We just had to re-post this excellent guide to Netiquette, online etiquette for students.
If your course contains online elements like a discussion board, blog or Twitter, this guide is a great way of talking with students about how to interact with each other in an academic setting. Feel free to take it and adapt it in whatever way suits your course or students!
Thanks Melanie Barrand (Leed University) for putting this together and for letting us use it:
‘Netiqutte is a set of informal rules or conventions which can help ensure your online communication is clear, respectful and courteous. There are numerous versions of netiquette rules in existence however they all have the same central message: Be nice to each other, stay on topic and do the best you can.
Be nice to each other:
•Remember where you are and act accordingly. Robust discussion, or critique in a blog or discussion board does not require insults or slights.
•DON’T SHOUT: TYPING IN ALL CAPS IS PERCEIVED AS SHOUTING. Use your Shift key.
•Be careful with your language and remember your audience – some conversational language and common idioms may not mean the same things to other readers.
•Write sentences, consider using paragraphs, and use punctuation (it’s free!).
•Use plain english.
•Don’t uz txt spk.
•Construct informative subject headings: A thread or post titled ‘Some reasons for Henry’s military success’ will be much more informative in a discussion about Henry ll than one titled ‘Henry’.
•Use formatting, bullet points and headings where necessary to add clarity to your communication.
Stay on topic in discussions:
•If your question or post in a discussion board is off topic but still related to the discussion begin your subject title with OT: to mean off topic. If your post is significantly or perhaps completely off topic, post it in another discussion room, perhaps the one set up for general questions.
•If your tutor asks you to reply in a specific thread please do so, don’t start a new thread.
•Avoid repetition. If another student posts a message making a point with which you agree, resist the temptation to post lots more messages saying ‘Me too’ or ‘I agree’. You should always say more, perhaps explain why you agree, or bring more evidence to support your position. Equally, if you disagree, explain why.
Quote or cite where necessary:
•If you quote from other people’s messages in yours, be careful to ensure the meaning of their words remains intact. People may be offended if you misquote them.
•Quote only where necessary. In a threaded discussion you don’t need to quote all of the text that came before yours. In a blog comment, a small quote from the original post will help contextualise and anchor your reponse.
•Be aware of copyright. Ensure that any material you reuse in your online communication is free from copyright issues. If you did not create the content yourself, you will need to check copyright.
•If you use a source, cite it – other people in the discussion might want to use the material and your citation will help them find it. To learn more about referencing, try a referencing tutorial from Skills@Library.’
You can read the original piece here.