Community guidelines are agreements that set the tone for expectations. The agreements support community by promoting a sense of belonging, encourage participation, and support participants’ success. Agreements can apply to different teaching modalities of online, blended, or in-person
Include guidelines as a list and/or statement in your syllabus.
- Consider covering your guidelines during the first day of class or first live session.
- You can ask participants if you think any additional agreements need to be added.
- Let participants know responses can be received at that moment for later via email.
- Reference the guidelines if you witness participants breaking them.
Recommended Guidelines for Participants
Let’s start with universal agreements that apply to online, blended, and in-person teaching modalities.
- Remember that you belong in the class and greater organization.
- Speak and write from an “I” perspective because we cannot speak for or assume others’ lived experiences.
- Actively listen when someone is speaking. This will help understand their viewpoint.
- Wait and allow other participants to also think and speak; acknowledge the space.
- Avoid critiquing individuals and provide feedback on ideas.
- Use peers’ pronouns and names with correct spelling and pronunciation.
- Misspeaking or struggling with a concept happens (we’re all human). Take a moment to listen, learn, and grow from the experience.
- If you find a comment offensive, feel free to speak with or email the instructor (also consider using the “oops/ouch” rule).
- If you accidentally make a comment with an offensive impact, acknowledge it.
Additional guidelines for online modalities:
- For written communication, always remember tone and never write in all caps.
- Avoid using the Zoom chat in a way that will distract instructors and peers. This means not using chat for off-topic and side conversations. The chat is best used for asking questions and sharing resources.
- Conduct yourself in the same manner as in-person.
Please note that these are only recommendations. You’re welcome to research, explore, and add any guidelines (agreements) that will best support your teaching.