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Guidelines for online communications

Netiquette, or network etiquette, refers to the guidelines and recommended practices for online communications. In a nutshell, it is the etiquette for the Internet, and should be used in all areas of communication in your class: email, blogging, discussion forums, messages, etc.

While this is an online course, students must still adhere to Oregon Tech student conduct requirements, and all students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is respectful and upholds a supportive, mutually beneficial learning environment.

Netiquette, provides excellent guidelines for online behavior that facilitates the productive and thoughtful exchange of ideas. Some of the basic tenets of netiquette include:

  • Be respectful. Remember that you are communicating with actual people, and be sure to be courteous and show respect, even if there are differences of opinion. Remember the golden rule: treat others as you’d like to be treated!
  • Think before you post. Be aware of who may be able to view your posting, and how your post may be interpreted. Try to maintain a fair and objective tone.
  • Stay on topic. Make sure your communication is related to the subject at hand and does not wander off-topic.
  • Write clearly. Even though the online environment may seem more informal than your face-to-face class, this is still an academic course, and intelligible, mature communication is expected. Correct spelling and grammar are required, and improper sentence structure and punctuation should be avoided.
  • Be considerate of others. Do not make derogatory, condescending, or harassing remarks. Communication should be well-intentioned and well-articulated, and aimed at fostering a positive learning environment. Be aware of how sarcasm may be misinterpreted by your readers.
  • Allow for misunderstanding. Keep in mind that writing can often convey the incorrect tone or intention, and make allowances for unintended rudeness.
  • Cite your sources. If you post work that is not your own, be sure to reference your sources.


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