• Be polite and respectful to fellow online participants by avoiding
    • Obscene language or sexual conversation
    • All-caps type, which is perceived as shouting
    • Repeating the same sentence continuously
    • "Flaming" others with emotional or angry messages
  • To communicate effectively in the online environment,
    • Use smileys, or emoticons, to show tone of voice or emotion :)
    • Use symbols such as asterisks (*) to emphasize words
    • Use acronyms such as "brb" (be right back) or "afk" (away from keyboard)

Netiquette and Group Dynamics: The Core Rules of Netiquette

(Adapted from Harasim, L., Hiltz, S.R., Teles, L., & Turoff, M. (1995). Learning Networks: A Field Guide to Teaching and Learning Online. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.)

This refers to your efforts to create a sense of online community. Positive climate building can reduce anxiety about communicating online, and contribute to a positive collegial environment. Climate building can be developed by:

  • Use of first names by participants.
  • Responding promptly to messages sent to you.
  • Use of reinforcement phrases (i.e., "Good idea!" or "Thanks for the suggestions," etc.).
  • Use of personalizing remarks (i.e., a reference to where you are working -- home, office, terminal, what is happening around you, the weather, etc.).
  • Avoiding hostile or curt comments. No objectionable, sexist, or racist language will be tolerated.
  • Displaying humor.
  • Promoting cooperation by offering assistance and support to other participants and by sharing ideas.

Beyond Netiquette: Do's and Don'ts

  • Demonstrating courtesy online is fundamental. (Absolutely no abusive or libelous comments will be permitted.)
  • Use only your real first and last name online.
  • Confidentiality: No one else should be given access to any of the conferences (either viewing onscreen or in print), without the previous consent of all participants and conferees.
  • Copyright & Plagiarism: Do not use the words or text of others without proper acknowledgement of the source (if this was in some public source), or -- if private (as in a conference) unless you first have the author's permission.
  • The use of humor can be very tricky; sometimes it is seen as sarcasm or derision rather than as funny. Symbols or parenthetic phrases (e.g., :-) or "ha! ha!") can help to convey emotional tone and help to prevent misunderstandings.