What is Netiquette?

Netiquette, or network etiquette, refers to etiquette on the Internet. Good netiquette involves respecting the privacy of others and avoiding doing anything online that will offend or frustrate other people.

Rules for interacting with others in your online course:

  • Unless directed otherwise by your instructor, you should write email and discussion board postings in standard written English (the kind of language you would expect to find in a workplace). Messages should be short and to the point.
  • Make sure that you use a meaningful subject line so that your readers will have a clear idea of who sent the message and what the message contains. Many instructors and students are either teaching or taking more than one online class; make the specific class clear from the subject line.
    Good example - "Subject: XXX 000, J Smith, My feedback on the Taylor article."
    Poor example - "Subject: Interesting Stuff."
  • Use all capital letters sparingly. Capitalize words only to highlight an important point or to distinguish a title or heading.
    Capitalizing whole words that are not titles is generally seen as SHOUTING and is often offensive to the reader.
  • Be courteous about what you say about others in an electronic format. Never say anything in an email or on a discussion board that you would not want to see printed in the newspaper.
  • When reacting to someone else's message, address the ideas, not the person.
  • Be careful when using sarcasm and humor. Without face-to-face communications, your joke may be viewed as criticism.
  • Be careful not to get too personal too fast.
  • Be respectful of other, diverse opinions. Don't assume that everyone shares the same views or background.
  • Be aware of potential compatibility problems when sharing electronic files. Even though you may be able to "attach" a file to an electronic message, your recipient(s) may not be successful in opening your file on the other end.
  • Don't share copyrighted materials. Most things on the Internet are NOT "fair use." Instead of copying a relevant article or web page, provide a link to the material along with a short description of its significance.