From The Academic Dean: On-line Etiquette

On-line etiquette is an important factor to understand when enrolling and completing an on-line or hybrid course.  Because so much of your interaction will be virtual, it’s crucial that you follow some simple guidelines about on-line etiquette. 

First and foremost, never post anything or write in an email something that you couldn’t say to the person or class face to face.  Too often, students “hide behind the computer” in writing scathing emails or inappropriate comments that they would never be able to say face to face.  If you can’t say it, don’t write it. 

Second, remember that non-verbals are gone in a virtual environment when no cameras are involved.  Emoticons can be helpful in showing when you are joking or trying to be straight-forward and not rude.  Another good piece of advice…if you are still solving the same problem or discussing the same issues after three emails, pick up the phone and talk to the person involved.  It can be more efficient and lead to less confusion.  

 Third, in a classroom setting, avoid too much jargon, texting-grammar, etc.  You are in an academic and rigorous course – your language and written interactions should reflect that.  The best advice I have is the same regardless of age, level of education, on-line or on-ground:  treat others as you want to be treated.  If you are upset about an interaction, don’t send a vicious email….cool down and respond appropriately.  Taking some time to reread anything you are going to send is also good advice.  With the increase in on-line learning, there are vast resources available to you regarding on-line interactions.  This link provides 9 simple suggestions to follow:

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