Netiquette: Tips for the

Online Environment

  1. Online Sessions are Recorded

    1. Everything you post is recorded in most asynchronous online discussions so that you can refer  back to it in the future.

  2. How to Craft an Online Response:

    1. Subject: Enter a new subject for each of your postings. Leaving the default subject tells readers nothing about your topic. Unique subjects allow classmates to understand the flow of conversations and stay on topic.

    2. If your response is to one person, use their preferred or given name. 

    3. Content:  Use complete sentences and clearly communicate your meaning. 

    4. Consider composing offline, editing, and reading out loud to identify misstatements, lack of clarity, or an unintended tone before posting.

  3. Substantive Posts

    1. Ensure the posting adds value and contributes to the overall discussion thread being developed.

  4. Agree to disagree

    1. Throughout the course of any discussion there will be perspectives made that you may not accept. Agree to disagree in your exchange of ideas and opinions. Keep your interactions friendly and professional.

  5. Avoid Sarcasm and Subtleties

    1. When expressing or typing your thoughts be clear and straightforward with your language. Avoid the use of sarcasm, subtleties, or  comments that can disrespect or offend members of the academic online community. This includes making comments, jokes, or postings that offend students' cultures and identities.

  6. Keep Your Voice Down

    1. USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS online is the equivalent of yelling. Instead, bold, italicize, or use *asterisks* around the text to be emphasized

  7. Using Emoticons

  8. These icons can be effective in supplying simple facial expressions to supplement your words and provide basic engagement with your peers. Examples include:

      1. :-)-basic smile

      2. ;-)-wink

      3. :-D - big smile

      4. :-(-frown

  9. Tech Issues? Don’t forget, the ITS HelpDesk is available days, evenings, and weekends. Call them to work through any specific tech issues. 315-443-2677.

Netiquette: Tips for Synchronous Group Tutoring Sessions with


  1. Personalize your profile. Consider adding a profile picture so the tutor and other participants can easily recognize you.
  2. Use ear buds or a headset. This will minimize background noise for all participants, especially during tutoring sessions with more than a few participants.
  3. Join the session early: Give yourself time to learn what you can and can't do in the session. Test your audio and video before each session as settings can change.  Use Google Chrome if possible. It is the browser that best supports Collaborate Ultra and reduces audio problems.  Avoid Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer; both result in audio problems.
  4. Be on time: If you can't be early, be on time. Let the moderator know if you are going to be late or absent. Everyone can set notifications to alert them when someone has joined the session and may see who is joining when.
  5. Be prepared: Have your notes and texts in front of you, along with any questions you plan to ask the tutor in the session.
  6. Introduce yourself: Don't assume anyone automatically recognizes your voice. State your name the first few times you speak. Let your tutor know who is participating.
  7. Make eye contact: If you are sharing video, look at the camera and not the session. It may feel weird, but it shows you are engaged in the session. If you need to multi-task during the session, shut your video off to avoid looking distracted.
  8. Mute yourself when not speaking: This is crucial because noise feedback is incredibly distracting to the tutor and everyone else in the session. Nothing is more distracting than background noise. Tutors may opt to start sessions with participants muted to reduce this risk. Tutors will adjust participant settings depending on the size and content of each session.
  9. Be patient and pay attention to questions: If the session has many participants, the tutor will be working to triage questions. It’s crucial to pay attention to other questions being asked as they may be the same as yours.
  10. Heed the tutor’s expectations: Your tutor  will have their own expectations for sessions, especially regarding microphone use and chat functions.   Be sure to follow their instructions as that will ensure that you can maximize your learning in the tutoring session. If the tutor’s expectations aren’t clear to you, please ask.
  11. Use the chat function effectively: Be careful not to inundate your tutor in the chat function. S/He will be paying attention to catch every question that is posed; avoid unnecessary discussion and critical comments in the chat. Keep in mind that tutoring sessions settings typically allow everyone in the session to see what you type.  
  12. Use the Feedback Emojis: As outlined by your tutor, these can be a quick way to let the tutor know you understand the concept they are reviewing.
  13. Be professional: You may be joining the session from somewhere private, but you are not alone. You are face-to-face with your peers and tutors. Be mindful of how you present yourself.
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