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Information Literacy Modules: Netiquette

Learning Outcomes

After completing this module you will be able to:

  • Participate in electronic discussion following accepted practices.

Netiquette Slides


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What is Netiquette? The appropriate way to communicate on the Internet. Including communication via:  Social Media. Email.  Online Courses. Internet etiquette, or polite behavior.

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Basic Netiquette. Always Be Polite. Avoid the use of bad language. Be respectful.  Be aware of cultural differences.  Avoid humor and sarcasm outside of communication with close family and friends.  Avoid the use of all capital letters because it appears as though you are shouting.

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Social Media Netiquette.  Don’t be reactive- if a post makes you angry or upset give yourself time to cool down before posting. Or, don’t reply at all.  Avoid oversharing and be mindful of your privacy. You never know who might be checking out your digital footprint- including employers.  Remember the future- things live forever online. Don’t post things that might embarrass you a few years down the road.

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Email Netiquette.  Always include a descriptive subject line. This will inform the recipient of what the email is about before they open it.  Be brief and informative. Put important information first.  Sign your emails with your name and email address so that your recipient can contact you back.  Only use the reply all feature when necessary. Do not send or reply to emails when you are angry or upset. Always give yourself time to ‘cool off’ before responding.  When you are responding to emails make sure you address all of the senders questions or concerns.

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Netiquette for Online Courses. The online classroom is still a classroom, therefore rules of appropriate behavior still apply.  Review the course syllabus and guidelines to find out the instructor’s expectations for behavior.

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General Guidelines for Online Course Behavior. Be respectful to your instructor always.  Use proper titles- Dr. Smith, Mrs. Smith, etc.  Unless instructed to do so, never refer to your instructor by their first name.  Use concise language in online communication. In other words, get to the point sooner than later.  Correct spelling and grammar is expected in college level communication. Don’t use text abbreviations and slang.  Use easy to read text and fonts. Never use all capital letters.  Limit or avoid use of emoticons. Be cautious of the use of humor or sarcasm.  Be careful when sharing personal information online unnecessarily. Allows follow appropriate privacy guidelines.

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Online Course Discussion Board.  Most instructors provide guidelines for online discussion board posts. Always read these directions carefully before posting.  These posts are often part of your course grade- treat them as you would any important assignment.  Cite sources of information to avoid plagiarism.  Proof read all posts for spelling and grammar before posting.  Be sure that your replies add value to the conversation. Short, generic replies are generally not accepted in academic discussions.  Be respectful of other’s opinions and work.

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Discussion Board Netiquette Video

Internet Etiquette Video- SDSU Continuing & Distance Education


Let's Take A Quiz!

1. When sending an email to your instructor you should:

2. It is imperative that a student:

3. If you are angered by something posted in an online discussion you should:

4. A student should always:





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