Class "Netiquette" for Online Learners
Respect fellow classmates. There is a great deal that we can learn from each other, but this cannot happen if students feel uncomfortable in class about speaking up (afraid that their ideas will be treated harshly or not listened to respectfully) or are worried about what will be said to them or about them once they do speak up. Make sure you do everything you can to make our classroom culture a comfortable learning environment for everyone in the class. We may have people from many different backgrounds in this class and people with many different levels of academic preparation. You should all feel comfortable and make each other comfortable with discussing the issues.
Use an appropriate tone of voice. Say what you need to say, but say it in an appropriate tone of voice--one that is respectful and calm. Sarcasm, heavily judgmental or confrontational comments break down good will and create an inhospitable classroom atmosphere. Bullying comments are inappropriate and unacceptable in this class. This is most important in a virtual classroom, where tone of voice is often difficult to read from the language on screen (although the use of emoticons helps reduce this difficulty in some ways). If you are able to be funny without offending others feel free to do so but please be careful.
Take responsibility for making this class successful. Ask yourself what you can do during each class discussion to move the class forward in a positive way.