Netiquette – Often-Overlooked Policy
"Netiquette" is the portmanteau for "network etiquette", or the do's and don'ts of online communication. Netiquette covers both common courtesy online and the informal "rules of the road" of cyberspace. By establishing a formal netiquette policy, instructors are setting the ground rules at the start of the course without making assumptions about a student’s past online experience. Faculty are encouraged to develop netiquette rules in their course guidelines or you may freely use and adapt one of these examples for your course.
Some Netiquette policies that are available for anyone to use or model on are:
- Netiquette: Etiquette for Communicating Online - Howard Community College Netiquette Statement.
- Netiquette: Ground Rules for Online Discussions - The Institute for Learning and Teaching at Colorado State University
- Two-minute video about Discussion Board Netiquette
- Virginia Shea's Netiquette Home Page
- The Core Rules of Netiquette by Virginia Shea (an excerpt from Netiquette)
- The Net: User Guidelines and Netiquette by Professor Rinaldi, Florida Atlantic University
Examples of Netiquette Statements for Online Courses
Example 1. Refer to another source
Example 2. State your own policy
Example 3. Netiquette quiz or activity
Alternatively, faculty may use an online quiz/exam tool in their course learning management system to have students acknowledge important points of course and netiquette policies. Questions based on examples may be incorporated as well. Another activity is for students to create an online agreement with course participants at the start of the semester.