Netiquette (Online Manners)
In the online classroom and often in hybrid/blended classes, you communicate with your classmates and instructor in writing through the public discussion forums, email, and sometimes chat sessions. "Online manners" are generally known as "netiquette."
As a general rule, you should adhere to the same classroom conduct that you would in a traditional face-to-face course. Some examples of proper netiquette follow.
- Avoid writing messages in all capital letters. THIS IS GENERALLY UNDERSTOOD AS SHOUTING.
- Be careful what you put in writing. Even if you are writing an email message to one person, assume that anyone could read it. Though you may send an email to a single person, it is very easy to forward a message to hundreds or thousands of people.
- Spelling, grammar, and punctuation matter. Online and hybrid/blended courses demand the same standard of academic communication as face-to-face courses.
- Use shorthand "emoticons" on the discussion board only in the Cyber Café, which is generally reserved for informal discussions with other students.
- Never use profanity in any area of an online course. Transcripts of online course communications are savable.
- When responding to messages, use "Reply to All" only when you really intend to reply to all.
- Avoid unkindly public criticism of others. Publicly criticizing others in an inappropriate way is known as "flaming."
- Avoid sarcasm and use humor with care. In the absence of nonverbal cues such as facial expressions and voice inflections, the context for your comments may be lost, and your message may be misinterpreted.