As you already know, there are certain rules at school that dictate what a student should or shouldn’t do. It’s similar for online classes, and these are called netiquettes rules made for online students to adhere to.
Netiquettes ensure everyone involved is in a comfortable environment, and learning can take place safely and effectively. Here are 15 core netiquettes that every student should know:
What are netiquettes rules?
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In the simplest of terms, netiquette is Internet etiquette. Netiquettes rules are often unwritten rules that dictate what behaviors are acceptable or not online.
This includes all areas of the Internet, from emails and chat rooms to social media platforms and multiplayer gaming.
These rules ensure that users have a positive experience while using the Internet. The idea is that everyone can benefit.
As it relates to the online classroom setting, netiquettes rules mirror physical learning rules for the most part. However, there are a few additions.
Some additional rules may be as minor as muting your microphone when it’s not in use, and other rules may be as strict as enforcing a dress code when participating.
These rules are put in place to facilitate learning as best as is possible, given the circumstances, and it is done to also recreate some semblance of normalcy.
With that being said, let’s finally take a look at netiquettes rules.
15 Netiquettes Rules for the Online Student
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If you’re new to this whole online schooling, you may not have a clue about what is acceptable and what isn’t.
If you’re not sure about how to behave online, then it’s always good to brush up on your netiquettes rules, especially if you’re an online student.
Here are seven things you should always do, and eight things that you should avoid doing or should never do.
What You Should Do
01Have a reliable Internet connection
This all depends on where you live, but you should do your best whenever possible to ensure that you have a reliable and stable Internet connection. This ensures that you are able to follow what is going on and keep up with the other students/teachers.
Imagine having to ask the professor to repeat seven or eight times because your Internet connection was disconnected several times.
This is unfair to other students because it can be quite annoying for everyone involved.
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02Be on time
If you’ve been able to be on time, good for you. You may be wondering how on earth someone could be late for something when they don’t even have to leave their houses. It can happen however.
The thing is that there are no buses to catch, lines for coffee, or even the need to take a shower. So, the sense of time and urgency gets blurred when your life goes online.
A student may have a class at 10:30 AM and decide to take a shower at 10:20 AM because he’s under the impression that he’ll be done in time.
By the time he’s done cleaning himself, washing his hair, and having his usual shower karaoke session, it’s already 10:45 AM, and he hasn’t even put on his clothes.
Another case may be a student deciding to sleep in because she has a class at 11 AM. She figures that she’ll wake up on time. Instead, she misses her alarm three times and wakes up at 11:44 AM, which is when half of the lesson is already done.
When a student is late for class, it can create a disturbance as he/she attempts to settle down or keep up with what is going on.
Being on time is one of the most important netiquettes rules because it is a sign that you respect the time of others, and it shows that you are an attentive and alert student.
03Ensure you set up your space beforehand and prepare for the lesson
In online classes, it is likely that the professor has already published the course content in the form of learning objectives or the class syllabus.
It’s a good idea to actually read the material beforehand so that you know which direction the class will be taking.
It will also give you a chance to read ahead and likely obtain a greater understanding of the class’ topic.
Doing the reading can show the professor and the rest of the class that you’re actually interested in what’s happening, and you’re dedicated to learning.
Setting up your space beforehand limits the possibility of technical difficulties. It also limits your need to shuffle around to find your headset or wireless mouse.
It will also prevent you from disturbing others; it will help you settle into learning mode easily.
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04Make sure your space is quiet
This is one that cannot be stressed enough. Too often, people in online classes have to suffer because someone in a classmate’s house is blasting music, or the gardeners are outside cutting the lawn.
Ensuring your space is quiet will allow everyone to learn in a comfortable environment.
If you cannot ensure a quiet space, you can simply inform your class/instructor that you have noise in your background, and you will have to mute your microphone for the class.
You can assure him/her that you will still be listening, and if you have any questions, you will send them via email or the real-time chat (if possible). The idea is that you will be participating even though the microphone is on mute.
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05Respect your classmates
It is not unusual for a classmate to disagree with you, especially when it comes to sharing opinions, results/solutions, or other topics related to one’s personal choice. However, during your debates, you are expected to be respectful at all times.
