6. Basic Spelling and Grammar- Online students should always remember no one can physically see them and that everything you write and post creates your online reputation. Bad spelling and grammar accounts for poor netiquette so please remember to always check for any spelling and grammar errors. It is always good to make your discussion posting in MS Word first and then copy and paste it over to the online class. Some online classes have spell checkers built right into it to help you check and will underline in red any misspelled words. Some online professors will take off grade points for poor spelling and grammar as well as not properly using APA Format as discussed in a previous blog post. Always be sure to proof read your work! You can check out my previous blog post entitled: “Top 10 Mistakes Online Students Make” for more information on this.


7. Don’t be a Troll!– A troll is someone online or in an online course that responds to every single post and tries to draw the attention to them all the time. They also may try to start fights all the time and become a real “online problem student.” They often will try to hijack each thread in the online class and cause flame wars in the class. If you observe students like this in your class it is best to ignore them and just make sure your online professor is aware of this behavior. The last thing you need is to fuel the fire and cause an entire course “blow up.” I actually have presented many Webinars on how to deal with such “online problem students.” Here is a link to one such Webinar: http://ednak.com/bsteiny.html. Here is a link to just the MS PowerPoint slides:  http://briancsteinberg.com/Documents/Cultural%20Diversity%20Webinar%20for%20ednak.pptx


8.Don’t Abuse Emoticons Emoticons 🙂 are smiley faces and other online characters. It might be good to use these in the discussions every once in a while to show that you made a joke. Some online professors discourage this. Emoticons should never be used in an academic assignment. It is obviously not part of APA Format!

9.Never Discriminate!- Most online institutions have strict policies on any kind of harassment or discrimination based on racism, sexism, or homophobia. You might not agree on certain issues, but you can always agree to disagree and move on. Also, it is always important to support all of your ideas and opinions with documented research and facts. Don’t forget to cite and paraphrase them using APA Format. This leads to good discussions and overall learning. Respect confidentiality!

10.Be Polite- The golden rule should apply in your online classes as well as you should treat everyone how you would like to be treated. You may even want to take this one step further to the platinum rule which is treating everyone how they would like to be treated. Being more forgiving is also very important as well as always having a positive welcoming tone. And finally, it is always good to respond to people by name so it is clear who you are trying to communicate with. Is it one student? A few students? The entire online class?


Want more on netiquette? Want to test your knowledge? Here is a great quiz from Albion: http://www.albion.com/netiquette/netiquiz.html

Here are some great resources on netiquette:


The Core Rules of Netiquette: http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html

Netiquette (On-Line Etiquette): Tips for Adults and Teens: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter! Technology……..and more: http://www.amazon.com/NETiquette-Line-Etiquette-Facebook-Terminology/dp/1615823174

Netiquette 101 for new netizens: http://www.microsoft.com/hk/athome/security/online/netiquette.mspx

LSC Online Course Netiquette Guidelines: http://blogs.lsc.edu/expectations/netiquette-guidelines/

The University of Phoenix on Netiquette: http://www.phoenix.edu/students/online_communities/netiquette.html

You can even follow College Netiquette on Twitter: @UniversityRules  https://twitter.com/#!/UniversityRules


Stay tuned until next week when I will post another informative and thought provoking blog on online education!