Online Etiquette

The school has established guidelines for interaction on the net called Online etiquette. This outlines the school’s expectations regarding online behaviour. Click here to read the Online etiquette document.

Online etiquette means conducting yourself in an online environment showing the same respect, politeness and manners as you would in a normal classroom.

Communication in an online environment is different to face to face interactions.  When we are face to face we are aware of body language, voice tone, listener feedback and the context around us. When online we often only have written text and patchy images on screen, so it is quite easy to miss important communication from people and to misinterpret what people may be trying to communicate, so we need to be patient with one another. Below are a couple of important etiquette rules will help ensure communication

Important Principles

Online safety and good advice

This site from the eSafety Commissioner provides guidance if you are having trouble with online or social media interactions (it is easy to use).

Think before you type

A rule of thumb is to ask yourself would I be comfortable standing up in front of the classroom and saying my message, if yes then it’s most likely okay to share. Tip: Read everything out loud before you send it.

Be careful with humour and sarcasm. 

Sarcasm will backfire as it is hard to pick up the writer’s tone in just seeing what is written – so what may seem like an obvious joke could come across as arrogant or rude to others – try and be polite and direct. You shouldn’t avoid being funny. But make sure that it is clear you are being funny and not being rude. 

Use a respectful tone

There is still an expected level of formality in an online classroom in your communication with your peers and instructor. Use respectful greetings and signatures, pleases and thank you. Do not type in all caps (all capitals) this is yelling.

Attempt to find your own answer

If you’re confused or stuck on an assignment, your first instinct may be to immediately ask a question. But before you ask, take the time to try to figure it out on your own.

The class chat box

The chat box is set up for sharing ideas and for you to ask questions related to the lesson. It is not an instant messenger like you’d use with friends. Treat it like the learning tool it’s meant to be.

In submitting work please ensure you are keeping to naming conventions recommended by your teacher this will keep your work organised.

Don’t post or share (even privately) inappropriate material.

This will result in disciplinary action. Enough said there. Nothing is truly private online.

“Concern for man himself and his safety must always for the chief interest of all technical endeavours.”

Albert Einstein

Using Zoom Meetings

A couple of things to keep in mind;

  1. Make sure you are on time for your meeting
  2. Do not eat and drink during the meeting
  3. This is a formal classroom meeting so dress appropriately and don’t be sitting on a bed, or be in bed. (Ideally you only need to be showing your head and shoulders if you are using the camera and you may want to use a background from zoom)
  4. Be mindful that your class can see and read what you are doing or communicating so ensure what you say is helpful and kind
  5. Keep your microphone on mute unless you are speaking
  6. Remember you can be seen during a zoom interview until the host ends the meeting
  7. Do not give the meeting code to anyone else
  8. You can only use your own name during meetings

Other issues with online interactions

If you are having negative interactions with people online that are concerning to you – look at this site to help know what to do or contact your teacher.


centenary university tip for online etiquette

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