Using Social Networking Tools: Guidance for OU Students
Using social networking tools: guidance for OUstudentsThis guidance applies to you if you use a social networking site to talk with other students orto help your study. By social networks we mean any non-OU online tool that enables you tocommunicate or share content with others, such as blogs, wikis, Twitter and Facebook, butnot email.Please note that this document does not constitute legal advice. It is intended to advise and guideyour engagement with social networking.How are social networks used at the OU?Formal OU presenceThe OU also has some formal presence in many social networking spaces (details of these can befound from the OU Life tab in StudentHome). Often these are lightly monitored but not moderated.Your engagement with OU social networks is usually optional. A few modules include some socialnetworking but this would be detailed in the module.Please remember that you are a member of an OU community that functions on the basis of mutualrespect and responsibilities, and you are also expected to observe the code of conduct of the hostingservices while in these spaces. Consequently in addition to the terms and conditions of each hostingservice (e.g. Facebook), you are also advised to read the student Computing code of conduct tounderstand your wider responsibilities.OU student use of social networksI am a student wanting to set up a group related to my OUstudies or an OU module.There are a couple of options available if you (either as a group or as an individual) want to set up aninformal group for your fellow students. You can use the personal tools provided by the OU (these can be found on StudentHome). You can choose to use one of the current social networking spaces.Many students like to chat with each other outside the OU for example on Facebook. Pleaseremember that you will need to adhere to the terms and conditions of the service you choose. If youdiscuss your study then remember that OU rules (e.g. on plagiarism) still apply. Please note that theComputing Helpdesk cannot provide any assistance in these external environments and your tutor isnot expected to participate in informal spaces set up by students.If you create a group on an external social network you should make it clear that it is not an officialOU group and that it is optional.
I want to use the OU shield and other OU images on a non-OUweb area.You should not use the OU shield or other OU-owned content (text, images, videos audio etc.) withoutwritten permission from the OU. If you believe you should be entitled to use such content pleasecontact Communications Online (email: email@example.com).If you do use content owned by the OU without permission you will be asked to remove it.I want to publish my own material which is related to the OU.You are free to post your thoughts or comments about the OU. However you should take care toavoid activity that: enables or promotes plagiarism infringes another persons privacy (e.g. by posting their contact details without permission) makes untrue statements about the OU or OU material infringes the OUs copyright or intellectual property – this includes using the OU logo without permission.I want to report some comments made on the web that arecritical of the OU or OU students.As noted above, individuals are free to express opinions about the OU, but if you feel that somecomments infringe guidance on privacy, bullying or plagiarism then please report them toCommunications Online (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).What OU policies apply to me in social networking spaces?Many OU policies apply regardless of the medium, such as those on: plagiarism data protection personal relations safeguarding and protecting children and young people.Usually it is the person or their behaviour that is relevant rather than the medium in which it happens.As an OU student the following policies should guide your use of social networking areas: Bullying and harassment Complaints procedure Code of practice for student discipline.These policies and access to the Resolving your concerns, complaints and appeals website can befound in the Help area of StudentHome.February 2011 2