Netiquette, or network etiquette, refers to the guidelines and recommended practices for online communications. In a nutshell, it is the etiquette for the Internet, and should be used in all areas of communication in your class: email, chatting, blogging, discussion forums, messages, etc.

While this is an online class, students must still adhere to the University's student conduct requirements, and all students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is respectful and upholds a supportive, mutually beneficial learning environment.

Netiquette provides excellent guidelines for online behavior that facilitates the productive and thoughtful exchange of ideas.

Tenets of netiquette

Some of the basic tenets of netiquette include:

  • Be respectful. Remember that you are communicating with actual people, and be sure to be courteous and show respect, even if there are differences of opinion. Remember the golden rule: treat others as you’d like to be treated!
  • Think before you post. Be aware of who may be able to view your posting, and how your post may be interpreted. Try to maintain a fair and objective tone.
  • Stay on topic. Make sure your communication is related to the subject at hand and does not wander off-topic.
  • Write clearly. Even though the online environment may seem more informal than your face-to-face class, this is still an academic course and intelligible, mature communication is expected. Correct spelling and grammar are required, and proper sentence structure and punctuation should be used.
  • Use appropriate language and style. Profanity or offensive wording will not be tolerated. ALL CAPS and repeated punctuation (???? or !!!!) should also be avoided.
  • Be considerate of others. Do not make derogatory, condescending, or harassing remarks. Communication should be well-intentioned and well-articulated, and aimed at fostering a positive learning environment. Be aware of how sarcasm may be misinterpreted by your readers.
  • Allow for misunderstandings. Keep in mind that writing can often convey the incorrect tone or intention in the absence of nonverbal communication, and make allowances for unintended rudeness.
  • Cite your sources. If you post work that is not your own, be sure to reference your sources.
  • Be professional on camera. Avoid doing things that would be intrusive, including making sure you are fully clothed and have no distractions in your background.