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Netiquette Guidelines

Netiquette refers to etiquette on the Internet (or net). In an online course you will have your communication skills tested! You will be speaking through writing both to fellow students and instructors, so it is imperative to communicate well and professionally. The golden rule of netiquette in an online class or environment is, do not do or say online what you would not do or say in-person.

The following Netiquette Guidelines are suggestions for success in your online learning environment.

Email &
Discussion Boards

Think carefully about who the recipients of your email should be. Avoid sending an email to the entire class, unless you feel that everyone must read it. Use descriptive subject lines for email messages (course number & topic) and discussion board postings. Reply only when appropriate. Use "Reply All" sparingly. Do not use all caps (implies yelling). Do not flame. Check the syllabus and course policies stated by your instructor to know what to expect for your instructor's response time. Always identify yourself by signing your name. Don't assume your instructor knows who you are by your email address.

Show Professionalism and Courtesy

Exhibit the same professionalism and respect in the online class as you would in a face-to-face classroom or in the workplace. Use sarcasm cautiously. In the absence of nonverbal cues such as facial expressions and voice inflections, the context for your sarcasm may be lost, and your message could be misinterpreted. In a face-to-face setting, our tone of voice and facial expressions convey as much of our meaning as the words we use. In a written message, the subtext of your meaning can easily be confused or misinterpreted.

Use Correct Spelling and Grammar

Adhere to correct spelling and grammar rules. It is good practice to compose your message in a word processing program where you can check your spelling and grammar prior to sending. Avoid texting abbreviations and informal language ("C U L8R").

Use a Positive Tone

Before clicking the Send or Submit button, review your message. The ease and speed of the Internet makes it easy to say something you might regret later. Remember: You are communicating with other human beings of all ages and backgrounds, with feelings, sensitivities, and opinions.
When composing a message, ask yourself, "Would I say this to the person or group face-to-face?" or "How might someone interpret this?"

Follow the Course Communication Guidelines

Make sure that you are posting under the correct discussion topic and read all postings in that topic prior to posting your message. Keep in mind that different instructors may have different guidelines for participation and grading.

Software Usage

The course software and server are property of Glendale Community College and the Maricopa Community College District. Use of the electronic communication tools, such as chat, discussion boards, or email for personal gain or gain on behalf of other individuals or organizations or for soliciting funds for charity, non-profit organizations, schools, or other businesses is prohibited.