This rule ensures that healthy reactions to difficult conversations are possible. It creates a welcoming space for students to share thoughts and ideas. The idea is that everyone can learn.
06Participate and engage in discussions
The point of online class is to behave as you would in an actual classroom, despite it being an entirely different environment. This means you should participate in class discussions, answer questions, and propose your ideas.
This is important because it shows interest, and ir can influence others to participate in the class as well.
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07Ask for help if you are falling behind
Students have different learning styles, and while some may thrive in the online space, others are wired to learning in a physical classroom.
Things may seem a little rushed online, and it is easy to get lost or distracted by things in your home environment.
If you feel this way, you should ask for help. Not only will this result in better grades, but it shows that you are dedicated to learning.
It will also prevent you from having to interrupt the lesson with questions that other students might find obvious and/or unnecessary.
What You Shouldn’t Do
08Skip out on assignments
Even though you may be home on your living room couch or around your dining room table, you are still at school. As such, you are expected to complete assignments on time and complete them to the best of your ability.
Skipping assignments will only hurt you in the end; the point of assignments is to reinforce the ideas that are taught in class.
In the future, when you need to draw on these concepts, you may have great difficulties because you didn’t reinforce your learning.
Body language says a lot, and sometimes, it’s even more than your words. Slouching, folding your arms, laying down, and yawning can all suggest that you are not interested in the class.
It can distract other students from learning, and more importantly, your teacher may feel disrespected.
That’s why you must sit up straight, stay attentive, and behave like you would in a regular classroom setting – attentive and interested.
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10Eat with your microphone on
Eating during class is often looked down upon, but if you have had a hectic day, your teacher may look the other way. If you need to eat something, you should do it quietly, quickly, and discreetly.
If you are not allowed to turn your camera off, then at the very least, you can mute your microphone.
No one wants to hear the sounds of you chewing your Lucky Charms at 9 AM or hear every gulp of Snapple that you take. It is not only rude, but it’s also extremely distracting.
Sometimes, people are instructed to mute their microphones, unless they are speaking. This way, the disruptions are kept to a bare minimum.
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11Wear inappropriate clothing
Sure, you may want to feel comfy at home, and a crop top and booty shorts is your go-to. However, would you wear that outfit to class?
What if you just hopped out of the shower, would you wear your towel or bath robe to class too?
No way, you wouldn’t! You don’t have to wear your school uniform, unless it’s specified, but you should keep it modest at the very least.
A simple, clean T-shirt, without distracting or offensive messaging is a good option, and you don’t even need to worry about pants since the camera faces your upper body. However, do wear pants! This one should be obvious.
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12Do other things not related to the lesson
Remember you are in class, and this means it isn’t a good time to make some shrimp alfredo or catch up on doing your laundry.
Sure, a cool TV show or video game may have just dropped, but this isn’t the time for either of those things.
You should avoid fidgeting with household items and doing tasks that are not related to the lesson. This makes it harder to pay attention, and it gives the impression that you are bored too.
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13Use faulty/bad technology
There’s nothing worse than having time chewed out of your learning time by someone who is struggling with technical difficulties.
You should put yourself in the shoes of others, and you can try to imagine dealing with loud whining noises from your technology. Sometimes, you may hear an echo and/or static.
If you know your devices are faulty beforehand, you should limit their use or replace them. This is in the best interest of everyone who is in attendance to the class.
Discussions may get heated at times, but it’s important to avoid yelling or speaking too loudly in general. Depending on the sensitivity of your microphone, you rarely have to speak above your “inside voice” to be heard by others.
Yelling or simply speaking too loudly is not only disruptive, but it can also be painful for the listeners who are wearing earphones.
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Save your spamming and trolling activities for your friends or strangers. An online classroom is no place for that sort of behavior.
It is distracting, disrespectful, and distasteful. It can cause confusion, annoyance, and may even get you kicked out of the class/school.
There is no reason for you to send 30 emojis or send the same message 10 times in capital letters. When the recipient sees the message, he/she will acknowledge it as soon as it best suits him/her.
These netiquettes rules will ensure that everyone has an event-free, productive online class. When in doubt, you should put yourself in the shoes of others and think about how to make the online class better for everyone.