Five Fast Netiquette Tips

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Image shows woman holding a cup with a dark beverage in it with an open laptop in front of her and a pair of glasses on her desk.

While we have been offering courses and programs online for quite some time, we know that this learning approach might be new to some students. To help, all College of the Rockies students will be automatically enrolled in this year’s online JumpStart Day which will take place starting the week of August 17.

If you have enrolled for the fall semester, you should have received an email about how to access JumpStart information. (Check your spam mail if you have not, or contact Enrolment Services). Included in the list of valuable seminars offered through JumpStart is a brand new one entitled “How to be an Active Learner”, which will provide some basic strategies for studying online.

To help augment the JumpStart seminars, we’ve compiled a few simple ‘netiquette’ tips for you to keep in mind this semester:

  1. Be respectful. Please remember that your classmates and faculty are humans who are affected by how you communicate with them. Think before you type. If you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, don’t say it online either. Being respectful also means recognizing and respecting diversity amongst your fellow students and faculty.
  2. There’s no sarcasm font. We like funny. Funny is good. But sometimes humour is challenging when you can’t see the person you’re communicating with. Sarcasm, especially, doesn’t translate well to online communications and can backfire. Be careful when using humour in online communications.
  3. Keep it professional. Before you send an online message to your classmates or instructor, double-check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation. You don’t want your message to get lost because of a typo or because the reader can’t get past your incorrect form of the word “their/there/they’re”. Re-read your message to make sure it makes sense. Avoid using all capital letters – which make it seem like you’re yelling, don’t use shortened forms of words (like “u” instead of “you”), and keep on topic.
  4. Carefully read assignments. Some instructors will require specific naming conventions for your assignment submissions or ask for an assignment to be submitted in more than one file. You’ve worked hard on your assignment, don’t lose marks for missing these requirements.
  5. Read first, type later. When responding to a question in a discussion forum, read all of the responses first to make sure you’re not repeating what others have already said. Have a question of your own? First do a little research to see if you can find the answer yourself. If not, post it to the discussion forum. Others may have the same question as well.

We wish everyone a wonderful semester – whether you’re learning fully online, or taking part in a mixture of online and hands-on study. If you find yourself struggling, be sure to reach out – to your instructor or to a member of our Student Services team. We’re here to help you succeed.