Advice / examples for a Code of Conduct in collaborative courses?

I am looking for any advice or examples of a good code of conduct for use in the classroom that addresses issues of appropriate behavior, micro-aggressions and related concepts.

As I try to increase the amount of interaction in my course (both between students and student-instructor), I believe this also requires some increased mindfulness for the possible complexity & issues that can arise when humans interact. These issues might affect our most vulnerable / least advantaged students most; and I may not always be either present or the right person to address the issue. I'd like to communicate to my students that I'm aware of this reality and also be able to point them to a concrete way to address this.

I feel these issues have been an active topic of discussion in the open source software community of late (e.g.; and in our national dialog; but I'm not familiar with what is no doubt a parallel discussion in the educator community. I'd love to see examples or hear and advice others might have.

Really good question @cboettig! I've been meaning to respond for a while but wanted to ask around on campus to see if anyone had good examples. I'll post a few links below. I'm working on putting one together for my course too. At a team based learning fellowship a few years back they suggested having teams write "contracts". So they make up their own rules. This is not the same thing, I think a baseline CoC is important, but might be nice to have them customize it too.

  • And another brief one:
  1. Listen respectfully and actively
  2. Criticize ideas, not individuals
  3. Commit to learning, not debating
  4. Avoid blame, speculation, inflammatory language
  5. Allow everyone a chance to speak
  6. Avoid assumptions about others, e.g. based on their (perceived) social group

I'm two weeks late to this party, but in our online learning community (not a classroom nor related to a university/college) we've adopted much of what appears in the Open Code of Conduct:

@mine Very nice, good point about engaging the students in creating the contract, seems like a great way as well to help make sure everyone is familiar with the policy.

@jessemaegan That looks excellent, thanks much! I like that the Open Code Of Conduct is explicit about things such as what constitutes harassment, and is also explicit about whom to contact with concerns. I'll probably need to consult my campus on the latter since listing myself as the contact probably isn't the best choice.

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