Impressions and perceptions of web course participants are formed unintentionally, but may have a significant impact on the general communication atmosphere. This atmosphere in turn determines the success of communication: does the message get through at all, and if so, does it get through in the way the sender intended?
Communication works best in an open and friendly atmosphere. You can contribute to its success by observing a few basic rules of netiquette. Netiquette is quite simply a collection of rules and norms for nice behavior on the web, enabling friendly interaction between all participants.
- Always sign in with your own username and sign all your messages with your name.
- Don’t hesitate to bring forth substantiated views – they are just as valuable as everyone else’s.
- Don't write things you might regret later. If you’re angry or upset, “sleep on it”!
Interpreting the messages of others
- Remember that you are now interpreting messages on a textual basis only. You can’t draw any conclusions from body language or tone of voice.
- Concentrate on finding out what the person who wrote the message really wants to say. Try to avoid making long-drawn conclusions about the writer’s intentions. If you are unclear about something, ask the person who wrote it for clarification.
- Do not share private messages in public – that’s bad manners!
- It is advisable to approach some topics with caution. These topics include e.g. religion, politics, ethnicity, and sex.
- There is no need for ‘censorship’. It is, however, important that your comments show respect towards each reader’s beliefs and privacy.
Keep us posted
- If you are temporarily unable to attend your web course, be sure to inform your teacher or tutor about this. Remember to let your study partner or group know too; your absence affects their work as well.
- If you want to drop out of the web course, inform your teacher or tutor. The decision is yours, and there is no need to explain or justify not starting a course or dropping out of one. It is simply important for us to know to keep things running smoothly!
Observing the netiquette makes using the web more pleasant for everyone. Similarly, behaving responsibly is up to each one of us: simply because something has not been forbidden does not mean doing so would be nice, advisable, or even legal.