Classroom Etiquette

As educators, is it really necessary to discuss classroom etiquette with adult learners?  One would think that classroom behavior is pretty straightforward, but maybe it’s not always as obvious as we think…

Considering the variety of cultures, backgrounds, ages and experiences of adults, it is probably a good idea for the educator to discuss classroom etiquette at the start of a course or program.  Doing so sets the tone for the duration of the course, and the decision to leave these guidelines posted for the duration of the course provides learners with a reference point if they are unsure of how to behave, or have concerns with the learning environment.  Providing learners with guidelines as to how to ask questions (hands up or call out), technology restrictions, etc. helps clarify expectations and responsibilities for the learner.  The instructor should also open the discussion up to the class to identify any expectations they may have for maintaining a positive classroom experience.  They may also suggest ways that they would like to see the instructor behave/conduct the class.  By having this discussion, the educator and learner establish a relationship, and helps to promote a positive and comfortable learning environment.

I also feel that using the term “etiquette” or “guidelines” is more positive than saying “rules”.  Choosing appropriate words and tone of voice will make this conversation easier and better received.  Likewise, in an online course, it may be helpful to provide some information on expectations, and perhaps a review of general “netiquette” behavior.


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Filed under PIDP 3250

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