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Netiquette for E-Learning

Learning Anytime, Anywhere...

Below are some “rules” or guidelines to consider when communicating in your eLearning courses.  These have been adapted from the Core Rules of Netiquette by Virginia Shea.

Know Your Context

  • Introduce yourself.
  • Remember that culture influences communication style and practices.  Stay open and ask questions – avoid assumptions.
  • Instructors will usually set the tone and provide guidance/guidelines.
  • Familiarize yourself with policies on appropriate use of technology.

Remember the Human

  • We all come with personalities. Remember there is a person behind the words. Ask for clarification before making judgment.
  • Check your tone before you publish.
  • Respond to people using their names.
  • Again, culture and even gender can play a part in how people communicate.
  • Remain authentic and respect the same of others.
  • People participate in different ways – some just by reading the communication rather than jumping into it.
  • Avoid jokes and sarcasm – they often don’t translate well to the online environment.

Text has Permanence

  • What you say online is difficult to retract later – once in print.  Be judicious.
  • Consider your responsibility to the group and to the learning environment.
  • If you are working collaboratively – agree on ground rules for text communication (formal or informal; seek clarification whenever needed, etc.) 

Flaming: Research Before You React

  • Accept and forgive mistakes.
  • Consider your responsibility to the group and to the learning environment.
  • Seek clarification before reacting.
  • Ask your instructor for guidance. 

Respect Privacy and original Ideas

  • Always quote if you are responding to a specific point made by someone else.
  • Ask the author of an email before forwarding it.
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