Terms of Participation

Privacy policy

The Open Course on Technology Enhanced Learning (ocTEL) is managed by the Association for Learning Technology (ALT). All your interactions which take place on the http://octel.alt.ac.uk website — or on the sites hosted by ALT on the infrastructure provided by Positive Internet) — are covered by ALT’s general Privacy Policy.

Your participation in ocTEL is likely to involve your use of a wide variety of other sites on the open Internet. These are outside ALT’s control, and the responsibility for checking the privacy implications of these sites is your own.

Uses of your information, contributions and activity data

Your participation in the ocTEL course and related activities is covered by the ALT Privacy Policy with the following additions:

  • Your Personal Information will be used to enable ALT to copy, aggregate, analyse, reproduce contributions (text, image, audio or video) that you make on the open Internet, and which you indicate are related to your participation in ocTEL, with attribution to you.
  • The ocTEL site uses WordPress, which uses cookies, if you are logged in as a user or commenter, to verify who you are.
  • Basic elements of your personal information — specifically your name, job title and/or organisation — will be included in a participant directory and made available to other participants, unless you have opted out of this when registering for the ocTEL course.
  • By registering for the course you permit us to send you emails with course information and updates. Unsubscribe links and/or information will be provided in these if you wish to stop receiving them)
  • ALT and its contractors may collect data about your participation in the course (e.g. number of posts, content of posts, links within posts to other learners’ posts) for the purpose of analysing activity and interaction patterns among participants, to inform future developments of the course.
  • By indicating that your publicly available contributions — for example on Twitter or on your blog(s) — are related to your participation in ocTEL (by any means including use of a hashtag, or placing in an ocTEL online space), you give consent for ALT to copy, aggregate, analyse and reproduce them for the purposes of bringing them to the attention of other participants.

Discussion Etiquette

ocTEL endorses and encourages you to follow the “10 easy steps to keep online knowledge exchange optimal” developed for mobiMOOC (source, copyright Tangient LLC, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike Non-Commercial 3.0 License):

  1. Be courteous and considerate in what you write. Please refrain from harsh comments. Written words have the tendency to come across a bit harsher then when the same words would be spoken out loud. Different cultures or backgrounds can also result in different language nuances.
  2. Only post relevant questions and/or answers. Keep your remarks on topic to ensure professionalism throughout the forums.
  3. Use a clear title in your comments and answers. This will enable easy retrieval of specific topics afterwards (titles of comments are always readable) and will ease reading through discussions for your colleagues and yourself.
  4. Be clear and concise in your written comments. Avoid general terms if possible. A lot of us are not native English speakers, which means some of our nuances can get lost in translation. Keeping it simple always helps.
  5. Include arguments in your comments. Do not just disagree or agree with your colleague. Disagree or agree while adding well-founded arguments (facts or references rather then mere opinions) in order to give your colleague a better understanding of your train of thought.
  6. Be tolerant with the comments you read. Do not feel threatened by the language that is used even if you feel the comment is offensive; ask the author what he or she meant specifically before jumping to conclusions.
  7. Do not use capital letters unless for abbreviations. Capital letters are considered shouting on the Internet.
  8. In the event a rude or threatening message is addressed to you, do not respond. Inform a tutor (if he or she has not already seen it themselves). Be the wiser person and neglect the remark or mail.
  9. Quote only that part of the comment which is necessary to better understand your reply on a comment. This enables your colleagues to quickly relate to what you are saying/answering in accordance to the previous comment.
  10. If a discussion is not on topic, do not answer it. In case a discussion is off topic a tutor may move it to a relevant discussion forum, or simply delete it.

ocTEL is an open course and the neither the Association for Learning Technology nor its agents can be held liable for offence caused by participants who do not follow these steps.