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EDU  349  Communication  Guidelines     Communication  with  the  Professor:   This course is a high-demand course, and the online venue has significant accountabilities. I want to help whenever possible, to ease your concerns and to give you assistance. Please follow these guidelines:  Please ask questions! You will not be alone in having the question; for the most part, the unasked question is a major source of anxiety. There will be regular opportunities to connect on questions during online office hours, as well as via ongoing e-mail between us. Please take advantage of these times, as well as using the ”tons” of guidance that will be provided via Announcements in our GoogleSites Module Guides, the course Wiki, feedback on your work, etc.  E-mail is the way to get answers to many of your questions, to set up virtual or face-to-face appointments, etc. Remember that it is your job to have reviewed all of the guidance provided by me relevant to your question, before you e-mail me. So…please do your own “homework” before asking questions/raising concerns. For example: (a) Use Announcements, Module Guides, Syllabus, other online resources, and/or course materials as reference points; (b) identify alternatives for challenges that you are having with course materials/assignments/content, and be prepared to offer them; and (c) connect with your colleagues.  Please adhere to correct “Netiquette” when you communicate via e-mail, including using all of the following in all e-mails (which is all consistent with the materials that included in Module 1 of the course): 1. Please use an appropriate salutation in your e-mails (e.g., Dear Dr. Gradel, or Hello, Gradel, or Hi, drkg, kg…). 2. Ensure that you sign your e-mail with your first and last names. 3. Use an explicit subject line (e.g., EDU 349 questions on Module 4) in EVERY e-mail. If you do not use an explicit subject line, I am unlikely to quickly respond to your e-mail. It is important that your subject line always include the course number in it, to differentiate your e-mail from the many e-mails that I receive daily from the multiple online courses that I am teaching. 4. Check your e-mail for mechanics (spelling, punctuation, clarity) before sending it. 5. Be sure to say “thanks” in one way or another. 6. Please don’t ask drkg or a colleague to “reply ASAP” or anything like this…it implies that YOU need to remind the person to reply! Drkg replies to ALL emails! 7. Please respond to me when I send an email that answers your questions. This acknowledges your receipt of correspondence, verifies that your question has been answered, and is otherwise just a courteous way of doing business in asynchronous communication. 8. If you start an e-mail exchange, then get an answer, please “close the loop” by ending the discussion. If someone else starts a communication, it is his/her job to “close the loop” and end it. This “closing the loop” piece is essential for effective asynchronous communication…don’t leave people hanging.  Please re-check your e-mails for tone. I will model and also give individual feedback on this as we proceed through the course. After these initial “helps,” I will not reply to e-mails that have “attitude,” “tone,” “sarcasm,” etc. If you want to use humor, ensure that you label it as such (using emoticons or other “text” explanations), while you avoid sarcastic humor. Tutorials on e-mail etiquette are posted on the course’s Wiki; support materials are also available under the RESOURCES tab of our ANGEL site.  Please make maximum use of my office hours. If these hours conflict with your schedule, please email me with possible times/dates, and confirm an alternate time in advance. If you want to guarantee a meeting time/date, plan in advance, making an appointment during office hours, or at a mutually agreed-upon time outside of office hours. Note that this applies to face-to-face, phone, e-mail, and other online meetings.

Dr. Kathleen Gradel (Fall ’11 v., Adapted from prior drkg Syllabi)


 I will return e-mails within 24 hours of their receipt during the Monday-Friday work week. Daily, Mondays through Fridays during the scheduled course dates, I will be checking in at least once in the morning and once in the early evening. I am not routinely available 24/7 or during weekends. During the first few weeks of the course, however, I WILL check in daily over the weekends to “fight fires,” but I will fade this assistance out as we get through the initial learning curve. I will also routinely check in on Sunday evenings, to be of assistance. Otherwise, I will alert you to times when I will be offline for a whole day during the time that the course is running; this will happen infrequently. I will keep you apprised of my availability through Announcements and course Module Guides.  In general, I usually reply well in advance of my 24-hour “rule,” especially when I can see from your e-mail’s subject line what your question is, along with the course number.

