Presented at the Computers
and Writing Conference, May 17, 2001,
in the Workshop "How to Set Up and Administer an Educational MOO Using Minimal
Amounts of Mustard" in Whitinger Business Building 213, Ball State University.
This is a heuristic meant to help you outline a list of
responsibilities and policies for teachers who use your MOO.
For each item, you need to add specific information about
your MOO and the requirements that you've set. For each item,
the numbered line is the line that you would revise for your
site. The information underneath is meant to help you think
about how to complete the details for the guideline.
As a teacher at xxxMOO, you need to agree to do the
Originally Posted on the NCTE Web on May 26, 2001.
- Become familiar with the specific tools that you will be
asking your students to use.
Point specifically to the software and hardware that students
and teachers will be working with. For instance, if teachers
at your school are asking students to use the web interface
in enCore, then the teachers need to know how to use that web
- Teach your students the netiquette of this MOO.
Be sure to point to the specific statement of guidelines and
policies for your MOO so that teachers know where the
- Explain to your students that in order to have a character
on this MOO their request needs to...
Complete the sentence with whatever the requirements are for
your site do they need to indicate the name of their
teacher? Must they include a school email address (e.g.,
@bsu.edu is ok, but @aol.com isn't)?
- Define the kinds of questions that you will answer for
your students, and help them understand when they should ask
an administrator/wizard for help.
Here, you need to say exactly when it's ok for a character to
page you. You might suggest options here that students can
turn to for other questions (e.g., checking online help,
looking at webbed documentation, etc.) when the situation
does not warrant immediate attention from an administrator.
- Let the administrators/wizards know if there are objects
that should not be deleted when old characters are reaped.
State what your reaping policy is (at the end of the term?
the end of the year? if inactive more than 3 months?), and
explain what a teacher should do if a student has made an
object that she wants to keep even though the student is no
- Reserve space for class meetings ahead of time by ... OR
Build space for your class meetings by ...
Explain what teachers need to do in order to use a particular
meeting space on your MOO. Do they need to ask you in
advance to use a classroom? Should they build their own? Are
there any building policies that they need to abide by if
they do construct their own space?
- Be prepared to act swiftly in case one of your students
breaks a MOO policy, and understand the reporting protocol
that you should follow if one of your students reports a
problem to you.
Refer teachers to your policies. If something goes wrong
will you email them? What will you expect them to do in
return if their student is involved? How quickly will you
expect them to act? How does the Honor Code come into play?
- Clear your MOO work with your department and school.
Point teachers to your purpose statement and provide whatever
information you can in circumstances where they encounter an
anti-gaming policy that is being used to limit their online
work. (If all the teachers you're working with are at the
same school you are, you may have already cleared all the
institutional boundaries for them).
- Set deadlines that rely on what your students can do, not
what administrators/wizards do.
Teachers should set deadlines that require action only on the
part of the student not deadlines or assignments that
require someone else to do something. For instance, a good
deadline and assignment might ask that students apply for a
character by a certain date. Everything needing done is in
the students' power. A problematic assignment might require
an administrator to intercede for the student to meet the
goal. For instance, the assignment to "have your permanent
character by a certain date" might cause problems because it
requires an administrator to create the character for the
student before the assignment is fulfilled. Actually
fulfilling the assignment is outside the student's control.
- Be prepared to deal with situations where technical
Suggest how teacher might handle such problems as a server
outage. For instance, urge them to have email addresses on
hand so that they can let students know when a server is down
and how the situation will affect their class schedule. You
might also suggest that they post information on their class
web site, make announcements in class when possible, and so