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Session Content Policy

Overview

In addition to our terms and conditions, we have specific content policies that tutors must follow when creating sessions. These policies are intended to support Schoolhouse.world’s mission of connecting the world through learning, while fostering a safe and inclusive learning environment.

One of the beauties of Schoolhouse.world is that tutors are given agency and freedom to be creative with their sessions. However, in order to ensure we stay true to this mission, across ages and cultures, it is important that such creativity stay within certain bounds. The policies below describe those bounds.

While these policies apply to all sessions, they are particularly important for tutors creating sessions in the “Experimental” category, such as the “Enrichment” topic. These are experimental topics on the website that don’t yet have certification associated with them. Tutors have a heightened responsibility to be judicious in what session they choose to host here.

If any of these policies are violated, or if Schoolhouse.world deems a session as having a potential for other risks, the session will be removed by a moderator.

As the platform grows, these policies will continue to evolve. We encourage tutors to check back here frequently when creating new sessions, and to continue to use their best judgement when hosting sessions.

Policy

  • Sessions cannot endanger or compromise the well-being of learners, whether intended or not. This includes both physical and mental health, as well as financial outcomes.
    • Example: A tutor cannot create a session in which they teach learners how to rock climb. Even if no rock climbing takes place during the sessions, learners may subsequently go climbing and hurt themselves, as a result of the session.
    • Example: A tutor cannot create a session in which they share medical or health advice. Even if the advice is grounded in experience, there is considerable risk of learners misinterpreting the advice and being harmed as a result.
    • Example: A tutor cannot create a session in which they share financial advice, as there is a risk that learners might make poor financial decisions as a result.
    • Example: A tutor cannot create a session that particularly targets a group of people or is based on hate.

  • Sessions cannot exclude learners, or divide learners based on their beliefs.
    • Example: A tutor cannot host a private session meant exclusively for one learner. While tutors can still host a session if only one learner shows up, tutors cannot intentionally exclude other learners.
    • Example: A tutor cannot host a session on why they converted to a particular religion or joined a political party, and their experiences in doing so. While important, Schoolhouse.world is not the appropriate place for such personal stories, which might be construed by people with other beliefs as excluding them.

  • Tutors and learners cannot share information whose accuracy is questioned by experts. While there is no universally accepted standard for “truth”, moderators will decide if there is sufficient uncertainty surrounding a topic to merit removing a session.
    • Example: A tutor cannot create a history session covering the conspiracies about the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy.

  • Tutors and learners cannot share opinions or advice that are not grounded in experience. Such advice would be counterproductive to one’s learning.
    • Example: A tutor who is in 9th grade cannot host a session in the “College Advice” topic about how to apply to colleges if they themselves have never done so.

  • Sessions need to be appropriate for kids as young as age 13. This means no profanity, nudity, violence, etc.
    • Example: A tutor cannot host a session on the history of music and cover songs that include profanity.
    • Example: A tutor should not offer dating advice to learners.
    • Example: A tutor cannot host a “Game Night” session in which participants play games with violence in them.

  • Tutors must host sessions that are respectful and professional. Tutors should be aware of the potential for a power imbalance between themselves and learners, and ensure that their teaching methods do not harass, intimidate or give undue attention to a learner.
    • Example: A tutor cannot tease or make fun of a learner.

  • Tutors cannot advertise other services. Exceptions may be made in select cases when it benefits the learner and the Schoolhouse.world team has given prior permission.
    • Example: A tutor cannot use their session as an opportunity to promote their website or business.

  • Sessions should be placed in the appropriate topic on the website. If no appropriate topic exists, then the session should not be hosted.
    • Example: A tutor cannot teach logarithms, an Algebra II concept, in the “Functions” topic of Algebra I, simply because they haven’t yet been certified in Algebra II and yet still want to teach logarithms. If one is tutoring in a topic that has certifications associated with it (as is the case in math) they need to make sure they are certified in the relevant topic.
    • Example: A tutor cannot teach an entire session on basic arithmetic specifically intended for elementary school students, as the math topics on Schoolhouse.world begin with pre-algebra and up. Given that the website is for learners ages 13 and up, no session can specifically target children under 13.

  • Sessions cannot violate copyright laws. Tutors should limit the use of third-party, copyrighted material.
    • Example: A tutor can use a short clip from a video, when the material is relevant to learning. However, a tutor should not play an entire movie.

  • Sessions must be intended for an English-speaking audience. Schoolhouse is global and proudly used by learners from 100+ countries. However, at the moment and at our current size, we only support the English language.
    • Example: A tutor should not write a session description in a language other than English.
    • Example: While sessions are intended for English-speaking learners, if every learner in a session prefers to use a different language—one that the tutor also speaks—then the tutor is allowed to switch over to that language.
    • Example: A session or series focused on learning a non-English language is allowed, as it is still intended for an English-speaking audience.

Questions

Questions about these policies or appeals to moderation decisions can be emailed to [email protected].

Last updated at: August 3, 2021.

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