Distance Learning Mode

Student Expectations for Distance Learning

These guidelines apply to all communications that will take place as part of your distance learning, including: email, shared Google documents, comments, chats, and discussion boards.

They will help us create a meaningful learning environment where everyone’s contributions are respected and valued. 


Be kind.

Be nice, friendly, and positive. Don’t use sarcasm or anger, even as a joke. This is especially important when we don’t have the benefit of tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language. Be forgiving. If a classmate makes a mistake don’t give them a hard time. Offer help.

Be respectful.

Write short subjects that alert the recipient to the purpose of your email.  Always use appropriate greetings: “Hello” or “Dear”. Disagree respectfully. You may disagree with someone’s idea or comment but do so respectfully. Acknowledge the valid points in your classmate’s argument. “I disagree because…” or “In my opinion…” Use common courtesy and good manners in your online interactions including the words please and thank you.

Don’t type in ALL CAPS. When online, that’s the equivalent of screaming. Do not delete the work of others (unless it is an agreed upon part of an editing process).

Be responsible and safe.

Stay on topic. Don’t post irrelevant links, comments, thoughts, or pictures. Remember this is a classroom setting. Follow directions. Be sure to follow the directions that are given for assignments — be creative, but within the parameters set forth on the page.

Do your own work. Anything you post must be your own ideas and work. If you are using someone else’s idea, cite your sources. For example, if you copy and paste a paragraph from a website directly into your own assignment without citing the source, that is not your own work.  For more on plagiarism, see this article. 

Read and proofread before you click ENTER. Once you press that button in a chat, you can’t bring it back. Look everything over and be sure it is accurate and meets these expectations. The Internet is a great source of information but information is only useful when it is accurate. Write things you know to be correct using facts from research from reliable, credible sources. 

Be inclusive.

Do not use inside jokes. Avoid private or inside jokes altogether when posting in the group academic setting.

Be mindful.

ALL of the above expectations apply to your social (non-academic) conversations online.


 Credit to Touro College for many of the ideas here.