Netiquette - The etiquette or “how to conduct yourself” guidelines for our online course

Be Polite. Most of us know how to be polite in school face-to face situations. You say hello to your teacher when you walk in the room, and she says hello back. You say “please” and “thank you.” You respond to questions appropriately, without rambling on about your weekend or swearing like a sailor. If a classmate says something “goofy” or wrong in a discussion, you smile on the inside but help them out in a kind way. You appreciate that everyone in the class is different - we’re not all going to think about things like you do - and that’s how we learn from each other!

Write mindfully. And most of us know how to write appropriately. You start your sentence with a capital letter and end with some sort of punctuation mark. You try your best to spell things properly. You write so that most people can actually understand you without needing some sort of modern slang translation device.

So our online learning forum is much the same way, and you’ll need to keep these ideas in mind when presented with an opportunity to communicate with your teacher or classmates. When writing emails or participating in a discussion forum, please:

  1. Greet your teacher or the class with a hello. Ex: “Hi Ms. Leslie. Can you please help me with question number five…”
  2. Stay on topic with your discussion posts and replies. Ex: “I agree with Tom’s point about the animal kingdom having especially dramatic adaptations. Think about a peacock’s “attractive” feathers!”
  3. Use appropriate language, even when your emotions are strong. Ex: “I completely disagree with Rachel about her views on evolution. I believe that…”
  4. Instead of criticizing your classmates’ work, share your own ideas as a contrast. Ex:” Hi Lisa. I didn’t come to the same conclusions about the reading. Instead, I thought the scientist shared an example showing genetic drift because…”
  5. Write with care, and use proper conventions. Ex: “I was thinking the same thing!” versus “LOL i wuz thinkin that 2!”

Note that your instructor reserves the right to remove inappropriate communication from student forums and will contact individuals privately to address poor netiquette behavior.

Thank you for helping to keep this online forum a positive and fun place to learn from each other!