Download a PDF file
of these policies.

As a student in ISS, you have access to many different communication choices and support possibilities.  We want to provide you with a quick guide on where to go to get your questions answered.  Please also use this guide as a reference for appropriate academic communication and using social networking sites.

Universal Formatting Guidelines for Academic Communication

When writing faculty, staff, and other professionals, it is important to keep in mind these guidelines for appropriate communication.  Following these protocols will enable you to represent yourself well and indicates respect.

  1. AVOID SHOUTING - typing in all caps a lot of the time makes it seem like you're shouting and is considered to be impolite. Occasional use of all caps to emphasize an important POINT can be effective (e.g., in discussion forums), but OVER-USNG ALL CAPS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA.

  2. No, really; don't shout!!! - one exclamation point is enough.

  3. Chek yer speling and grammer error's - always read over your message for errors before sending it. If you're using your phone to type, this is especially necessary. If you're not great with spelling and punctuation rules, use a spell check/grammar check that will underline questionable words and punctuation.

  4. BTW, abbreviations make it hrdr for ur reader 2 understand U - it only takes a second or two to type out the word or phrase, so show that you care by typing whole words.

  5. Don't overuse emoticons :-) or other text art >^..^< - and don't use them at all in a message to someone you don't know well.  We would like you to be able express your ideas in writing and not lean on emoticons to express thoughts that are better personalized with prose.

  6. Stick to one font type, size, and color - use bold and italics sparingly to draw attention to individual words.

Inside Higher Ed also has a handy article on how to write your faculty for your reference.

Where to Get Help

Course Questions

If you have questions about course content or something in your course is not working, first post about the issue in a general questions discussion thread (e.g., the HUB)  within your course if one is available.  It is crucial that you bring up course related issues within the specific classes on Canvas so that 1) your instructor knows about the issue and 2) your classmates can benefit from the response.  If there is not a general questions discussion thread, please follow your instructor’s communication policies to get the help you need.  Please be patient and give your instructor 36-48 hours to respond to all posted questions and messages before re-contacting them.

Advising Questions

For questions about transfer credit, your UW degree audit, planning for graduation, academic difficulties, planning for graduate school or other related topics, contact your academic adviser or the general ISS Advising Office.  Email is the best way to get a hold of us, but we are also happy to schedule phone, video chat, or in person conversations.

Technical questions about IT support, apps and computer help

Contact UW-IT

  • Send your questions and comments about UW-IT services to our contacts below. UW-IT monitors its email and phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Registration Questions

If you are unsure about your registration status, contact the UW Registration Office at or 206-543-2310.

Enrollment and Orientation Questions

These should go directly to an ISS academic adviser or can be asked in the General Questions board of the self-paced Orientation.

Best Practices for Social Networking Sites

As a student in the ISS program you have access to the ISS Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Please treat these spaces as professional organizations and be considerate about the types of content you share and comments you make. We want to keep these professional, safe, open, and collaborative environments for all members. Remember that even in a closed group or password protected space, you cannot control what happens to the information you share on the Internet. Please protect your reputation, professional identity, and personal information by following the guidelines for participation.  

What is Okay to Post on Facebook: The ISS Facebook group is a space for sharing your academic successes, seeking and offering general support, sharing relevant resources or interesting articles, and staying connected with your peers.

What Should Not be Posted on Facebook:  Class specific problems (e.g., about a confusing class assignment, broken links, grade disputes, or other grievances), technology issues that could be addressed by UWIT or that are specific to a particular class, or private questions about your academic history and progress.  

These types of questions/issues should be redirected based on the guidelines above.  For example, if you have a problem with a class, that question should be posted in your class’s general discussion forum or you should send a message to your instructor.  If you are concerned about something related to the program, reach out to your adviser to see about next steps.

Why This is Important

  • We want to make sure your questions are answered and answered correctly.  ISS Staff and Faculty view our social media platforms as community building venues, and as such are not always reviewing them regularly for questions. We expect questions to come to us in our classes or over email.

  • If you have questions about courses, your classmates can benefit from the answer.  So asking the question in your class allows everyone to have access to the answer.

  • We want to protect your academic privacy.  So, questions related to grades and individual progress are best discussed privately with your instructor or adviser.

Guidelines for Appropriate Behavior

  • Follow the guidelines for academic communication posted above.

  • Assume that other members in our group are well-intentioned.  Sometimes it is difficult to anticipate how something you post will be interpreted.

  • That said, it can be easy to sound rude online unintentionally. Avoid sarcastic, patronizing, or unnecessarily negative comments.

  • Avoid personal attacks, bullying, and abuse of any kind. If you disagree with someone, respectfully explain your position and focus on the issues, not the people involved in the debate.

  • If another student's post is offensive or disrespectful, don't fight about it online.  Contact an ISS Adviser.

Continued or egregious violations may result in losing your privileges in ISS social media groups.