Posting Conventions

  • When posting documents, be sure to include a footer with your name, date, and other relevant identifying info: For example, "Spanish 1, 2008, Cherice Montgomery, BYU." You could also include your email address so other users could consult with you.
  • When uploading files, name the document this way: last name + first initial-file name. For instance, fritzena-learningcenter.doc
  • Titles for page names must be five words or less.
  • Please respect copyright.

Professional Communication

Your contributions to this site represent both you as a professional and your institution. They can also have consequences for the students and colleagues with whom you work. In order to maintain a safe, professional environment in which honest exchanges of ideas and information can flourish, we require that the discussion postings, documents, and materials you contribute to this site abide by the following five guidelines:
  • No communication that attacks, degrades, or embarrasses another person
  • No obscene comments, images, or multimedia material (including videos)
  • No profanity
  • Maintain confidentiality when discussing situations involving particular students, colleagues, or programs. This may mean that you need to use pseudonyms or omit other identifying details.
  • Respect copyright and privacy--do not post copyrighted images, photos, or materials, and be sure you have permission before posting student work or photos of students or colleagues.

Productive Conversations

  • Interpret generously. Remember that anything you observe is only a piece of the puzzle. It is unlikely that you have a full understanding of what has transpired up to this point. Think about times when you were not on top of your game. Generally, people know when they’re not behaving well and they feel badly about it. And sometimes there are some pretty good reasons – they might not justify the behavior, but it does help us understand.

  • Ask questions instead of making judgments. “What are some alternative ways to handle this type of situation?” “Given this situation, I wonder if . . .”, “What could I do?”

  • Wait before responding to an emotionally-charged situation. Ask someone else to read your post before you post it if you are concerned that you might have been too harsh. If you simply need to vent, vent in a private setting.

  • Avoid all or nothing statements – e.g. “She always . . .” “He never . . .” “In all cases . . .” (Most things are not as cut and dried as that.)

  • Focus on the larger principles involved rather than a specific situation. (Instead of tearing down a teacher for yelling at a student, focus on the larger issue, “What can teachers do to productively manage difficult students?”)

  • Before posting, imagine reading your post to the person you’re writing about. If you wouldn’t say or send it directly to that person, consider whether or not you should post it.

  • Give people the benefit of the doubt. Assume that people are doing the best they can.

  • Recognize the positive. Point out the silver lining.

  • Focus on what you are trying to learn, not how you wish the other person would change.

  • Think about how you can encourage and lift people. – Be a source of positive energy and convey that in your language.

Helpful phrases . . .

“This situation caused me to wonder . . .”
“I’d like to better understand . . .”
“It must be difficult . . .”
“I need help understanding . . .”
“I’m not sure that I would have been able to handle the situation any better . . .”
“I’m sure I don’t have the full picture . . .”

How to Give Criticism Without Bruising Egos

- Anny1 Anny1

Preserving Copyright

Copyright Information

Sources for "Copyright Safe" Materials:

  • Audio
    • Freesound - Creative Commons sounds--i.e., not songs
    • Jamendo - Free, copyright safe music
    • MusOpen - Free classical music, searchable by composer, genre, form, instrument, performer, and period

  • Images
    • Copyright Friendly Images
    • Creative Commons
    • EveryStockPhoto - A very nice metasearch engine that culls photos from multiple sites--be careful with the licenses though
    • Flickr - Search for Flickr photos with Creative Commons licenses
    • Image After - Limited number of photos available, but they are of high quality and there are lots of different options for searching and sorting them (including by color with a large color palette)
    • Public Domain Photos
    • Stock Xchng
    • Yotophoto - Searches Flickr, Stock Xchng, and a variety of other sites for images you can use for free or with minor conditions (like crediting the photographer)

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