Netiquette refers to the proper way to communicate electronically with others. Many instructors who teach online and/or face-to-face have found it helpful to have a Netiquette Policy included in their syllabus, or as an addendum, to ensure that everyone understands what is proper when communicating online. A Netiquette Policy might include the following:
- Only say something in an email that you would say in person. Likewise, when in doubt, leave it out.
- Because email can be easily forwarded, assume everyone has access to your email.
- Do not forward or post another person's email without their permission.
- Avoid using all CAPS, as it is considered shouting.
- Keep in mind that because nonverbal elements such as tone of voice and facial expressions are nearly nonexistent, anything that could be taken as rude or offensive probably will be.
- Never send an email message when you are angry or upset. Give yourself time to "sleep on it." Draft your response and reread it in 24 hours. Chances are you will decide not to send it or you will rewrite a more appropriate response.
- (If applicable to your course.) When reading and/or critiquing other students'work, keep in mind that we are all here to learn and whatever someone turns in is not expected to be perfect. Try to convey your feedback in a constructive, polite and rational way. Likewise, try to be open to constructive feedback.
In addition, you may want to suggest to your students that they take a Netiquette Quiz to test their Netiquette.
"The Netiquette Quiz." Netiquette. Albion, 2006. Web. 1 July 2008.
"Computing Use Policy: Netiquette." Computer Services. Warner Southern Coll., 2008. Web. 7 July 2008.
"Netiquette: Internet Behavior Guidelines." Information Technology Services. Boston College, 2003. Web. 7 July 2008.