“Netiquette” is the term used to describe rules of courtesy in using electronic communication. These rules are intended to help use the medium effectively and considerately. The ideas below are intended to help with electronic class discussion.
When communicating in an online course you are addressing a group of people. The following guidelines will help you to communicate effectively.
- Don’t say things that you wouldn't say in a face-to-face environment, or in any public place.
- Don’t share confidential information.
- Use the subject line to identify the content of the message.
- Stay up-to-date on forum postings by reading them regularly.
- Always comply with copyright by citing your references when posting online content.
- Use individual e-mail for messages to individuals rather than tying up the group list.
- Do not forward emails or discussion forum postings without asking permission to from the original author.
- Electronic communication does not provide visual cues, such as smiles or frowns that face-to-face communication allows. Therefore, humor and/or sarcasm in written text might be misunderstood and interpreted as rude or inflammatory in the online environment. Choose your words carefully to avoid hurting, or angering anyone. Should emotions become inflamed, do not promote the anger. Take a cooling down period, perhaps overnight, before you engage in the online activity again.
- Avoid using all capital letters in your text. This is considered ‘shouting’ in the online classroom.
- Aim for clarity and readability in your text.
- Use proper English and remember to spell check.
- If you do not understand the assignment’s directions or the posts of your classmates don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.
- The online classroom is a community of learners. Participate actively in the community and reach out to your classmates with a helping hand.