

Respecting Privacy

To some degree an online teaching environment is a public forum. Therefore do not post another person's personal details or contact information without first asking their permission. Similarly, do not forward another person's email or discussion-board posting to anyone outside the unit without asking for consent. Be very selective about what you post about yourself. Before you post, consider the potential for causing harm or embarrassment.

Observing Copyright

Posting copyright material (images, texts, or any other content) without permission is unlawful. Postings by other students and staff are also protected by copyright.  Acknowledge all sources.

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