—Policies for membership, etiquette, privacy, and informal norms of behavior

The LINCS Community is an interactive online learning community designed to advance the adult education profession by expanding evidence-based practice in adult education. The LINCS Community was created for adult education stakeholders, researchers, policymakers, administrators, practitioners, teachers, students, and others to discuss critical issues in the latest research, promising practices, and literacy policy while sharing experiences and resources. If you would like to improve your practice in adult education, and help others to do the same, join the LINCS Community!  

The LINCS Community provides discussion groups for you to ask questions and discuss issues with your peers, experts in the field, and moderators to keep up­to­date on topics pertinent to adult education. LINCS has partnered with moderators to facilitate these discussion groups and provides community management and governance for the LINCS Community.

To join the LINCS Community, please read and accept the LINCS Community Code of Conduct: 

Open Discourse and Inclusion

LINCS encourages open discourse and an exchange of information, ideas, and practices among all LINCS Community members. Community members are encouraged to share differences in perspectives and ideas, while conducting discussions in the spirit of inquiry, curiosity, and mutual respect.

See Community Guidelines for Participation.

Posting and Review Process

LINCS Community members should monitor their activity in the LINCS Community and follow the User Code of Conduct and Community Guidelines for Participation. The LINCS Community Manager and Group Administrators will remove posts that violate the User Code of Conduct. Community members can report content that does not abide by the User Code of Conduct. Posts reported three (3) times will be automatically removed and reviewed by the LINCS Community staff for appropriateness. The LINCS Community staff monitors the community daily, and reviews activity that violate the User Code of Conduct.

Off-Topic Discussions

Members should note the purpose of each group and keep comments relevant to the discussion. Comments, suggestions, references, and ideas posted to the groups should serve as resources for enhancing the field's capacity and knowledge. Participants engaging in off-topic discussions will be asked by Moderators to continue the conversation in a group, or groups, where the discussion is more applicable.  If off-topic discussions are inappropriate, the post may be removed.

Lobbying

Anti­-lobbying laws prohibit the use of appropriated funds for anything other than their designated purpose, specifically not lobbying. As the LINCS Community is maintained with appropriated funds, messages that may be interpreted as direct, or indirect, lobbying are not permitted nor are messages that contain direct links to other websites or webpages whose purpose could be interpreted as lobbying.

The relevant language from the Anti­-Lobbying Act states: "No part of the money appropriated by any enactment of Congress shall, in the absence of express authorization by Congress, be used directly or indirectly to pay for any personal service, advertisement, telegram, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other device, intended or designed to influence in any manner a Member of Congress, a jurisdiction, or an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation, whether before or after the introduction of any bill, measure, or resolution proposing such legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation." 18 U.S.C. § 1913.

Signature lines in posts, and any accompanying quotes or sayings, are subject to the anti­-lobbying restrictions described above as well as in the Community Guidelines for Participation.

Sharing Resources for Profit

LINCS Community members cannot use the LINCS Community as a promotional tool for commercial products or resources. However, a LINCS Community member may post a message that refers to a resource or product in the context of a discussion that relates to the purpose of the group (for example, when members offer feedback on their experiences with a product). In addition, no-­cost/no-­obligation opportunities for members to learn about and compare commercial materials are permitted in the LINCS Community.  Any message that mentions or discusses a resource or product whose primary purpose is to generate financial benefit for the community member is not permitted and the message is subject to removal.

Document Sharing

As a federal government website, files on the server must comply with Section 508 standards of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998. LINCS Community members are able to share files in various ways: If the file exists on a website, copy and paste the URL (web address) of the file into the post. If the file is saved on a member’s computer, it is suggested that the content be upload to one of the many web services available on the Web. Google, Slide Share, and others web applications that allow members to upload and share documents. If the file is small and contains only text (no graphics), consider copying and pasting its contents into the post. 

Responsibility to Prevent Harm

Community members are responsible for the content of, and any harm resulting from, comments, materials, links, and/or other user generated resources posted in any of the LINCS Community groups.  By making content available, you represent and warrant that: 

  • The downloading, copying, and use of the content will not infringe proprietary rights, including, but not limited to, the copyright, patent, trademark, or trade secret rights of any third party.
  • You have fully complied with third-party licenses relating to the content, and have done all things necessary to successfully meet any required terms.
  • The content does not contain or will not install any viruses, worms, malware, or other harmful or destructive content.
  • The content is not machine­- or randomly generated; does not contain unethical or unwanted commercial content designed to drive traffic to third party sites or boost search engine rankings of third party sites, or promote unlawful acts (such as phishing); and does not mislead community members as to the source of the material (such as spoofing).
  • The content does not slander against, defame, or damagingly represent other individuals, groups, or organizations.

Privacy

Postings to the LINCS Community will display the username of the member posting. All discussion threads and comments posted in the LINCS Community are stored and searchable. When posting to a public group, members agree to have their discussion posts and comments stored in the LINCS Community. LINCS Community members should be aware that personal information within the body of their discussion posts, any comments as well as information in their signatures is searchable on the Web. 

Community members are able to view each other’s profiles, which contain required fields (member’s first name, membership length, and zip code) and optional fields (last name, job role, organizational affiliation, member interests and bio, and social media accounts (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn)).  Members of the community can view each other’s contributions, bookmarks, and groups joined.  

When subscribing to the LINCS Community, members should avoid using an email address they wish to remain private. The LINCS Community employs a contact feature that allows members to send private messages in the form of emails to one another. As a LINCS Community member, by using the contact feature, you acknowledge that you are sharing your email address with the recipient so that s/he can reply to your message. 

Community members may create and edit their own discussion posts within their groups; however, it is important to note that members cannot delete what they have posted.  Members must submit a request for consideration to LINCS Community staff to have a post deleted. The requests will be reviewed and the LINCS team will send a written notice with a final decision.

Disclaimer

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) funds the LINCS Community. Messages posted to the LINCS Community do not represent the views or opinions of the U.S. Department of Education, OCTAE, and its contractors and affiliates. Neither LINCS nor OCTAE endorses, or promotes, resources or products discussed or mentioned in postings to the LINCS Community.

Violations of the User Code of Conduct and Termination

While we encourage community members to actively participate in activities within the LINCS Community, staff will immediately remove messages that include harassment, profanity, and/or inappropriate content.  Community members engaged in inappropriate activities in the LINCS Community may be blocked without notice. Violations of the User Code of Conduct may result in permanent loss of participatory access to the LINCS Community website. The LINCS Community staff may terminate a member’s access to all, or part of the LINCS Community website at any time. 

If a member wishes to disable their account, please send a message via Contact Us

Appeals

Upon notification of termination, members may submit a written appeal to communitysupport@lincs.ed.gov within five (5) business days of the date of termination. A written notice of the decision will be sent within ten (10) days.

Acceptance of Terms

By joining the LINCS Community, you agree to abide by the terms and conditions outlined in the LINCS Community Code of Conduct.