Society for the Teaching of Psychology

PsychTeacherâ„¢ Listserv Content Guidelines and Rules


PsychTeacherâ„¢ is designed to be focused list rather than a freewheeling discussion list on any topic. Posts to PsychTeacherâ„¢ should focus on issues specific to the teaching of psychology. Messages that are more general or personal in nature should be avoided. Some appropriate topics for the list may include:

(a) requests for or suggested ideas for teaching specific course or content material (e.g., demos that work, resource material, answers to student questions, lecture ideas or resources, etc.);

(b) discussion of general instructional issues that cross over different courses (e.g., handling academic dishonesty, make-up exams, using technology to teach, research using the WWW, etc.);

(c) discussion of issues not directly related to classroom instruction, but closely tied to teaching in general (e.g., advising students on career options); (d) announcements of interest to the group and directly related to teaching (e.g., TV programs, teaching conferences or workshops);

(e) specific requests for help or information to assist in teaching a course or topic (e.g., references on a topic, where you can find a video or equipment, etc.).

General List Rules

Rule 1: Do not use this discussion list for illegal purposes, including but not limited to defamation, violation of intellectual property laws, or violation of criminal laws.

Rule 2: Do not intentionally interfere with or disrupt other list participants, network services, or network equipment. This includes distribution of unsolicited advertisements, chain letters, and intentional propagation of computer viruses.

Rule 3: "Spamming" is a network term invented to describe the act of cross-posting the same message to as many newsgroups and/or mailing lists as possible, whether or not the message is germane to the stated topic of the newsgroups or mailing lists that are being targeted. Spamming by list members is unacceptable. Perhaps the best policy an individual subscriber can adopt toward spammers is simply to ignore them and allow list owners and moderators to take care of the problem.

Rule 4: Do not use the list for commercial purposes. "Commercial" as used for purposes of evaluating posted messages means communications whose primary purpose is to advance the business or financial interests of any person or entity, or otherwise to promote a financial transaction for the benefit of the author directly or indirectly. Examples of prohibited communications include advertisements for products or direct solicitations of list members to purchase products or services. Examples of messages that may be of benefit to list members include job listings or position openings, the discussion of professionally-related products or services where the list member posting the information is not in the business of selling the products or services, and announcements that provide useful professional information to list members but may also have some incidental commercial benefit to the sender (e.g., announcements of teaching conferences or workshops or an author who is a list member merely advising the List of publication of a professional book typically would not be "commercial" for purposes of this restriction).

Rule 5: Intentional insults and personal criticism directed at an individual (often referred to as "flaming") will not be tolerated. Rebuttals to another person's opinions or beliefs should always be made in a rational, logical and mature manner, whether they are made publicly or privately. What is a flame can range from the obvious (ranting and raving, abusive comments, etc.) to the not-so-obvious (e.g., comments about how many "newbies" seem to be on the list these days). Subscribers should refrain from abusive or derogatory language.

Rule 6: Because the Internet is international, it is important for list members to recognize and accept cultural and linguistic differences. Not all list members may understand and use English well. For example, the use of slang and idioms may be misunderstood.

Rule 7: All messages must have a subject line that is descriptive of the content. Please maintain the same subject line used by the original poster in your replies unless the reply is intended to significantly change the direction of a discussion.

Rule 8: All messages should be signed with your name and email address in order to allow fellow list members to contact you privately.

Rule 9: If you wish to reply to a message that has been posted to the list, please be aware of where your reply is going before sending it. You may check this by looking at the address in the TO: line of your reply. The default "reply to" option for messages is to go back to the list itself. If you wish to make a personal or private reply to a message, be sure it is his or her address in the TO: line before sending it. Avoid sending a personal reply to the entire list!

Rule 10: List members should avoid sending attachments with a message. Because of the variability in email program capabilities, many subscribers are unable to access an attachment and feel left out. Whenever possible, include the content within a message.

Rule 11: List members should just include relevant quotes and avoid including the entire content previous messages when responding to a message.

Rule 12. Because people often respond to a message posted on the list directly to the person who originally posted the message on the list, other interested participants on PsychTeacher do not get to see relevant responses. Therefore, the original poster is encouraged to share a summary of relevant messages with the entire list. The summary should include verbatim copies you received directly along with the name of the person who sent you the post in order to give appropriate credit. Because these individual emails may become public in a summary, the sender should request that it be kept confidential if he or she wishes this to be the case.

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