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15 Essential Netiquette Guidelines to Share with Your Students

June 11, 2014
Netiquette ( net + etiquette) is the code of proper conduct applied to virtual online spaces. This code is dictated by common sense rules ( manners ) and social conventions. Teaching students about netiquette is just as important as teaching them to use technology in their learning. Crafting a netiquette memo for your class and informing your students about the importance of these rules will definitely help you create an engaging, respectful, and meaningful learning environment where collaboration and diversity of opinions are celebrated.

Image Credit: Thomas Galvez 

If you have  created some sort of learning virtual space where students get to interact, talk, discuss, share, and learn together then make sure you share this visual with them or better yet, print it off and hang it in your classroom. This visual, created by Touro College,  outlines 15 netiquette rules students should abide by while interacting in online discussion boards. However, these netiquette rules are also valid for any other virtual space and not only discussion boards.

Here is a quick round-up of these 15 netiquette rules:
  • Before posting your question to a discussion board, check if anyone has asked it already and received a reply.
  • Stay on topic. Don't post irrelevant links, comments, thoughts or pictures.
  • Don't type in ALL CAPS! If you do it will look like you are screaming.
  • Don't write anything that sounds angry or sarcastic even as a joke, because without hearing your tone of voice, your peers might not realize you're joking.
  • Always remember to say"please" and "thank you" when soliciting help from your classmates.
  • Respect the opinion of your classmates. If you feel the need to disagree, do so respectfully and acknowledge the valid points in your classmate's argument. If you reply to a question from a classmate, make sure your answer is accurate!
  • If you ask questions , many people respond. Summarize all answers and post that summary to benefit your whole class.
  • Be brief. If you write a long dissertation in response to a simple question, it's unlikely that anyone will spend the time to read through it all.
  • Don't badmouth others or call them stupid. You may disagree with their ideas but don't mock the person.
  • If you refer to something your classmate said earlier in the discussion, quote just a few key lines from their post so that others won't have to go back and figure out which post you're referring to.
  • Before asking a question, check the class FAQs or search the Internet to see if the answer is obvious or easy to find.
  • Check the most recent comments before you reply to an older comment.
  • Be forgiving. If your classmate makes a mistake, don't badger him or her for it. Just let it go.
  • Run a spelling and grammar check before posting anything to the discussion board.


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1 comments : POST A COMMENT

  1. This is a terrific list and I plan to use with my kiddos! However, it would be more effective if the lists used positive language and made the focus on what the students SHOULD be doing versus NOT doing. For example, #10 could state, "Always use kind words and actions. Remember the golden rule and 'treat others how you want to be treated.' Avoid name calling & respect the words of others." Another example, #3 could state, "Use lowercase letters! Did you know using ALL CAPITALS implies you're yelling or screaming at someone online? Using lowercase letters is respectful and kind." I plan to adapt this because in my PBIS classroom this doesn't mesh. Awesome list and thank you!

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