Listserv Rules of Engagement

Expectations of participation

  1. Monitor and read messages regularly
  2. Fully commit and participate in the discussion
  3. Participate in any requested assessments or surveys
  4. Provide constructive feedback
  5. Respond by deadlines if given

Basic rules and procedures to make listserv discussions more effective, satisfying and enjoyable.

  1. Include a descriptive subject line. State clearly and concisely the topic of your comments. This allows members to respond appropriately and makes it easier for members to search the archives by subject line.
  2. Identify yourself and give contact information. Make sure that your signature block includes your name, institution and email address.
  3. Only send a message to the entire list when it contains information that benefits everyone. Responses to most questions and discussion topics are of interest to the entire list.
  4. Personal replies should be directed to specific individuals rather than to the entire list. Best to cut and paste the sender’s e-mail address when replying rather than simply hitting the “Reply” or “Reply All” button which sends the response to the entire list.
  5. Send messages such as “thanks for the information” or “me, too” to individuals not the entire list.
  6. Warn members of lengthy messages either in the subject line or at the beginning of the message body with a line that says “Long Message”.
  7. Include only relevant portions of the original message in your reply. Put your response before the original posting, not after it.
  8. Be respectful and considerate of your colleagues in your postings. If you disagree or become upset with someone's response or use of the list, reply to that person directly when appropriate.
  9. Do not “flame”, challenge or attack others. The discussions are meant to stimulate conversation, not to create contention. Let others have their say, just as you have yours.
  10. Remember that we are on the list for the purpose of working together to identify and come up with effective solutions to issues.

Guidelines for Working Group Leads

  • How to manage conversations regarding issues or best practices
    • Keep discussions on topic
    • Encourage responses for diverse opinions
    • Note if other working groups should be in the conversation
  • How to manage conversations gone awry
    • Bring group back to the original topic if off-track
    • If off-topic discussion is valuable, consider a new subject line for that topic
    • Suggest that an off-topic conversation go off-line
  • How and when to participate in conversations
    • Use your voice to probe and ask clarifying questions
    • Summarize what has been said
    • Encourage those who have not responded to do so if there seems to be only a few dominant voices
    • Remind the group of an approaching deadline
    • State the recommendation that will be forwarded to the I-Team
  • What information to send to the Implementation Team, when to do so
    • Send summarized response to a topic by the deadline
    • Send issues (with context) that have arisen from the group that need input from the I-Team
    • Notify the I-Team as soon as possible if other groups need to be involved in the conversation
  • Keeping things on track – systemwide vs. local choice 
    • Keep a log of recommendations
    • Keep discussions on issues/best practices that affect multiple campuses in terms of overall system configuration, policy determination or collaboration