Netiquette Syllabus Example

What is Netiquette?

Netiquette is network etiquette; a set of rules that encourages appropriate and courteous online behavior. These rules can vary depending on the environment (informal/formal), people (familiar/unfamiliar with each other), activity, and type of technology used.

Why Do We Require Netiquette Rules?

Learning to communicate effectively is important in any learning environment. However, listening and respectfully responding to what others have to say is especially important in the online environment. Netiquette rules have emerged to help facilitate online interactions where there is an absence of visual and auditory cues that can often be sources of misunderstandings.

Why Are They Important?

These rules are important as they can improve soft communication skills, prevent miscommunications, and help you to understand what is socially acceptable when working and collaborating online. Netiquette rules encourage social interactions, community building, and trust. They help promote a safe, engaging, respectful, and collaborative environment where diversity of opinion is valued.

What is Expected in This Course?

It is expected that discourse will be respectful and model the highest standards of professional dialogue. This does not mean that you cannot present opposing viewpoints. In fact, you are encouraged to challenge each other’s ideas and promote stimulating discussions. However, unprofessional and inappropriate comments (unnecessary flaming and flame wars), as in the regular classroom, are to be avoided online. Any posting that does not appear to adhere to professional standards will be removed. In such a case, it will be the responsibility of the student to provide a replacement posting to meet course requirements.

Where Do I Find Netiquette Rules?

If unsure of netiquette rules, please refer to Fundamental Netiquette Rules (adapted from Virginia Shea’s Core Rules of Netiquette and other work, located on the Netiquette Homepage). Additional resources are readily available for review online.

Remember, online communications can often be a source of misunderstandings. For example, THE USE OF ALL CAPS CAN MAKE IT LOOK LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING and should be avoided, as it is considered rude. The judicious use of emoticons is encouraged to help display tone or emotion that is difficult to discern online.

Please be polite and try to make all communications clear. Thanks! :-)

Netiquette Examples: Rules, Actions, and Feedback

Instructions: Read the following 10 student examples. Identify the student action that breaks the Netiquette rule. Click on the Show/Hide button to check your answers and access instructor action and feedback.

Student Example 1

Subject: Brightspace Internal Email (Mock up)

HI SHERRY AND MICHAEL,

I AM CHECKING IN TO SEE IF YOU ARE READY TO START OUR ASSIGNMENT? I THINK IS WOULD BE BEST IF WE START TODAY. I CAN TAKE THE LEAD THIS WEEK.

WE WILL NEED TO POST IN THE GROUP DISCUSSION FORUM.

CHAD

Review the suggested instructor actions and feedback for Example 1.

Rule: This is Rule 1, Remember the Human (avoid the use of ALL CAPS).

Instructor Action: Send private email to student. See below for an example.

Hi Chad,

Please avoid the use of ALL CAPS in the online environment, as it makes it appear that you are shouting and it is more difficult to read. ALL CAPS can be used sparingly for acronyms or to add emphasis to a word in a section of online text. However, it is better to use italics or bold options for emphasis, when available.

Thanks

Student Example 2

Subject: Introductory Discussion Forum (Mock up)

Hi! :-)

My name is Shelly Smith and I am from the east coast of Newfoundland. I am currently starting the second year of my undergraduate Education program.

I am enjoying it so far :-).

I am taking this course because I need to learn more about effective communication skills. In my spare time I enjoy music and crafts. I love to read.

I look forward to participating with all of you online over the next few months. I’ll try not to “hog” the discussions ;-). I wish everyone the best in the course!

Shelly

Review the suggested instructor actions and feedback for Example 2.

Rule: This is Rule 1: Remember the Human (use emoticons sparingly).

Instructor Action: Send Private email to student. See below for an example.

Hi Shelly,

So that your postings are easier to read, please use emoticons sparingly. While emoticons help display mood, tone or emotion that is difficult to discern online, overuse can interrupt the flow of your message.

Thanks

Student Example 3

Subject: Group Discussion Posting (Mock up)

Hi Judy,

I just had a look at the work you sent for our group assignment; it wasn’t bad for a girl! You even got it in on time! (Just joking -JJ).

I’ll get the rest of the guys work today and put the paper together tonight.

Thanks,
Joel

Review the suggested instructor actions and feedback for Example 3.

Rule: This is Rule 1: Remember the Human (Avoid gender and cultural jokes and sarcasm).

Instructor Action: Send private email to student. See below for an example.

