Online etiquette, or “netiquette,” includes generally accepted rules of behavior when interacting with others on the Internet (email, chat, discussion boards). Here are a few suggested rules that will help keep your interaction with others respectful, positive, and productive.
1. All the people in your classes are students like you. They are probably new to this too. So don’t be afraid to post to your class discussions. You will learn a great deal.
2. Be positive. If somebody says something you like, tell him or her, either by commenting to the whole group or by sending an individual reply via email. If you disagree with the person, try to do so in a constructive rather than negative way.
3. Be polite. Be careful to avoid misunderstandings. Try to be polite and friendly in your postings.
4. Humor is great if it is polite. Avoid comments that could offend or confuse people.
5. Let people know what you’re going to be talking about. Make sure your posting has a clear and descriptive entry on the Subject line.
6. Make the right choice: email or discussion. If you want to speak with a classmate personally about something, send an e-mail. If you want to post something to the whole group, use the class discussion board. On the classroom discussion board, you have an audience, so think carefully about the content of your message before posting it. Also, the grammar and spelling of a message reflect on you, and your audience might not be able to decode or interpret misspelled words or poorly constructed sentences.
7. Proofread your writing. Always reread your emails or discussion posts one last time before sending or posting them. If you have a particularly long email or post, you might want to use a word processor so you won’t lose your work if your network connection is lost. When you have finished typing your comments in your word processor, copy them to the email or discussion window. To do this, highlight the text you want to copy in your word processor and then click on the word processor’s Edit menu and select Copy. Then go to the email or discussion window, right-click in the Message window and select Paste.