Law in Contemporary Society
I am interested in seeing if folks want to set up some guidelines for our online collaboration. I am going to add one or two here and then, if you think this will facilitate our collaboration, you should add your own. Hopefully this will increase comfort level with the medium and, as a result, increase engagement.

1. Don't make assumptions about a contributors personal story (class, country of origin, etc.)

2. Read something twice, assuming the best intentions of the author, before responding (reading your own comments twice before posting)

3. Criticism should be both constructive and respectful in order to facilitate collective learning (SC)

4. Any topic not specifically restricted can be edited by anyone (EM)

5. Minimize accusatory language (EM)

-- AdamCarlis - 25 Jan 2008

Please Take Note

  1. On the specifics of draft marking and so on, I should point out for those who aren't experienced with wikis that one property of wiki systems is that they save every version of every document. If you haven't yet experimented with the diffs button, you might want to do so. You can and should draft in the wiki. People can then see how your thinking (and their thinking, and everyone's thinking) evolves. The usual practice is to "refactor"--or consolidate--pages periodically, by replacing the long threads of discussion with a responsible summary of the points made; the person refactoring is accountable to the group for the clarity with which she or he renders the points made, briefly, transmitting the essence of each point of view. That's another part of the active listening test. I will soon begin assigning people to refactor the discussions that are building up on certain topics. Once refactoring begins, the diffs of the page become even more important, because they show what was summarized and allow judgment of the quality of the editing.
  2. On the question of freedom to mark up, I'm going to use the technology at our disposal to enforce the following standards:
    • Any topic not specifically restricted can be edited by anyone. Remember that all previous versions can be restored by anyone else, which simply makes a new version in turn. The latest version and all the diffs constitute a complete history of the topic's evolution, and no one version is "final" or "right" as against all other versions. Freedom to revise is not dependent on format: Just because a topic doesn't have a Comment box doesn't mean you can't edit it. The edit button means what it says around here, which is also the local definition of freedom of speech.
    • All topics consisting of essays submitted as part of the evaluation process will be restricted. Only I and the student submitting the paper will initially be allowed to mark it up. Students submitting papers can however opt at any point in their evolution to put a comment box on their paper's topic page, after which discussion can then be generated there in the usual way and editability will be restored. I would ordinarily expect people to work their papers through the evaluation process with me, placing the comment box on each essay when it is in the finished form in which it was or will be graded.
    • Other topics can be technologically restricted when created, at the request of the topic's initial author.

-- EbenMoglen - 26 Jan 2008

I should shorten things I wrote just to hear myself talk. But I won't, because being refactored will be as much of an active listening lesson for the writer, as refactoring will be for the refactorer.

-- -- AndrewGradman - 26 Jan 2008 - 01 Feb 2008

Daniel: While the norms listed are certainly part of "common sense," they have already been broken a number of times. I think part of the power of norms, even if they are just common sense, is that they pinpoint the kind of conversation members of the group believe is necessary to learning, listening, and talking. The more we can pinpoint what aspects of "common sense" are most important to productive conversation (and follow those guidelines) the more comfortable folks will feel participating.

-- AdamCarlis - 28 Jan 2008



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r16 - 07 Jan 2010 - 22:40:27 - IanSullivan
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