Hi Joel,

I just saw your joking response to Judy’s submission and thought I would remind you that sometimes jokes (especially gender and cultural jokes and sarcasm) can be misinterpreted. Please keep that in mind when writing your future postings.

Thanks

Student Example 4

Subject: Group Discussion (Mock up)

Hi Cara, Pauline, and Mike,

I found this very nice photo of the Sistine Chapel that I thought we could use in our presentation on Italian artists for next week?

What do you think? Will we pop this photo into the paintings list?

Clare

sistine-chapel
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sistine_Chapel
Review the suggested instructor actions and feedback for Example 4.

Rule: This is Rule 2: Behave Ethically and Responsibly (respect intellectual property; credit other’s work and respect copyright laws).

Instructor Action: Send private email to student. See below for an example.

Hi Clare,

This is a very appropriate and usable image. Please remember to source so that the original author is credited for their work. I have provided an example:

sistine-chapel

 

Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement – Created from 1536 until 1541
Fresco – Rome Sistine Chapel (Public Domain) (Source)

Images that come from Wikipedia, Wikimedia, and Creative Commons are good choices for online work as these sites contain information that make art works easy to identify ownership, source, and obtain copyright clearance for (when necessary).

Thanks

Student Example 5

Subject: Internal email in Brightspace (mock-up)

Hi,

I thought that 2day’s discussion was very informative. I was glad that you placed me in Group 2– seems 2G2BT. TYVM for sending me the information that I asked for.

TTUL,
Sylvie

Review the suggested instructor actions and feedback for Example 5.

Rule: This is Rule 3: Familiarize Yourself with the Technology and Environment (different technologies require different Netiquette guidelines).

Instructor Action: Send Private email to student. See below for an example.

Hi Sylvie,

I know it is common to use abbreviations, acronyms, and creative spelling when sending personal text messages or communicating in a more informal online “chat” environment with your friends. However, please avoid using “shortcuts” when writing emails and discussion postings in this course. Your message will be clearer.

Thanks

Student Example 6

Subject: Internal email in Brightspace (mock-up)

Hi to everyone,

I just received the funniest chain letter (see attached). I’ve sent it to everyone in the class. Have a look and send to others to get good luck. :-)

Sandra

Review the suggested instructor actions and feedback for Example 6.

Rule: This is Rule 4: Respect Other’s Time and Bandwidth (Don’t waste busy people’s time; minimize spam).

Instructor Action: Send private email to student. See below for an example.

Hi Sandra,

I have just received your email with attached chain letter that you also sent to the class. In the future, please use email and the discussion forum to communicate and send documents related to the course only, as dealing with spam items can be quite time consuming.

Thanks

Student Example 7

Subject: Formal Article Summary posting in Brightspace (mock-up)

Question 1: Briefly summarize one journal article related to the Great Barrier Reef identifying major risk factors related to coral reef degradation. (Please cite your source using APA format.)

AustraliasGBR is the worlds largest coralreaf ecosystem composed of approximately 3,000 individul coralreafs within an area of 345000km2. It has been subject to outbreaksof COTS mass coral bleaching and declinng growth rates of coral due to increasing seewater temps ocean acidification terrestrial runoff tropical cyclones and coral diseases. Data results indicate a significant decline in hardcoral cover from 28.0 % to 13.8 % over a 27yearperiod, with the rate of decline showing a substancial increase since2006.

The mitigation of global warming and ocean acidification is esential for future.The short term solution identified is to reduce the COTSpopulations.Without significant changes the GBR is at risk of losing its WorldHeritage status by2020.

De’ath et al (2012). http://www.pnas.org/content/109/44/17995.full.pdfDillon

Review the suggested instructor actions and feedback for Example 7.

Rule: This is Rule 5: Present Yourself Positively (writing should be clear, logical, and accurate).

Instructor Action: Send private email to student who broke netiquette rule. See below for an example.

Hi Dillon,

I noticed that you have made many grammatical errors in your article summary. Please take time to write more clearly and accurately. Identifying all acronyms upfront and running a spell check before you post will help. If unfamiliar with APA formatting, please refer to the
APA Style guidelines located on the Memorial University Libraries resource page.

Thanks

Example of student’s work corrected

Briefly Summarize one journal article related to the Great Barrier Reef, identifying risk factors related to coral reef degradation.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem, composed of approximately 3,000 individual coral reefs within an area of 345, 000 km2. It has been subject to outbreaks of coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS), mass coral bleaching and declining growth rates of coral due to increasing sea water temperatures, ocean acidification, terrestrial runoff, tropical cyclones, and coral diseases. Data results indicate a significant decline in hard coral cover from 28.0 % to 13.8 % over a 27-year-period, with the rate of decline showing a substantial increase since 2006.

