Netiquette Tips for Online Courses

Posted: October 10, 2017 3:00:00 PM CDT

Student at computerCommunication in an online course can be very different from face-to-face interactions. Sometimes course discussions include video or audio elements, but very often, the words on the screen need to stand alone. If you’re new to online courses, or need a few tips to improve your writing in online discussions, learning about Netiquette is a good place to start.

Netiquette is a term for proper etiquette in an Internet, or Net, environment. The University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) keeps Netiquette in mind in offering the following pointers for online course communications.

  • Know the Netiquette no-nos. In addition to refraining from rude comments in online courses—even when you disagree about ideas in a discussion—there are a few other “don’ts” that can improve communication. Avoid writing in all capital letters, as it could come across as shouting to the reader. Don’t use derogatory language, and remember that online courses are subject to the same disciplinary action as a face-to-face classroom if inappropriate or harmful communications occur.
  • Ensure accuracy in your writing. Reading through your post before you submit it to a discussion board has multiple benefits. It helps you ensure correct spelling and grammar, and that you have concisely written what you meant to communicate. Write your post in a word processing system first, and then paste it into an online discussion board. You’ll have an easier time proofreading your work or coming back to the draft to edit later with fresh perspective.
  • Be mindful of misunderstanding. Communicating online means there will be occasional misunderstandings, which can happen among both students and instructors. If you need clarity about someone’s comments, or they need clarity about yours, be patient in explaining your ideas. Although you can edit your posted comment in an online discussion board, you should carefully consider what you write and how others may perceive it before posting.   

Learn more about online courses and student tips through UNK eCampus.

By: Rosanna Vail

Category: General, eCampus

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