Center for Technology Enhanced Learning

Blackboard Netiquette

Netiquette Guidelines are an important ingredient in a well-designed online course. Below, you will find two examples of statements on Netiquette. These can be included in your syllabus, in Course Information, or in your Week One Content folder, or they might be a prompt for one of your first week discussions.

The following guidelines are offered by AnnMarie Johnson, CTEL Director:

Our text-based communication is vital in this course since it is the primary--and possibly only--way we will connect with each other. Please be careful and considerate in all your communications with each other and the instructors.

The online medium is poor at conveying tone. Consider what you are saying and remember that your intent might not be inferred by your readers (fellow students and instructors). Take a moment to re-read everything you write: assume that it will be taken in the worst possible light. And extend courtesy to others: assume the most charitable light possible. Both of these will make communication easier and far more civil.

Use emoticons to provide the context of facial expression. A simple smile :) goes a long way in telling readers that your statement is meant in a friendly way. A wink ;-) tells us you are joking about something and prevents misunderstanding.

You can also indicate emotions and gestures with text. Some people use * or :: to indicate these, such as ::smile:: or *frustrated*

If you feel angry or frustrated, give yourself time before submitting a response, possibly even over night. If you aren't sure how something will come across, ask someone else to read it over and give you feedback. Always re-read or preview messages in the discussion board or email before sending them.

Pat Red's Netiquette Guidelines:

Pat Red, an Graduate Level Instructor in Special Education, includes these guidelines on her Discussion Board Rubric, which is made available to all of her students in the first week of classes.

or network etiquette, is the contemporary term for the proper way we communicate and interact with each other using email over the Internet.

Spelling and Grammar
Use capitalization, punctuation and properly constructed and grammatically correct sentences in the same way that you would in any other written, graduate level document. Sending an e-mail in all UPPER-CASE is the equivalent of shouting in some one's ear. ONLY use upper-case words when trying to make a point (such as I just did). I might add that typing the entire message in bold may be interpreted the same.

What is a "flame"? Flaming is a virtual term for venting emotion online or sending inflammatory emails to a person(s) that has caused that person(s) to respond in not-so-nice words, defensively or flamingly. It's basically a verbal attack in electronic form.
Flames are unproductive and injurious to the parties involved.

Things to consider before venting electronically:

  • Would I say this to this person’s face?
  • Would I want this student’s parent(s) to read this?
  • Am I putting the reader(s) in an awkward position?
  • How would I feel if I got this email message?