The mitigation of global warming and ocean acidification is essential for the future. The short term solution identified is to reduce the COTS populations. Without significant changes, the GBR is at risk of losing its World Heritage status by 2020.

Reference

De’ath, G., Fabricius, K, E., Sweatman, H., & Puotinen, M. (2012). The 27-year decline of coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef and its causes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 109(44), 17995-17999.
Retrieved from http://www.pnas.org/content/109/44/17995.full.pdf

Student Example 8

Subject: Weekly Discussion forum – (mock-up)

Identified Issue: Several students not participating in weekly discussions.

Review the suggested instructor actions and feedback for Example 8.

Rule: This is Rule 6: Share Your Knowledge and Expertise (Contribute online to construct knowledge).

Instructor Action: Post in the News Item Tool or Class Announcements in Brightspace (mock -up). See below for an example.

Hello to everyone,

This is a reminder that you are expected to participate in the weekly discussions. Participation is worth 20% of your final grade. Please make one original posting and response to at least one posting made by your classmates each week. The intent is to build a supportive online community through the sharing of ideas. If unclear of requirements, please refer to the Discussion Guidelines in the course Syllabus. If you have any questions or are having difficulty, please let me know.

Thanks

Student Example 9

Subject: Blog Post (mock-up)

Reflection Question: What is your personal view of gene therapy?

Initial student posting

Hi,

I think that gene therapy has remarkable therapeutic potential for the future. It could enhance and modify human capabilities; replace defective cells and help to eradicate diseases such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. The possibilities are endless. There is an opportunity to reverse the outcomes of terminally ill children. People could live longer and healthier lives. It would be transformational.

Cheers,
Clare

Student response to initial posting

Hello,

I totally disagree with your superficial view of this topic! Can you not see the big picture? Do you want to be part of a world that uses technology to create “designer babies,” where parents manipulate various traits of their children – such as sex, eye-color, and height before they are even born? How materialistic! The standard human genetic gene pool would be altered forever. Misuse would be rampid – likely by the rich. What if the process was flawed or if the body rejected the procedure? Who knows what other diseases or harm we could cause by unsuccessful gene manipulation. I don’t believe in fooling around with nature. It is totally immoral and unethical. I think it is outrageous for you to even suggest we play God!

Martin

Review the suggested instructor actions and feedback for Example 9.

Rule: This us Rule 7: Keep Flame Wars under Control (Avoid using offensive and confrontational language – don’t flame others for no good reason)

Instructor Actions: Send private email to student, and send a separate email to the entire class. See below for examples.

Instructor Feedback to Student who broke rule

Hi Martin,

I want to remind you that working in a group environment should be a safe, positive, and constructive experience for everyone. Please avoid unnecessary flaming. Although you have made some good points, the tone of your message is negative. Others have the right to express opinions that differ from your own. I recommend that you review the Netiquette Rules located in your course Syllabus and re-post in a more positive way.

Thanks

Instructor Feedback – Class Announcement

Hi to all,

I would like to remind everyone that working in a group environment should be a safe, positive and constructive learning experience. It is expected that all discourse will be respectful. Please review the Netiquette Rules located in your course Syllabus. Any posting that does not adhere to professional standards will be removed. It will be the responsibility of the student to provide a replacement posting to meet course requirements.

Sincerely

Student Example 10

Subject: Student Posts to Group Discussion Forum /instead of the Introductory Discussion forum (Mock up)

Hi to everyone,

I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Chris Porter and this is my first online course. I am currently a second year Arts student. I live in Corner Brook, NL. I am looking forward to this course, as I really like Philosophy and old films. I am a big sports fan. I also like to hike and read.

Cheers,
Chris

Review the suggested instructor actions and feedback for Example 10.

Rule: This is Rule 8: Be Forgiving of Other’s Mistakes – Point it out politely and privately.

Instructor Action: Send private email to student. See below for an example.

Hi Chris,

I just wanted to let you know that you have posted your Introductory Discussions posting in the Group Discussion area by mistake. I am letting you know so that you can repost to the correct area. I will remove the other posting. This is a common error when you are new to the online environment. Don’t worry, by next week you’ll be a pro. Welcome to the course!

Cheers

Note: Including a section on Netiquette and stating course expectations upfront can help your student’s avoid such blunders and prevent you from having to deal with these types of awkward and time-consuming situations!

Resource created by Lisa St.C.