Electronic collaboration is a new world sparkling with potential for effective learning experiences, but harboring a few social and legal pitfalls. To realize the potential while protecting learners and your organization, you need effective policies spelling out what is and is not appropriate behavior. You may choose to include these policies as part of the general course policies or as a separate policy. This example is just that—an example. Make sure your legal department and management team approve the policy before you release it.
Our policy on collaboration
This course contains activities that involve collaborating with fellow learners, your instructor, and others. Such activities are a valuable part of learning and we want you to get the most from them. To ensure effective collaboration, this policy spells out acceptable and not acceptable practices.
You are expected to follow this policy completely. If you violate this policy you may be removed from the course.
OWNERSHIP Submitted messages become the property of ZipZapCom.
PERMISSIONS Before you submit anyone else’s work, make sure you have their permission in writing. Clearly identify the owner and source of the material. Even when quoting someone outside the course. It is OK to quote something submitted by another learner, provided you credit the source.
PRIVACY Assume that all messages you post are available to the rest of the class and the general public. Do not write something you want to keep secret from anyone: your boss, your mother, and your children.
PROPRIETARY OR CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION Do not post or reveal proprietary, classified, secret, or otherwise restricted information.
RESPONSIBILITY The comments of learners represent their opinions, not necessarily those of their organizations or anyone else.
RACISM Make people of all backgrounds, ages, races, religions, national origins, genders, sexual orientations, and beliefs feel welcome. Refrain from statements of hatred, bigotry, and racism—even in jest. Make no defamatory statements or any that infringe the rights of others.
DISRUPTING LEARNERS AND LEARNING Avoid any behavior that makes learning harder for others: Sending provoking, distracting, misleading messages is forbidden. Messages designed to provoke angry or irrelevant responses are not allowed.
Send only messages that help others, further a conversation, or resolve an issue. Avoid messages that are:
- Irrelevant to the topic under discussion
- Are unclear or misleading
- Just repeat an earlier posting
- Vulgar or suggestive
- Rants, diatribes, and temper tantrums
Though not forbidden, such messages may be removed by the moderator.
SPOOFING AND FORGERY Never pretend to be someone else in your interactions with other learners. (Role-playing activities are an exception.) Never alter documents of others. Never post documents under someone else’s name.
PROFANITY Behave the way you would in a classroom or boardroom. Avoid obscene and profane language.
PORNOGRAPHY Send no pornographic materials.
DISAGREEMENTS You may disagree with someone’s idea. In fact, you are encouraged to question and challenge ideas. You are not, however, to attack persons: No libelous statements. No flames, verbal abuse, or harassing language.
REMEDIES If you experience what you consider inappropriate behavior on the part of another learner, or if a conflict with another learner prevents you from leaning, it is your responsibility to confront the other learner and attempt to resolve the problem. If you cannot resolve the problem on your own, contact the instructor.
DO NOT REVEAL SENSITIVE INFORMATION Do not reveal sensitive personal information to other learners. Notify the instructor immediately if anyone requests information such as this: „ Home address „ Phone number „ Government ID numbers Social Security Number (or equivalent) Driver’s license number „ Credit card numbers „ Account and password Do not request this kind of information from others.
VIRUS SCAN Scan any files you submit for viruses. You are responsible for any damage caused by files you upload.
FILE FORMATS For your submissions and attachments select file formats that display correctly in the course standard browser and environment. See technical requirements for details. Do not submit files that require nonstandard plug-ins or viewing programs.
SALES OR SELF-PROMOTION Do not use the course to promote your self, your organization, your company, or its products. It is OK to mention your own experiences and products that may be relevant to the course discussion. The mention should be objective and low-key. Sales pitches, chain letters, advertisements, or commercial activities are forbidden.