Discussion Board responses, emails, and all other correspondence among faculty and students enrolled in this class are expected to conform to the level of conduct that would be expected in a regular classroom. Students should feel free to express disagreement with the instructor and other students but it must be done in a manner which is not verbally abusive, threatening, or harassing. Communication among students is encouraged but must end if one of the parties requests that it be terminated. Students will not send unsolicited email espousing a cause, religion, or activity to other class particpants and will not add other class participants to any listservs or other entity which distributes unwanted email or material.
Violation of these guidelines may result in disciplinary action against the offending student. This action can include termination of the student's participation in the class and a grade of "F".
Netiquette Rules for Communication
Here are the core rules for communication with me and with each other for the duration of this course:
Remember there's a person behind every message. It is very easy to forget, as all we see is a computer screen. We don't see facial expressions, gestures, or hear intonation of voice. All we have are words, and if words are not well-chosen, they are easy to misinterpret. Words that ARE well-chosen are often easy to misinterpret too. Remember that, just as you have feelings, each human being out there in cyberspace has feelings as well. Give people the benefit of the doubt if you are the one reading their writing, and if you are the one writing, remember the feelings of others and take the time to construct your sentences as clearly as possible.
Sarcasm does not translate well in cyberspace. Cyberspace is more literal than a face-to-face conversation. For example, a phrase like "Yeah, I really believe that is true," can have the exact opposite meaning if you hear the person's delivery, see their body language, and observe their facial expressions in face-to-face conversation, but as just words on a page, it comes across literally, not figuratively. Again, make sure you say what you mean, and provide as few possibilities for misinterpretation as possible.
Do not type in all caps all the time. This is the online equivalent of screaming or yelling at someone.
Do not type in all lower case or use text message-like abbreviations, such as btw (by the way), or b/cuz, or lol (laughing out loud). This is a college class and college-level writing (grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, etc.) is expected.
Avoid "flaming." Flaming is when someone expresses a bold point of view, sometimes overly bold or hyper-critical, and others follow up with equally overly-critical commentary and/or personal attacks. It is not that we cannot disagree - it would be a boring world if everyone had the same opinion about everything. It is also in pointed discussions that I've been able to refine my already-held opinions or even change them completely. That's the purpose of college: to make you think, to get you to see different points of view, to make you question your beliefs or to cement them more firmly than before with facts, etc. Discussion is good, disagreement is fine, even welcome, but remember rule #1 above: there are humans with feelings involved.
Keep your comments and postings relevant. Camaraderie is good, but please do not include conversation unrelated to the subject line or course material in discussion board communiqués.
Identify yourself fully. In the subject box of every email, please type your full name, course, and section number (e.g. Sue Jones. Phil 1306 sec.4221). Please include full identification of who you are when you generate or reply to an email to your instructor. This should include your full name (first and last) as well as the course you are enrolled in. It is school policy that in order to preserve student confidentiality any email that I receive without proper identification will not be responded to.
Write with civility and respect. When asking questions or making comments, do so in a respectful manner. If you are frustrated or irritated when you write the email, take a minute to reread it asking yourself if the tone is appropriate for a student-teacher interchange before clicking Send. If you're really upset, write the email in Word and copy and paste it in later when you are calm enough to give it a reading with the audience in mind. Practice patience.
Copy yourself. Send a copy of each email you write to yourself so you can be sure the email went through, and so you can resend it if there is any problem.
Brevity. Keep emails brief and to the point.
Do not forward unsolicited material. Do not forward material that you send to your friends to your classmates or professor. (Note: If you send emails to everyone in your address book, they will automatically go to your professor and any student in the class who has emailed you.)
Excerpted from: Albion's The Core Rules of Netiquette