Student Rights and Responsibilities in the Digital Environment
NIC is committed to fostering a culture of integrity, mutual respect, and responsible behaviours to provide a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment for all. Each student has a set of responsibilities – from being ready for learning to conducting themselves in a professional meanner. Everyone has the right to enjoy a welcoming and respectful learning environment — online or offline.
When learning takes place predominantly online, students have additional responsibilities to be respectful, professional and academically honest and acting with integrity. Students also have responsibility to conduct themselves in professional ways through their blended and digital courses. This page outlines some of those responsibilities through information and links. Generally, student responsibilities in a blended or digital learning course parallel those encountered in the traditional classroom with some variations given the nature of the course environment.
Here are some important reminders to ensure your learning experience and the learning experience of others is positive. Handout with some key items from this page: PDF Handout
Attend to (open and read) all emails from NIC
- To help you prepare for successful learning at NIC, open emails and respond to any actions or questions. This means frequently checking your northislandcollege.ca emails.
- Learning in new ways is not easy and will take some time to adjust. By checking your emails from instructors and NIC you will be staying on top of suggestions and ideas supporting your success.
Read ALL Course Documents
- It is important that you read all course documents (e.g., course ouline) to become familiar with course expectations.
- It is also important you read all NIC materials pertaining to the supports, services, activities and responses expected of you as a student.
- This will allow you the ability to properly plan for all course and NIC-related activities.
Show up, attend and participate in all classes
Students must attend the scheduled and required components of a course just as you would a traditional course. Class participation is essential to course success.
- In a DLU (Digital Learning Unscheduled) course your attendance is considered to be defined as logging into Blackboard Learn course learning platform regularly and participating in all academic activities required by the instructor. Since this type of course is predominantly done in an asynchronous format, this might mean doing readings, replying to discussion posts, submitting documents, gathering together with team members, undertaking assignments, watching videos etc. Your instructor will provide more details.
- In a DLS (Digital Learning Scheduled) course your attendance is considered to be defined by showing up for all scheduled BlueJeans or video conferencing classes and participating in all academic activities, breakout rooms, chat and live discussion as required by the instructor. Since this type of course is predominantly done in a synchronous format, this means ensuring you have your computer (laptop or desktop) set up and readied for learning before the class, locating self in a quiet environment, ensuring good bandwidth connectivity and being able to blur the background or show your video – if requested. In addition, attendance is also defined as logging into Blackboard Learn course learning platform regularly and participating in all academic activities required by the instructor. This might mean doing readings, replying to discussion posts, submitting documents, gathering together with team members, undertaking assignments, watching videos etc. Your instructor will provide more details.
- In a B (Blended) course student attendance is considered to be defined by both showing up for in-class/on-campus classes, as well as logging into Blackboard Learn course learning platform regularly and participating in all academic activities required by the instructor. Your instructor will provide more details.
Organize and Manage Time
- Courses that have a significant digital component may not provide you with as many reminders of course expectations regarding time as do traditional face-to-face courses. Therefore, the you need to be well organized and must pay careful attention to the course’s schedule and deadlines.
practice Academic Honesty
- As with traditional classes, academic honesty is a cornerstone of student online coursework.
- North Island College’s standards of academic honesty and conduct pertain to all blended, digital and distance education courses.
- NIC’s Community Code of Academic, Personal and Professional Conduct applies in all learning experience formats.
Acquire Needed Materials
- You must obtain all necessary course materials, including required textbooks, lab materials, and course software. See Technology Readiness Checklists.
- In addition, you may need to access various library resources.
Evaluate Computer Setup
- You are responsible for ensuring that you have access to required hardware, software, and reliable and robust Internet connectivity. A smartphone is not useful as your primary learning device – ensure you have a desktop computer or laptop. See Technology Readiness Checklists
- If you plan to use public Internet access make sure you access free Wi-Fi or be aware of charges incurred by your service provider.
- Since all digital and blended courses utilize student emails, you need to set up your northislandcollege.ca account on all devices to ensure you have frequent access.
Maintain Security and Privacy of Student Information
- You have the responsibility of maintaining the security of your usernames, passwords, and personally identifiable information especially be careful about sharing this information for websites, web tools and publisher sites that store information on servers outside of Canada.
- This also means you have the responsibility to maintain the privacy of your peers and instructors by asking permission before you record sessions or publicly share information.
- All NIC students (and instructors) must abide by NIC’s Acceptable Use of Information Technology Policy.
Stay in Contact
- Your interaction with peers and your instructor is just as important in digital or blended course as it is in the traditional classroom.
- You should take advantage of all the communication options that are available in the course (e.g., email, discussion boards, chat areas) to facilitate learning and complete projects.
- You may have to take responsibility to create their own study and work groups to help build collaborative practices and supports for learning in a digital format.
- You must represent yourself honestly in all communications, assignments, tests, and examinations. You may not use another student’s account or allow anyone else to access your account. Read more about Academic Integrity in the NIC Community Code of Personal and Professional Conduct 3-06
- You are responsible for your actions and how they impact others.
- It is important that before you act or say something, consider how others might interpret your words or actions.
- Any inappropriate behaviours or messages to students, faculty, or staff via online chat, email or in virtual classrooms are unacceptable as per our NIC Community Code of Personal and Professional Conduct 3-06.[link]. Be kind.
Understanding of Others
- It is important to be understanding of others’ feelings, experiences, intentions, and think about things from another point of view. It’s not always easy to convey meaning through email or online chat environments, and sometimes this can be frustrating. Differences of opinion occur in academic learning. Be respectful. If you are confused or unclear about something, ask for clarification.
Consider these questions:
- Would I say this out loud to a person’s face? If the answer is no, do not make the post.
- Could my tone or choice of words be misunderstood?
- Am I disagreeing or arguing in a way that may be considered rude or insensitive? If the topic is heated, be extra careful of the words and tone used. Perhaps get a second opinion before you post to avoid misunderstandings.
- Did I use all caps? This is often interpreted as anger or yelling. It is strongly advised to not use all caps in any communications, academic or social.
- Did I use emoticons, humour or sarcasm? Emoticons and humour are not understood by everyone the same way. They are best not used in online academic learning.
- We expect all interactions to be respectful. NIC will not tolerate any behaviours or messages that are offensive, abusive, derogatory, discriminating, bullying, harassing, or threatening. Think before you post anything!
DO NOT EnGAGE IN Cyberbullying
- Cyberbullying takes many forms. Personal insults, excluding others from academic discussions, posting pictures without someone’s permission, gossiping, and discussing others online, cyberstalking and trolling can all be considered cyberbullying.
- Any of these actions is against Community Code of Personal and Professional Conduct
- If you experience any of these, please inform your instructor or contact Felicity Blaiklock, Director, Student Affairs firstname.lastname@example.org
- We all have different ways of learning. Every student will approach blended and digital learning differently, so be patient with others and help them feel included by offering support if you can.
Familiarize yourself with North Island College Policies
- Acceptable Use of Information Technology 5-08
- Community Code of Personal and Professional Conduct 3-06
- Student Appeals 3-30
- Student Complaint Resolution 3-31
- Sexual Violence and Misconduct 3-34
- Academic Standing and Progression 3-37
Connect with your instructor if you have any questions about your rights or responsibilities as a student, or if you have a question or concern about behaviours that may contravene one of our policies.
If you have further questions, please contact:
- Felicity Blaiklock, Director Student Affairs email@example.com
Credit: Adapted (with thanks) to Frostburg University, Mohawk College ‘Netiquette’ and Saskatchewan Polytechnic https://saskpolytech.ca/student-services/support/documents/Online%20Conduct_Colour.pdf