Re: Findlay Student Messages: IMPORTANT!!

Subject: Re: Findlay Student Messages: IMPORTANT!!
From: Dan Martillotti <danm -at- DEV -dot- TIVOLI -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 09:24:19 CDT

An open note to L. Thomas Stuckert:

I'm sorry that you have taken the actions that you have. There are several
individuals that subscribe to the TECHWR-L that are a little more "open minded"
than the few that responded so negatively to your students' posts.

What you have experienced is very typical of this list. There are a few
"reactionary" folks out there that jump at the first chance to flame a newbie
or someone they feel is not "up-to-snuff." It is a shame that a vocal minority
has produced this response on your part.

However, I feel that you could have done little better job preparing your
students and this group for your assignment. Had you posted a note to this
group stating your intentions (student assignment), the reactionaries would not
have not been caught off guard, nor would the rest of us. If you have been
monitoring the list, you know that there have been many of us (myself
included) had had it with spammers, and that first post looked all to familiar
(Wild Bill(y)).

In addition, had your students preambled there posts with "Hi, my name is Dan
and I'm a student at Findlay U. One of my assignments in my tech writing class
is..." I believe this would have tempered the responses.

Also, are any of the students in your class from another major? In my tech
writing class at Texas A&M, there were several engineering students. If any
of your students fall into this category, this may not have been a good
exercise for them. What do they care about a tech writing forum? They are only
in your class because it is required.

As far as Netiquette is concerned, did you encourage your students to lurk for
awhile before posting? If they had, they might not have made the mistakes they
made (then again, they are students and they are supposed to make mistakes, how
else can they learn ;-) ).

Anyway, I encourage you to rethink your hasty decision. It is obvious to me
that both groups (you and your students and the folks that subscribe to this
list) are somewhat responsible for this. I suggest that you prepare both your
students and the list a little better next time (include a paragraph about the
reprimands (sp?) that your students will receive for making off-topic posts)
and that you make it clear to your students that not everyone will take
kindly to them. You and your students need a little thicker skin (as do many of
the current techwr-l subscribers). Prepare yourselves for the good, the bad,
and the ugly of the net. I believe the benefits are worth it.

Dan Martillotti ******************
* * *
Tivoli Systems * * * *
(512)502-4759 * * * ** ** "The more that you read, the more
danm -at- tivoli -dot- com * * * * * * * things you will know. The more that
* * * * * you learn, the more places you'll go."
Class of '90 * - Dr. Seuss

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