Netiquette Guide for Online Courses
(Abstracted from

It is important to recognize that the online classroom is a classroom, and certain behaviors are expected when you participate in class and communicate with both your peers and your instructors. These guidelines for online behavior and interaction are known as Netiquette--a social code that defines “good” online behavior.


  • Don't share your password with anyone.
  • Change your password if you think someone else might know it.
  • Always log out when you are finished using the system.

General Guidelines

Participating in class

  • Arrive to class on time or early, check your connectivity, and be ready to listen and participate; remove distractions.
  • Unless instructed otherwise, mute upon entry.
  • Leave your camera on unless instructed otherwise.
  • Follow the instructor’s directions for asking questions in class; use chat, raise your hand, or “stay after class” to ask questions rather than interrupting.

Communicating online

  • Treat your instructor and classmates with respect in email or any other communication.
  • Always use your professors’ proper title: Dr. or Prof.
  • Unless specifically invited, don’t refer to your instructor by first name.
  • Avoid using the caps lock feature AS IT CAN BE INTERPRETTED AS YELLING.
  • Be cautious when using humor or sarcasm as tone is sometimes lost in an email or discussion post; your message might be taken seriously or sound offensive.
  • Be careful with personal information (both yours and other’s).
  • Do not send confidential information via e-mail.

Message Board Netiquette and Guidelines

Posting on the Discussion Boards or chats

  • Take your posts seriously and review and edit your posts before sending.
  • Be brief but thorough.
  • Always give proper credit when referencing or quoting another source.
  • Be sure to read all messages in a thread before replying.
  • Don’t repeat someone else’s post without adding something of your own to it.
  • Avoid short, generic replies such as, “I agree;” your posts should demonstrate an ability to synthesize the material and critically analyze what is being presented.
  • Always be respectful of others’ opinions even when they differ from your own.
  • Do not make personal or insulting remarks.
  • The instructor reserves the right to remove any post that is deemed inappropriate for class discussion.