Netiquette: Etiquette Guidelines for Distance Learning

Online communication is a very critical component of any online environment. There could be asynchronous communication (which means you are involved in a communication that IS NOT coordinated in time; such as a discussion forums, emails, blogs, wikis, etc.) or synchronous communication (which means you are involved in a communication that IS coordinated in time; such as a LIVE chat sessions, LIVE office hours, web-conferences, etc.) in an online environment.

What Is Netiquette?

By definition, etiquette is "the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group." In the online environment, netiquette, or internet etiquette, is a way of defining professionalism through network communication (Mintu-Wimsatt, Kernek & Lozada 2010). Netiquette refers to a set of core rules that delineates what should and should not be done with regards to online communication in order to maintain common courtesy (Shea 1994).

Netiquette Tips

Regardless of the type of communication used, you should always keep in mind the following:

  • be respectful
  • be considerate of others
  • write clearly and concisely
  • think through before responding
  • spell-check and proofread your responses
  • respond in a timely manner
  • use short paragraphs
  • be mindful of your academic tone

Avoid the following:

  • CAPITAL LETTERS may be used to EMPHASIZE, but avoid typing in only capital letters as it may "sound" AS THOUGH YOU'RE SHOUTING!
  • rambling writing style; get to the point quickly
  • using offensive language
  • using slang language (that may lead to misinterpretation)
  • making fun of someone's ability to read or write
  • screens full of text

Video Tip: Discussion Board Netiquette

Watch the following video for tips on discussion board netiquette.

byuicurdev. (2012, June 12). Discussion Board Netiquette [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwdqQjCfWSc

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