Simply defined, netiquette means etiquette on the Internet (or net). In an online course, you will be speaking through written word both to fellow students and instructors, so it is imperative to communicate well and professionally. Mostly, when speaking in an online course, the same rules apply for etiquette as in real-time.
Read the guidelines below. The descriptions will help show how you can be "I AM TVCC" online.
Online courses offer flexible working environments, and while you may be alone in your physical place, you are not working alone. The interactions you encounter online are preparing you for a career. How you interact in your online course(s) is a stark reflection of how your will interact in your professional role. Ensure you are interacting professionally by using manners that create a pleasant working culture. Be considerate and polite, in addition ensure your terminology and messages are appropriate for the tone of the conversation. For example, determine if instant message abbreviations are appropriate, or if the conversation requires formal text. Would you a lady wear a ball-gown to a baseball field? Would a man wear slacks to go fishing? Seek to interpret how the people on the receiving end of your communication will interpret you professionally. Using proper language and titles will promote your professional image. Also, do not use caps lock when writing, as it insinuates yelling.
Cultural influences can influence communication in terms of phrasing and word choice. Before jumping to conclusions, ask for clarification.
If you are unsure of what was said, or the instructor's directive, or are trying to interpret a person's expressions, then ask again. Do not sit in silence misunderstanding or feeling offended. The lack of visual and auditory clues may affect meaning, as well. A simple way to ask for clarification is to (or write), "I did not understand...”. Always ask for clarification before jumping to conclusions.
The network you have with classmates in an online course is invaluable. Use tools like your email, discussion forums, etc. to share ideas, ask questions, and participate with your network. Remember, there are appropriate times to have conversational tones in your online courses. Write as if you were in front of the person.
As well, be careful with your online postings because once posted, you are not able to get it back. When you press send, the email is sent! Reread your text, reflect on your words, and consider your words from the perspective of the person receiving your message. Always be at least a little cautious in your online interactions, but seek connections with your class network.
Translate factual information.
Deception due to incorrect information is harmful to the learning environment, even if unintentional. As such, you should seek to find reliable sources and provide those sources with your information. Always cite your facts and ensure your statements and opinions are supported by experts in the field.
Value and respect others.
A fellow classmate may not share the same opinion as you when participating in an online activity. You each have the right to disagree with each other, but you do not have the right to allow your disagreement to disrupt the learning process for others. Ensure your disagreements are based on facts, not opinions or personal feelings. As well, express your disagreements with respect and humility. Always reread your posts before publishing to ensure you are not sending and unintended meaning. Most importantly, do not forget there is another human being receiving your messages, not just a computer.
Because written text is the main method of communication online, writing clearly to convey the proper meaning of your words is essential. You can lose your tone in writing easily without being clear and concise. When being concise, ensure you are being accurate so that your short text does not convey a misunderstanding. Try to avoid sarcasm, joking, and always be mindful of your chosen words. Most importantly, reread before you respond. Define and restate your words when necessary, and if needed, correct a misunderstanding right away. In addition, your communication should follow standard rules for grammar and spelling.
Be friendly, positive and self-reflective. When people cannot see you, and also do not know you, feelings can be hurt if you are not careful in how you express yourself. The old saying, think before you speak is important here. Think before you write. One word of advice is to not respond when you feel angry. Wait. Write it down somewhere and come back to it. When you do, you may find that you no longer feel the same way as you did when you wrote it, because you have had time to reflect about the situation. Last, if you still feel the need to be heard, then edit before you post, and write it in terms that are easily embraced. When you feel a critique is necessary, say it in a positive tone. Reread what you have written to be sure it is positive. You can help your online community by posing questions, sharing experiences, providing positive feedback, asking follow-up questions, and referring to information sources. Being a positive contributor is better than being a critic, troll or other negative force.