Creating a Safe Place to Talk

For this to work, it must be a safe place where everyone feels their voice will be respected, supported and heard. Setting up clear guidelines for how we write online is very important. We want to create a successful workspace that will last.
How to Post Successfully:
 Use each others names. Using a person’s name when you respond to his/her postings makes it friendlier.
 Read questions and conversational postings carefully so you don’t misunderstand what the person’s saying.
 Compliment when someone  contributes original ideas to the conversation.
 Ask questions. If you aren’t clear what is meant, just ask, in a kind way. If you have a question,  probably other members of the group are confused too.
 Be considerate. Remember we can’t see body language or hear your tone of voice, so you need to keep your language respectful.
 Avoid slang, jargon, and sarcasm. Use proper spelling (not text/im speak).
 Listen to all ideas presented. Remember there is no right or wrong in a discussion, as long as it is supported and respectful. Different points of view makes it more interesting.
 Stay open minded.
 Respond instead of reacting. Do not write a response if you’re angry or
upset. Instead, wait until you calm down and collect your thoughts.
 Really read all responses. Avoid skimming. Respect the time  others spent writing out their thoughts by reading carefully and thoughtfully.
 Reread your messages before posting to make sure your ideas are
clear, respectful, and supported.
 Critique the content, not the person.
 Do not present your personal opinions as fact. Back up your ideas with
information to strengthen your statements.
 Courteously answer all questions addressed directly to you.
 Make “I” statements when respectfully disagreeing. Sharing an opposing
opinion or idea is an important part of discussion, but it needs to be presented in a way that keeps the conversation going.
 Do not use all caps when writing. It is interpreted as yelling.
 Avoid emotional punctuation, like exclamation points, unless you are
complimenting an idea shared.

Adapted from The Do’s and Don’ts of Student Communication Online

Let’s give it a try. Post a comment. What will help everyone get comfortable writing online?  Is there anything else we should add?