Skip to content

Online Discussion Guidelines

Online Discussion Guidelines published on

As outlined on the syllabus, all work and participation in these courses are governed by the Virginia Tech Principles of Community. You surely read the Principles of Community when you first came to Virginia Tech, but you may not have returned to them for a careful reading since then. Today, I will share how the Principles of Community apply in the course.

To get started, we need to review the Principles. You can read the Principles online or watch the video below (click the CC button if you want to see the subtitles):

These Principles relate particularly to how we, as Hokies, interact with, treat, and think about other people. They are especially pertinent then when you work with your Writing Groups and when you enter into conversations in Discussions, on Slack, on Facebook, and in website comments.

We can narrow the ideas down to some simple guidelines for our interaction in the courses:

  • Respect everyone. Listen to what others have to say.
  • Allow everyone to state their ideas freely and openly.
  • Support diverse ideas and the diversity of those in the courses.
  • Commit to following these guidelines in order to support our classroom community.

To sum it up, remember that everyone is welcome, and be nice and supportive to one another. That’s it. If you have any questions about the Principles and how they apply to the course, you can leave a comment below and we’ll work out an answer.


Note: This video has closed captioning, so it does not need a transcript.


Introduction to Technical Writing

Introduction to Technical Writing published on

This is the post for December 26, 2017.

This is the course website for English 3764 (Technical Writing), CRN #40296, taught by Traci Gardner at Virginia Tech during Winter Session 2017–2018.

Information on all assignments, weekly activities, and related resources for these courses will be posted here. Check this site regularly for the details on what to do for the course.

Notes for Today

  • Mandatory Syllabus Quiz due by 11:59PM Wednesday. Details are in the first bullet point under the “Tasks to Complete This Week” heading.
  • Time Commitment: Every day of the class during winter session is equivalent to a week of work during the Fall or Spring Semester. Virginia Tech classes require 36.25 hours of class time, so plan to spend about 2.5–3 hours on class work each weekday, plus time to complete your readings and compose your projects.
  • Work Hours: Normally, I am online from late afternoon through early morning hours. I’m a night owl rather than a morning person. Look for responses from me during those hours.

Readings for Today

Tasks for Today

Here’s what you need to do for this week:

  1. Complete the Course Overview Module in Canvas. You will read the various course documents and then take a syllabus verification quiz.
  2. Confirm that your notifications in Canvas are set the way you want them. Note that Canvas uses your notification preferences to determine whether to email you or text you (or not tell you at all) about information on the site. See the section "How do I adjust my notification preferences?" in the Student Getting Started with Canvas Guide for more information on setting up your notifications.
  3. Add a professional profile picture to your Canvas account. Follow the Canvas documentation to add a profile picture in your user account. Since this is an online course, your profile picture helps me see you as more than just a name on the course roll.
  4. (Optional) Join our Facebook Group and introduce yourself to everyone. Tell us a little about your career goals, your experience in your field, and any technical writing (or workplace writing) you have done. Add anything else that you like, as long as it’s appropriate for class discussion.
  5. Set up your Labor Log and record the work that you have done today. You must track the work and the time you spend doing it for this course, just as you might track the hours on a particular project in the workplace.
  6. Come back every week day for additional information about the course and the work that we will do together for that day. You can use the information on Keeping Up with the Website to set up notifications that will tell you when new information is available.


Image Credit: Why Good Writing Is Needed for Better Jobs from Grammarly.


Primary Sidebar