When communicating online, it is very important to follow the basic rules of netiquette. In the online environment, it is easy to forgot that you are communicating with real people. At times it can also be difficult to be understood correctly.The following basic rules of netiquette may help you to communicate effectively in your online course.

  • Keep paragraphs and messages short and to the point.
  • Focus on one subject per message and always include a pertinent subject title for the message, that way the user can locate the message quickly.
  • Use the jargon associated with the course, but otherwise keep your language simple. 
  • Reply to others by using their name and include your signature at the bottom of messages.
  • Capitalize words only to highlight an important point or to distinguish a title or heading. *Asterisks* surrounding a word also can be used to make a stronger point. Capitalizing whole words that are not titles is generally termed as SHOUTING!
  • Avoid control (special non-language) characters.
  • Be professional and respect the views and opinions of others.
  • Be careful what you say about others. Course mail is easily forwarded.
  • Cite all quotes, references, and sources and respect copyright and license agreements.
  • Be careful when using sarcasm and humor. Since you do not have the same visual cues such as body language and facial expression as in face to face communication, jokes may be viewed as criticism.
  • Flaming is an often-angry, mean-spirited attack on another person via email. It is a major breach of netiquette to flame someone. It's rather counterproductive and usually the result of either a quick move to judgment or a sadistic temperament. Unfortunately, there is little you can do when you have been flamed. Responding in kind brings only joy to the flamer and provides you with only momentary satisfaction. My advice is to contact the instructor and register a complaint.