Student Expectations for Online Engagement

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The guidelines for Student Expectations for Online Engagement (available September 25) outline expectations for College students to ensure a safe online learning and working environment during synchronous (live online) meetings and in email communications.

These guidelines are grounded in the College’s Student Right and Responsibilities policy, which explains that students have the right to learn and work in an environment that ensures their safety, security, respect, and dignity. Students have the responsibility to respect other students and employees as well as contribute to a positive environment while participating in any learning experience associated with the college.

This tip describes where to find the Student Expectations for Online Engagement, and provides an overview of and ideas for sharing the document with students in remote and blended courses.

Locating the Guidelines

Follow the link to the Student Affairs Policies, Procedures and Guidelines web page, then click on Student Expectations for Online Engagement to view and download a copy of the document. Because these guidelines may be updated, faculty may wish to provide students with the web page link.

Guidelines Overview

Student Expectations for Online Engagement guidelines describe appropriate student conduct related to

  • Recording and sharing
  • Identifying yourself
  • Arriving on time
  • Use of technology
  • Appropriate clothing and background
  • Adhering to classroom rules
  • Respectful communications, including using the chat function
  • Harassment and cyberbullying

The guidelines also shares expectations related to email etiquette, including

  • Use of the College email account
  • Professional formatting, including spelling and grammar
  • Formal requests and using email
  • Avoiding multiple emails and spamming others
  • Inappropriate emails

Statements on compliance and non-compliance are also included.

Ways to Use the Guidelines

  • In synchronous meetings:
    • Review each one of the points in the document with the class
    • Compare Student Expectations for Online Engagement to the co-created class conduct guidelines, and make any additions
    • Give class time for discussion and questions
    • Refer to the policy in class to manage issues
  • In eConestoga:
    • Create a highly visible link to the Student Affairs web page
    • Use the Announcements to share the web to the guidelines
    • In a class email, highlight items related to email etiquette
    • In a forum thread, share the web link and provide opportunities for questions

Elan Paulson

Elan Paulson, PhD, has been an educator in Ontario's higher education system since 2004. Before joining Conestoga as a Teaching and Learning Consultant, Elan was on the executive team at eCampusOntario. She previously served as Program Director and as an instructor in professional education programs at Western University's Faculty of Education. With a Master's in Educational Technology, Elan specializes in technology-enabled and collaborative learning to support diverse learners. She has also conducted research on faculty participation in communities of practice for professional learning and self-care.

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