Metropolitan Community College - Kansas City
Strategies for Use of Electronic Discourse
- Clearly define for students each of the electronic contexts of your course. How do they differ in terms of your expectations?
- e-mail messages
- class discussion
- chat rooms
- teacher-student conferencing
- e-mailed assignments
- Tell students what you will and will not tolerate in each of
those contexts. If you don't explain the differences, your practices
appear inconsistent or contradictory.
- Example: you send back e-mailed assignments or messages where meaning is obscured by form problems.
- Example: you elect not to comment on punctuation, grammar, or spelling problems displayed in an online class discussion.
- Explain to students the importance of written communication
in terms of their credibility as communicators and thinkers. Technology
has inadvertently thrown an unprecedented focus on written
communication. The ability to write is a skill critical to most work
and essential to all academic endeavors. Help students
appreciate the public nature of academic discourse and develop good
habits as writers
that will serve them a lifetime.
- Tell students exactly what you value in electronic
discourse: brevity, clarity, accuracy, necessity, etc. Model these
values in your
messages to them.
- Communicate overtly how their choices will affect their grade(s).
- Distribute online and in class, if possible, your own set of guidelines for electronic discourse in your course.