Online Netiquette

What is netiquette? Simply stated, it's network etiquette -- that is, the etiquette of cyberspace. And "etiquette" means "the forms required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be required in social or official life." In other words, netiquette is a set of rules for behaving properly online.  Classes with an online component require the use of good netiquette.

Many eLearing courses use discussion forums.  Here are four tips for good netiquette in an online discussion.

  1. It's typically a good idea to address the person you're responding to by name, just as if you were speaking to them face-to-face. It's also a good idea to sign your posting. This will make your online discussion more personal, and remind you to be polite!
  2. Use care when interacting online, since you don't have the ability to gauge a person's reaction or feelings as you do in a face-to-face conversation. In particular, humor and sarcasm should always be used very carefully and where needed, labeled as such.
  3. It may be ok to disagree with someone depending on your professor's direction for the assignment, as long as you give good reasons for doing so. Remember that people are perfectly entitled to debate both sides of a course idea or topic, and that reasoned argument is an important part of a college education. Your response should never ever attack someone personally. You can disagree with someone, and they with you, while still remaining respectful
  4. Identify your sources if you use quotes, references, or resources. Your work must always be distinctively your own writing, unless you have indicated otherwise.

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