Online course etiquette, known as “netiquette,” is extremely important to maintain a positive online learning environment. Netiquette refers to the practice of respecting the views of others, even if they differ from our own, and demonstrating common courtesy when interacting with others in an online exchange.
Please keep in mind the following netiquette guidelines when posting in online discussion forums and interacting with peers:
- Never write your discussion posts or other assignment in all CAPS. On the Internet, writing in caps may be considered equivalent to yelling at someone.
- Use of profanity or verbal abuse is never acceptable in an academic environment.
- The online course environment is not a place to send junk mail or spam to your classmates or instructors. Please only send e-mail regarding course-related questions or issues.
- Remember that a “tone” can be misinterpreted in e-mail or online forums because the recipient does not get the benefit of your body language. Avoid sarcasm.
- Always keep in mind that once you send an e-mail, what you have said is in writing forever. Additionally, anything posted in a public discussion forum will be visible to all class participants and others with access to the online course.
- Remember that class discussion forums, chat areas, and e-mail messages are not social media; keep content focused, professional, on relevant topics, and use language and writing style appropriate for an academic environment.
- Be respectful; if you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, don’t write it in the online environment.
- Always proofread your posts and e-mails and make an effort to use proper spelling and grammar. This includes complete sentences and appropriate punctuation. It’s good practice for all kinds of written communication in college and in the workplace!
- Re-read what you have written and take a moment to pause before you click post or send, especially in a moment of frustration or anger.
- Make a point to be kind and professional in your comments in discussion forums, e-mails, and so on, even if you disagree with the person you’re responding to.