"Netiquette" in Online Classes

Everyone understands the "code of conduct" implicit in a traditional classroom setting. Online classes also have their own "code of conduct" which consists of the traditional classroom code PLUS what is called "netiquette" - a practical code of behavior for working virtually on the Internet. You should follow these in addition to normal rules of behavior for a classroom setting.

  1. Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life and in a real classroom.
  2. Know where you are in cyberspace, and understand that many people will view what you type.
  3. Respect other people's time and bandwidth - so contribute valuable comments rather than "noise."
  4. Make yourself look good on-line by expressing yourself clearly and respecting the views of others.
  5. Share expert knowledge rather than "keeping it to yourself." And share this knowledge with respect rather than using it to put others down.
  6. Don't start "flame wars" and work to douse flaming whenever you see it.
  7. Respect other people's privacy by not sharing or spreading inappropriate information. If someone posts information that you think may have been posted accidentally, let them know about it privately.
  8. Don't worry too much about typing errors and spelling, as long as you can be understood. But be sure to spend time reviewing your messages before posting to be sure that they are clearly written.
  9. Be forgiving of other people's mistakes, and cheerfully acknowledge your own mistakes if you make them. Don't correct insignificant problems in front of the entire class.
  10. Use proper and respectful language and refrain from any off-color jokes, insults, or threats.
  11. Challenge ideas rather than the students who offer the ideas. When you challenge an idea, do so respectfully and with the goal of increasing everyone's knowledge.
  12. Remember that your colleagues can't see you wink or smile when you type. You may want to use "emoticons" (emotion icons) to indicate your feelings, such as the ubiquitous smiley face :) or frowning face :(
  13. If you are using an emoticon which may not be understood by others, explain its meaning to your colleagues when you first make use of it.

For more information about netiquette, visit Albion College's excellent web site on the topic.

If you are prepared to explore your online course choices, please review the personal technologies needed for online courses.