Netiquette at CCSNH
“Netiquette” or “network etiquette” is a set of standards that have evolved through appropriate Internet behavior, including the ways that users communicate and interact with one another. Incorporate these guidelines, in conjunction with expectations outlined in the Code of Conduct, in any form of written communication that uses technology to transmit the message, including but not limited to, email, Blackboard discussion forums, chat rooms, web sites, blogs, wikis, virtual meetings, text messages and instant messaging.
General Netiquette Guidelines
- Be mindful, and respectful toward, the person who will see or receive your communication. Communicate only those things that you would say face-to-face, though it is important to remember that communicating feelings in an electronic format often leads to miscommunication.
- Always assume the message-sender's intentions were good. If you notice that she or he used incorrect spelling, grammar, etc., and wish to let her or him know, do so privately and tactfully.
Netiquette in Written Communication
- Make sure your classmates, students and colleagues really need to know the information you are sharing.
- Explain your ideas clearly and concisely. Nonverbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions, are absent; there is greater potential for misunderstandings.
- Forward email messages of files only with the author or owner's permission. Asking for permission demonstrates your integrity in personal and business communications.
- Take care in framing questions so as not to put a classmate, student or colleague "on the spot."
- Use bold fonts as prescribed in APA and MLA style guides (paper titles, paragraph headings, etc.). The use of bold fonts, ALL UPPER CASE, and the color red often convey a tone of anger to your reader.
- Use colored fonts only when it is adds to the clarity of the specific message or is pedagogically appropriate. Remember, classmates, students, instructors and colleagues, who may use assistive technologies may encounter hurdles as a result of colored fonts. Though, if colored fonts are critical to your learning or lesson, know that the colors red or light green often cannot be seen by people with color blindness and that light colored fonts do not photocopy, or print well.
- Avoid the use of Italics as it makes the text more difficult to read.
- Avoid emoticons, e.g., :-), text-speak, e.g. 'u' for you, acronyms or abbreviations unless the class is expected to use them.
- Use ellipsis (...) for purposes related to proper formatting, such as those required of APA and MLA.
- Reread everything you write before sending, or submitting, it. Use spell check.
Netiquette in Discussion Boards
- Review the discussion board rubric, outlining the expectations for participation and contributions.
- Actively participate in icebreaker/introduction discussion forums.
- Label your discussion post so it can be located easily within the discussion board.
- Identify to whom you are responding, whether it is another student or the entire class. This also helps to keep the post in context.
- Limit your response to one screen length.
- Stay on topic in your responses.
Netiquette Specific to Email
- Use your @ccsnh.edu email account for all college-related matters. It is the only way to guarantee that the recipient will receive your message and that you are seeing all email messages sent to you.
- Make sure the person listed in the “To” field is your intended recipient.
- State briefly the purpose of your email in the subject line, so the recipient immediately knows the purpose of your message and perhaps the course to which your message relates.
- Start your email with an appropriate greeting. Address the recipient with their proper title, e.g., Dr.; Professor; Mr./Mrs./Ms., etc., if that is how they refer to themselves.
- Present each of your main points in separate clear, concise paragraphs.
- Reply within 48 hours to an email, excluding weekends or holidays. If you need more time to compose a proper reply, send a brief email to inform your recipient. They will appreciate it!
Use the Bcc and Cc field in an email in the following ways:
- Use the Bcc field when you are sending an email to a lot of recipients and wish to not share the email addresses of other recipients of that message.
- Use the Cc field when you are sending an email to a person and you wish for the copied person to be informed.
- Add more than one recipient to the To field when you wish to collaborate or to share with a group of people who know each other.
- It is important to consider that a recipient, who was blind copied on a message, has the potential to reply to all.
Netiquette Specific to Live Chat and Virtual Meetings
- Live chat and virtual meetings provide synchronous communication, i.e., communication that takes place between people in different locations at the same time.
- Log in early to the chat room so you can familiarize yourself with the live chat environment.
- Mute your microphone when not speaking to avoid audio feedback.
Original April 2008, Revised May 2014, CCSNH Distance Learning Committee