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Learner II

Online classroom norms/rules/guidelines

This year I'd like to post some specific "online classroom norms" similar to those I tended to post on the wall when I had a physical classroom. I have some ideas for things I want to make a specific point about, but I'd love to see what other k-12 teachers are doing in terms of rules or norms for their Canvas classrooms. (I teach 7th-12th grade math in a public online school that's part of a traditional school district. My students are all local to me and can come in for office hours, but complete their graded work online through Canvas except for proctored assessments.)

Here's a "working draft" (by which I mean "stuff I just made up and will revise later this month") of my norms/rules/guidelines for this year:

  • Check your course and messages several times a week. Don't plan on completing the entire week's work in one sitting.
  • If you took this class in a regular HSD high school on a block schedule, you would be "in class" either 90*3 = 270 minutes a week (on M W F weeks) or 90*2 = 180 minutes a week (on T Th weeks), and would also be expected to do homework beyond that protected class time. We cover the same amount of content as a regular high school, so until you know whether learning online tends to be "faster" or "slower" for you than a regular classroom, plan on spending at least 225 minutes a week on your class (average of 270 minutes and 180 minutes), with the idea that you may need more "homework time" beyond that.
  • Work submitted should be your own work and reflect your own understanding. It's ok to use your notes and look up things like formulas (which should then go into your notes if they aren't already there), but you need to be practicing your mathematical problem-solving skills rather than your searching skills. 
  • Use calculators/technology when it's ok to use an escalator, and not when the point is to get exercise by using the stairs. (This will link to another, longer document on when to use a calculator, based around the metaphor of using the escalator when at the mall to get to the third floor, because the point is to get to the food court, but not instead of using the stair climber at the gym, because the point is to get exercise by climbing stairs.)
  • The point of the Exercises is to give you feedback on whether or not you understand the material from the Lessons. Treating the multiple-choice questions like a logic puzzle instead may lead to you not getting the practice and feedback you need for the PotW and Assessments. Proceed down that path at your own risk.
  • If you don't know how to do something, try to figure it out! Review the Lessons and your notes, trying some problem-solving strategies, message Ms. Thompson, sign up for an appointment using Canvas Scheduler, and/or get help from a classmate. Do not turn in an assignment that contains nothing but "I don't know". (It is ok to turn in an assignment saying "here's where I got stuck"and "these are three things I tried when I got stuck" if you get stuck and can't finish after an appropriate amount of time.)
  • Your PotW should contain an explanation of your process and and a justification of your answer using words, equations, graphs, diagrams, and other mathematical communication strategies as appropriate. Leave yourself enough time to do a quality job on this problem every week.
  • Communications in this course should use school-appropriate language and follow grammar and spelling conventions. 

Does anyone else have some norms/rules/guidelines they'd like to share? I can tell mine need a lot of tweaking before I let them loose on students.

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