6 Online Ediquette Tips
You’ve decided to take an online course and will need to do all or most of your communication online. This poses a lot more thinking than you might think. It is important to think things through before sending a message, responding to emails, or engaging in online discussions.
When we communicate with others online it is important to ensure that we don’t react quickly and respond in a way that we don’t really mean to. Our written words may express language that can be offensive to others when we didn’t intend this to be the outcome.
Below are a few tips you can follow to ensure that your online communication runs smoothly between professors, colleagues, and yourself.
1. Prior to sending an email, be sure to review and reread your writing to be sure that it does not reflect any negative emotions. In emails, you cannot go back and reword your sentences once they have been sent.
2. Allow for some wait time after reading an email. Sometimes it is best to wait some time before responding to an email. This allows for reflecting and thinking about the best way to respond instead of responding spontaneously.
3. Maintain a professional stance and avoid being humorous or sending chain letters. This is another way to keep the communication professional.
4. When sending an email, be brief and to the point. Attachments should not take up too much email space. If you believe your email message is too long, perhaps this message should be conveyed over the telephone.
5. Using emotion symbols (:(, :)) should be kept to a minimum. Some people tend to overuse them and this can make your writing less professional and seem off topic.
6. Just as in any writing paper you need to hand in for a grade, review and edit your online messages for grammar prior to hitting send. This will ensure that your messages are clear to your readers.
Most of these tips work for any form of online school communication. Often you will need to respond to discussion boards or chat messages, and it is important to keep a professional outlook as these messages can be graded as well.