Participation/Work  Submissions:   

 

It is your job to predict when you will have difficulty meeting deadlines. When you anticipate a challenge, please contact me to arrange an extension. In this course, we call these “deals.” To make a “deal,” you need to e-mail me (using a correct subject line that includes your course number AND a reference to the Module or Assignment, with the word “deal”), and tell me (a) what work you need an extended deadline on; and (b) by what date you will submit the work. I will then confirm your deal via email. After that, it is your job to finish the work, submitting it based on the original submission requirements. THEN – by your new deadline – you need to email me with a notice that your work is complete, citing exactly what you have done and following the original directions for submitting your work. You need not explain the circumstance that prevented you from meeting the original deadline, but you MUST ask for permission to submit late BEFORE the original due date (even if it is a few minutes before). For work that you wish to submit late but have NOT submitted a “deal” for in advance of the due date, ONLY University-authorized excuses will be accepted for accommodation on submissions; this will require a written Student Affairs memo. Only if there is a Universityauthorized absence will I be able to accept course assignments after the scheduled date/time. In this case, you MUST contact me within 24 hours after the due date/time for the assignment by email; if not, you will forfeit the assignment rating in total (and earn a zero, as well as lose a letter grade in the overall course grade). NOTE: If the assignment involves peer teams, there is no alternative to make up work. Late assignment submissions will earn a zero based on the above guidance, unless (a) a previously-excused late submission has been arranged with me (i.e., through a “deal”); or (b) an authorized University excuse is provided within 24 hours after the exacerbating (and Universityapproved) situation has occurred. Bottom line…please work with me, using opportunities to flex your work time as needed, NOTING THAT YOU MUST GET PERMISSION IN ADVANCE, IF YOU CANNOT MEET A DEADLINE. Making a deal is a simple matter in this course 

Coordination  with  Colleagues:   Many of the items summarized above are relevant to coordination with your colleagues. Online coordination requires planning, good communication, and individual responsibility. This course is not a one-way street between students and teacher. Collaboration is one of the highly valued skills required by st any 21 century citizen, and most especially among educators. We in education also know that cooperative learning – when done well – helps learners practice and make meaning of what they are learning. For that reason, we will be engaging in MUCH online communication, as well as joint activities. Please take these collaborative exercises seriously…they are not “busy work.” We will be frequently publicly reflecting on each other’s thinking; this will take care and practice, to get good at…but we will scaffold this work, as we grow our collective skills. Also note that – in some instances – you will be engaging in mutual assessment; these opportunities will give you practice in being constructive and collaborative, which are necessary elements of your future teaching repertoire.

Announcements:   ALL class notices will be made via the course’s GoogleSites website; only rarely will announcements be made via e-mail. You are responsible for checking this site at least twice each week. Please check

Dr. Kathleen Gradel (Fall ’11 v., Adapted from prior drkg Syllabi)


the Announcements area each time that you logon, and definitely before you seek individual assistance from drkg.

Getting  Help:   There are multiple ways to get help in the course, in addition to getting assistance from me. Note that I will often guide you to these resources, to help you build your online independence and proficiency. • If you cannot access a file, link, or another materials format, please contact me, after you have double-checked that you are using the application or browser that is required. As indicated in this Module 1 Guide, the Start-up Checklist, and Syllabus, the right browser can directly impact access to some of our tools. • The course website, Wiki, Module Guides, and other course venues all help convey information, and sometimes the information is redundant (this is a good thing!). • On the RESOURCES page in our ANGEL course site, you will find links to services, links to all kinds of tools, reminders about when ANGEL will be down for maintenance, and guides on Netiquette, research, and more. These are supplementary to the many resources that I will send your way via our Module Guides and Wiki. • Please build your comfort and skill in using built-in HELP within applications, websites, etc. This should be your “first line of defense” in most cases. Learning to use HELP within your tools is a lifelong skill that you will want to build. • Ask your colleagues in the course. If you are teamed for an activity, consult with your partner(s). • Click to the Information Technology Services pages on the FSU web site, where you can access help on using the FredTicket function and more @ • Often, for technical or semi-technical issues, using a smart online search using your web browser will result in online help from users, sites that post tutorials, and other sources. I have modeled that practice by giving you links to such sources, in the Module information on our Wiki and GoogleDocs. • At various points in the course, drkg will ask you to indicate how the course is going, whether the supports available are helping, etc. I do this, so that I can make needed adjustments. Please help make this course “all that it can be,” by giving constructive feedback at these times.

Thank you – in advance – for collaborating to help make this course all it can be!

Dr. Kathleen Gradel (Fall ’11 v., Adapted from prior drkg Syllabi)


EDU349 Communication Guidelines  

Course communication guide.

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