NETIQUETTE – The social code for online students


Netiquette (short for “network etiquette” or “internet etiquette”) is a set of social conventions that facilitate interaction over networks. It is the conduct that is socially acceptable in an online or digital situation.  (Source: www.wikipedia.com)

Over the years, a collection of rules have been developed to govern how discussions are carried out on the net  and as an online student, It is imperative to have a basic understanding of such rules.

  • Most online courses have management software that allow professors to see how often students log in to their courses. In other to prove yourself a conscientious student, you should log in to your course everyday to check for new updates. And remember that it is not enough to login without participating. It is a shared learning environment so ensure you are an active student by making contributions and making meaningful comments to discussion threads.

Don’t just comment on other student’s posts but ensure you post regularly as well. Keep your postings from turning into book-                    length discussions by being clear, direct and on point.


  • It is proper netiquette to proof read all internet correspondences, choose words carefully and use proper writing style. Do not use slang in an online education environment as they may sound offensive to the reader. The words you choose when passing a message across tells much about yourself so ensure that at all times, you are kind with your words.

When engaged in an online discussion, write as if you were writing an examination by using correct spellings and accurate                            grammatical construction.


  • Be professional in the way you communicate with your professors and fellow students. When in an education environment, desist from using emoticons and text messaging abbreviations such as “ttyl” “brb” “c u l8r” and so on.

Sending late mails can lower the credibility of the message being passed across, so avoid sending late mails. Mails are better sent               during the day or early evening, rather than send your mails at night just hold on till the next day. Remember that email                                 messages include time and date stamp which will enable the recipient see what time the mail was sent.


  • AVOID TYPING IN ALL CAPITALS! As it makes it look like you are shouting.  A times when I get carried away while typing a message in a hurry I often forget the caps lock is still on, so most times it is advisable to always proof read all messages before pressing the send button in order to avoid such mistakes. If you want to emphasize something, use the wealth of HTML options available to you. If those aren’t available, stick some *stars* around your text. There’s always an alternative.


  • Good netiquette prohibits the use of insulting words on the internet. As an online student, it is wrong to post or respond to flames on the internet because they disrupt effective communication. If you will criticize the opinion of others, do so constructively. The academic environment expects higher-order language.


  • It is important that we respect diversity because we live in a multi-cultural world and that which is ethnically diverse. Students are advised not to make racists, sexist comments as well as derogatory or sarcastic comments and jokes directed at religious beliefs, disabilities and age.


  • As an online student, it is proper etiquette to clarify all assignments given to you by your professors and also double-check assignment delivery. Make sure you understand the question given and in a situation whereby you don’t, do not hesitate to ask your professor for further explanations.


Above all always use your discretion in everything you do while in the academic environment because it’s your best judgement. Applying these simple netiquette rules in your online class will ensure your success.