traci's lists of ten

Traci's 39th List of Ten:
Ten Teacher Responsibility Guidelines

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 following:
  1. 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 interface.

  2. 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 information is.

  3. 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., is ok, but isn't)?

  4. 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.

  5. 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 longer online.

  6. 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?

  7. 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?

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. Be prepared to deal with situations where technical problems arise.
    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 forth.

Originally Posted on the NCTE Web on May 26, 2001.