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Netiquette

GUIDELINES FOR ONLINE COMMUNICATION

It is important to recognize that the online classroom is in fact a classroom, and certain behaviors are expected when you communicate with both your peers and your instructors. These guidelines for online behavior and interaction are known as “netiquette”.  Good netiquette involves respecting the privacy of others, not doing anything online that will disturb or frustrate other people, and not abusing computing resources at the college. The following netiquette guidelines are suggested practice for success in your online learning environment.

Security: 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.
  • Many web browsers will offer to remember your password. Never allow your password to be stored on a computer for public use.
  • Remember that the law still applies in online space. Do not commit illegal acts online, such as labeling or slandering others, and do not joke about committing illegal acts.

Email and Discussion Forums:

  1. Take your message seriously:  Use clear and concise language. Review, check your spelling and grammar prior to sending your message.
  2. Be brief and respectful of others' time: If your message is short and to the point, people will be more likely to read it. Avoid sending an e-mail to the entire class, unless you feel that everyone needs to read it.
  3. Avoid slang terms and sarcasm: the meaning and tone is sometimes lost in an email or discussion post and your message might be taken out of context, seriously or offensive.
  4. Capital letters and bolding: In written communication, the use of capital letters and/or bolding is used for emphasis. In much of the corporate world, writing in all caps is considered yelling. Yelling is not tolerated in a residential classroom and, therefore, is not acceptable in any online communications.
  5. Keep personal beliefs out of classroom: Be courteous and respectful of others by keeping politics and religion out of classroom discussion unless the instructor has invited such contribution.
  6. Disagree respectfully: Be respectful of opinions of others even when they differ from your own. When you disagree with someone, you should express your differing opinion in a respectful, non-critical way.
  7. Maintain a positive tone:  When composing a message, ask yourself: “Would I say this to the person face-to-face?” Avoid any language or activities that marginalize others, discrimination of any kind and prejudice. Remember that the ease and speed of the Internet makes it easy to say or do something you may regret later.
  8. Don’t respond to personal attacks: Do not make personal or insulting remarks. Contact your instructor for action and referral if you feel uncomfortable.
  9. Keep personal information private: Posting private information in the wrong location can have serious consequences. Remember that revealing too much information could give those with bad intentions valuable information they can use to harm you or to harm others.
  10. If you are new to online learning: It may help to observe how people communicate with each other before you jump into online discussions, join chat rooms, or post information on course Web space.
  11. Be forgiving: Online class is much like a classroom and a safe environment is held in high regard for the learning process to occur. Your classmates put out what they think and make mistakes, which is a part of the learning process.  If your classmate makes a mistake, don’t badger him or her for it. Just let it go.

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