It is important to recognize that the online classroom is in fact a classroom.

Certain behaviours are expected when you communicate with both your peers and your instructors. These guidelines for online behavior and interaction are known as netiquette.

Security:

Remember that your password is the only thing protecting you from pranks or more serious harm.

  • Don't share your password with anyone
  • Change your password if you think someone else might know it
  • Always logout when you are finished using the system

General guidelines:

When communicating online, you should always:

  • Treat instructor with respect, even in email or in any other online communication
  • Always use your professors' proper title: Dr. or Prof., or if you in doubt use Mr. or Ms.
  • Unless specifically invited, don't refer to them by first name.
  • Use clear and concise language
  • Remember that all college level communication should have correct spelling and grammar
  • Avoid slang terms such as “wassup?” and texting abbreviations such as “u” instead of “you”
  • Use standard fonts such as Times New Roman and use a size 12 or 14 pt. font
  • Avoid using the caps lock feature AS IT CAN BE INTERPRETTED AS YELLING
  • Limit and possibly avoid the use of emoticons like :) 
  • Be cautious when using humor or sarcasm as tone is sometimes lost in an email or discussion post and your message might be taken seriously or offensive
  • Be careful with personal information (both yours and other's)
  • Do not send confidential patient information via e-mail

Email netiquette:

When you send an email to your instructor, teaching assistant or classmates, you should:

  • Use a descriptive subject line
  • Be brief
  • Avoid attachments unless you are sure your recipients can open them
  • Avoid HTML in favor of plain text
  • Sign your message with your name and return e-mail address
  • Think before you send the e-mail to more than one person. Does everyone really need to see your message?
  • Be sure you REALLY want everyone to receive your response when you click, “reply all”
  • Be sure that the message author intended for the information to be passed along before you click the “forward” button 

Message board netiquette and guidelines:

When posting on the discussion board in your online class, you should:

  • Make posts that are on topic and within the scope of the course material
  • Take your posts seriously and review and edit your posts before sending
  • Be as brief as possible while still making a thorough comment
  • Always give proper credit when referencing or quoting another source
  • Be sure to read all messages in a thread before replying
  • Don't repeat someone else's post without adding something of your own to it
  • Avoid short, generic replies such as, “I agree.” You should include why you agree or add to the previous point
  • Always be respectful of others' opinions even when they differ from your own
  • When you disagree with someone, you should express your differing opinion in a respectful, non-critical way
  • Do not make personal or insulting remarks
  • Be open-minded

Used with permission from the University of Florida.
http://teach.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/NetiquetteGuideforOnlineCourses.pdf