Ground rules for online communication

Ground Rules:
The major activity of this project is communication. Please use active listening skills, and follow the online cross-cultural netiquette recommended by Merryfield, below. We expect you to abide by these rules, which will reduce frustration, build trust, and allow the conversations to become valuable life experiences.  You Turkish counterparts may not speak English, so we ask that you exhibit patience and understanding when waiting for their responses.
Netiquette for Communicating Online across Cultures
By Merry Merryfield
It is important to remember that when people of diverse cultures participate in online discussions groups, a certain level of sensitivity on the part of all participants is necessary.  Be mindful when communicating asynchronously with people posting messages at any time of the day or night of what time it is in their country.  It might take a while for them to respond if you post at midnight their time.  Please abide by these rules of cross-cultural online netiquette:
  1. Each of us speaks only for himself/herself, not for our school, our country, our religion, etc.
  1. We take the time to work through misunderstandings and conflicts that naturally happen when people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds interact.
  1. We show respect for all and support each other as caring members of a global learning community.
  1. We protect people’s privacy by not repeating anything from the discussions.
  1. We compensate for the lack of visual and aural clues (we can’t see frowns or hear sounds of laughter) by finding ways to let others know when we are trying to be funny   or are upset (we could write “it upsets me to read”….).
  1. We are sensitive to the tacit messages of others.  Does someone sound hurt or frustrated?  Do we need to check and see if that terse message someone sent us meant they were in a hurry or really disturbed with us?  We ask for clarification when we are not sure what someone means. 


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