Netiquette is a combination of Internet/Network etiquette. Netiquette guidelines are recommended guidelines for personal conduct that apply to all online communications. Good online manners are vital to a productive and supportive online learning environment. It is important that we all communicate clearly and carefully in order to avoid online misunderstandings. Keep in mind that facial expressions, body language and vocal tone are not available to help you accurately express yourself online. Observing the following Netiquette rules can help:

  • Be polite and respectful at all times.
  • Be tolerant of views expressed by others. Your online classroom may include students from all over the world. Keep in mind that you probably have something to gain from exposure to views and backgrounds different than your own.
  • Address the idea, not the person. If reacting to someone else's message: Address the idea, not the person. Remember to be polite and respectful.
  • Be careful when using sarcasm and humor. Do not include any obscenities in your messages. Without face-to-face communications, people may take your humor personally, and you never know who may be offended by expressions that are commonplace to you. Keep in mind that online forms of communication are absent of any emotion. Many times the instructor cannot determine how a particular comment should be taken. Be sure to word your communications carefully.
  • Think carefully about your content when you write. Think carefully about what you write about others. Always assume that your electronic messages will be forwarded. Do not write anything that you would not want broadcasted to the entire class.