Ensuring great learning in the virtual era essentially create an inherent need for a digital code of conduct. Proper etiquette is nothing new. Online etiquette or netiquette, however, is unique as virtual learning guidelines of interacting with one another goes beyond “please” and “thank you” in an online environment to maintain order and discipline.
As students shift to online school, they make several adjustments to adapt to the new normal in education. Schools, teachers, and parents are playing a critical role in facilitating seamless learning experiences. The online nuances, however, are different than real-life settings and calls for a different code. A set of norms in the ever-changing digital learning age that emphasizes on being considerate and respectful while communicating with others on the internet, netiquette is just as important for teachers as to the learners.
In most learning scenarios, especially with younger students, use of informal expressions like LOL, DKDC, ROFL is in everyday use. Even though they are already familiar with online text messages, establishing approaches more formal must apply in a moderated virtual learning environment. Here are some imperative netiquette guidelines that every online student must know to be on their best behaviour:
Maintain a reverential tone – Although the class may be extremely friendly with each other, including the teachers, it is still essential to set a respectful tone of communication. As part of appropriate netiquette, polite greetings, signatures and full sentences must be used as in real life.
Attain the Highest Form of Intellect – Students must engage in thoughtful discussions with the teachers and peers online. The learners should stay away from posting irrelevant comments as it can get incredibly difficult for teachers and other students to understand the intent of the commentator. What may seem a frivolous joke to some may come across as a rude comment to the other. It is a thumb rule that we sidestep unproductive posts in an online environment altogether.
Be aware of surroundings – Students must be wary of their surroundings while accessing classes not to disrupt the entire class. Sudden loud noises, yelling by younger siblings or casual conversations in the house must be avoided during online lessons. Students must choose a plain online background to avoid distracting fellow learners and mute the microphone until instructed to unmute by the teacher.
Formal appearance and attire – Although students log in from the comforts of their homes, yet they are part of a professional setting. It is, therefore, an excellent idea to maintain a formal attire through the class to show dedication and professionalism to the teachers and the rest of the session. Right body postures are essential to avoid neck sprains. Hence, choosing a chair table support helps the student sit straight over comfortable beds and lends a professional appearance too.
Effective use of chat-box – Chat-boxes are incorporated in various online learning platforms to share ideas and ask relevant questions. It must be treated to answer or raise doubts related to the lesson. Students must avoid mishandling the chat-box feature by using it as an instant messenger and cause a distraction to the class.
Take the time to figure out your answer – In case students are stuck on an assignment, the first instinct is to question. But before asking, it may be a good idea to find the answer on their own. In case they are difficult to resolve, bring them up with the instructor during the allotted time for clarifying doubts.
Appropriate use of grammar – Effort must be made to use proper punctuation, grammar and spelling. Acronyms must be avoided since they tend to distract and conveys incorrect message also. Since nobody likes to be grammar-policed, it is only prudent not to point others if they make an error.
Virtual school students must be continuously reminded that focus on classroom exchanges is critical. The above guidelines are simple yet effective electronic versions of conventional classroom expectations. The pandemic times has ensured that every student across the globe today has mandatorily shifted to online education regardless of age, grade, and course. In no time, they become familiar with the new normal in learning communication demonstrating effective outcome.