An online classroom is just that, a classroom, and proper conduct is just as important as in face-to-face classes.
- Be respectful of your professor and peers. Cultural backgrounds, linguistic habits, and abilities to express oneself in writing may vary in an online learning environment. Being open to different points of view is a sign of intelligence and is one of the greatest ways to learn.
- Use proper language—no emoticons, text message spelling, or swear words. Check spelling and grammar before posting to class sites.
- Don’t use ALL CAPS! If you do, it means that you are screaming.
- Avoid sarcasm and dark humor. Take your posts seriously. Never say online what you wouldn’t say to another person’s face. Online posts are forever.
Guidelines for your Blackboard course sites and other learning tools
- Think before you post. This is especially important if your instructor is grading the comments. (Some professors use settings that allow students to edit their responses, while others don’t.)
- Stay on topic and within the scope of the course material. Don’t distract; avoid idle talk.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to post. Allow time for other students to respond before the deadline. Likewise, don’t wait to post your replies until the deadline; the author deserves an opportunity to address questions or respond to points you make.
- Be forgiving. If a classmate makes a mistake, whether it’s a typo or grammatical error, just let it go.
Seriously, use proper letter format and common sense.
- Open with “Dear” or “Good morning.”
- For a college instructor, “Professor” is always a correct title, and the syllabus (or a google check) may indicate if “Dr.” (PhD, JD, MD) is appropriate. Faculty will usually tell you how they wish to be addressed – follow their lead.
- For non-faculty, you may address by professional title, if known (ex: Dean Smith or Director Smith).
- Do not use first names when addressing those in authority else until they explicitly ask you to do so.