Students will engage in online communications with one another and their instructor throughout the eP.I.T. course. Written communication is an excellent way to express ideas; however, it also eliminates the contributions of our body language and other non-verbal cues. Sarcasm and humor is often lost in the written word unless the writer clearly identifies their statement as such.

Here are a few guidelines to help you follow proper etiquette when engaging with one another in an eP.I.T. course:

Stay on topic: While discussion is encouraged, rambling rants aren’t helpful for a positive learning experience.

Use specific subject lines in your emails: Provide a succinct explanation of the reason for the email.

Avoid “I agree“ and “Me, too!“ messages on message boards: Your instructor is looking for discussion and detail. If you agree with a message post, then explain why you agree with it.

Avoid posting messages using all caps: It is perceived as SHOUTING! Use all caps only if you are trying to emphasize a point, but you should only capitalize the individual words you want to highlight, not the entire sentence or paragraph.

Be professional in all communications: Even though messages posted in the discussion board are conversational and often informal, please avoid posting messages with grammatical, spelling and typographical errors.

Never engage in hate speech: This is speech that attacks or degrades a specific group based on certain characteristics such as: race, religion, orientation, or gender.

Carefully choose the format for your messages. Long paragraphs are difficult for other people to follow on-screen. In general, try to limit each paragraph to five to seven lines and avoid using font styles, colors and sizes that are difficult to read.

Be friendly: Remember, everyone in your class is human. They make mistakes. Before posting a comment, ask yourself “Would I say this to a person face to face?” If the answer is “no,” don’t post it. Avoid “flaming” a classmate (sending angry messages).

Avoid responding when you feel emotional: If you’re angry about something someone has posted, don’t reply to their message until you’ve had a chance to calm down. Remember, your posted messages can be seen by everyone.

Your digital footprint is essentially permanent: Anything you post on the internet has the potential to be public knowledge. Be careful about what you share with your classmates and your instructors.

General guidelines for all respectful interactions:

  • Respect all who are participating in this learning community by
  • Realizing they have a right to their opinions
  • Respecting the right others have to disagree with you
  • Avoiding foul or abusive language
  • Signing your name to any message you send
  • Respecting your own and your classmates’ privacy
  • Being constructive in your responses to your classmates
  • Being willing to clarify statements which might be misunderstood or misinterpreted by others
  • Forgiving someone who may have accidentally offended you