"Netiquette" stands for "Internet etiquette", and refers to the set of practices which help make the Internet experience pleasant for everyone. Like other forms of etiquette, netiquette is primarily concerned with matters of courtesy in communications. The following sections provide more information.
General Netiquette for Email, Discussion Boards
and Chat Rooms
• Check spelling, grammar, and punctuation before sending your words over the network. Chatting and posting are more like speaking, but they are still academic when done for a course. Abbreviated writing that might be appropriate when text messaging might NOT be appropriate in an email. Also, avoid using all lower case words. Clear writing is a form of common courtesy and good manners.
• Write so that the recipient will not attribute unintended nonverbal meanings into the verbal message. Being online will not allow you to use non-verbal cues that are common in face-to-face discussion (i.e. tone of voice, winks, facial expressions). Sarcasm or jokes could be misunderstood. Use your common sense and avoid saying things that MIGHT be offensive to others.
• Emoticons are sometimes acceptable, but if others do not know what they mean, they become useless. Better to use straightforward language. In a formal setting, text-message acronyms should not be used at all (i.e., LOL or AFAIK). And remember, ALL CAPS is often perceived as SHOUTING!
• Think about email, chatting, and posting in the same way as making a verbal comment in a classroom. Any words you post can be made public! When in doubt, leave it out. Decorum is crucial in any online correspondence.
• If you attach documents or photos, be sure they follow the standards of respectful classroom behavior.
• When sending attachments, be sure they can be opened by the recipient of the email (e.g., the GSC campus standards are Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe).
• Always use your GSC email account for official or class-related business.
• Always provide the purpose of the email in the subject line.
• Use an appropriate salutation or greeting to begin an email. “Hey, Dude!” may be an appropriate greeting for a friend, but it is not the type of respectful salutation that you should use when emailing a professor. Professors and staff should be addressed with appropriate title: Dr., Professor, Mr./Mrs./Ms., President, Vice President, etc.
• Conclude your message with complete identification and contact information at the bottom of the email.
• Be brief. Separate ideas into clear, concise paragraphs with spaces in between; do not write one long paragraph containing diverse points and information.
• Do not address several issues in one email; limit emails to one, two, or three related points on the topic in your subject line.
• Use distribution lists sparingly, preferring the Notice Board when there is a mass email to the entire campus community.
• Double check the “To” line in your replies to make sure that the email goes to the right party. Avoid “Replying to All” when you do not mean to.
• When appropriate, use the “Options” icon in Outlook to mark messages as personal, private, or urgent or to request that the message has been received or read.
• When you receive an email, reply within 48 hours, excluding weekends or holidays. Set auto response in “Option” to “Out of Office” if away for an extended time period.
|Discussion Board Netiquette|
When using the Discussion Board for Academic Purposes:
• Pay attention to the discussion question posed by the instructor and answer the question in your posting.
• Label your posting appropriately to fit your message; an automatic reply keeps the instructor and class from looking down the list to find your message quickly. For example, if you’re posting your speech topic for approval, could you find your group members’ postings out of a list of 30 subject lines that say “Re: Speech Topic”?
• Respond to other student postings; after all, this is a discussion that is occurring in an on-line format. To engage in the discussion, read other postings and respond to them directly.
• If other students reply to your posting, respond to their questions or comments. As you would in a face-to-face conversation, acknowledge the person speaking to you.
• If you don’t have anything substantial or constructive to say for your reply, please do not reply. Responses like “that’s nice” do not keep the discussion going.
• For long responses, attach a document and type a message in the discussion box indicating what is in the attachment.
Chat Rooms Created by Professor
• Log on plenty of time before the scheduled time for the chat room session.
• If you log on after the session has started, try not to waste class time asking about what you missed in the discussion.
• Keep your statements on topic with the discussion—talking with a keyboard can be exciting, but eLearning chat rooms are still academic environments. Stay focused.
• Remember that you are part of an academic environment. Type as you would speak in a traditional classroom, not on a blog. Before sending what you type, read it over a couple times to make sure you will not be sending something you might regret. Once you hit “send” in a chat room, you can’t change what you have written and you can be sure that your classmates and teacher will “hear” it. Even when the instructor is not a participant in the chat room, he or she will have a transcript of the assigned chat to read.
• Concise language allows you to make your point more quickly and allows others to read what you have to say more quickly.
• Repetition should be avoided in favor of moving the discussion forward.
• Avoid attacking a classmate for a point of view you disagree with. Debate should be civil. Resorting to personal attacks is a form of intellectual irresponsibility.
• If you are offended by some words typed by another student, please explain how you feel to that student, but do not try to be offensive in return. If the problem continues, please talk to your teacher about it.
• Avoid dominating an online conversation. Give everyone a chance to type. Reading in a chat room is just as important as listening in a classroom.
• Avoid lurking, as well. If you simply read what others are typing and never contribute your own thoughts, you will not benefit from having others respond to you. Typing in a chat room does not require a loud voice, so you don’t have to be shy.
• If you are replying to a particular person, you can indicate so (i.e., @smith). The class can decide how to manage multiple conversations.
Chat Feature in Who’s Online
• If you send an invitation to someone to chat inside eLearning, please wait for a response. If you simply want to send a message to someone and plan to check for a reply later on, please use email instead.
• If you are logged on and would not like to reply to chat invitations, please make yourself invisible or unavailable. Otherwise, please respond to chat invitations in a timely manner.
• Remember who your audience is. If you send a chat invitation to a classmate, you are free to use less formal language. But if you contact your teacher about an assignment, take time to edit your writing and compose complete sentences.