It’s Quality Matters Day! Each week, we highlight a Quality Matters standard and review its importance in an online course and how we evaluate this standard.
Today, we are reviewing Quality Matters Standards 1.3
General Standard 1 addresses the course overview and introduction.
QM Standard 1.3 states that etiquette expectations (sometimes called “netiquette”) for online discussions, email, and other forms of communication should be clearly stated. In the same way that it’s important for instructors to provide
students with expectations regarding communication and classroom conduct, it’s equally important to give online learners cues and guidelines for interacting with you and their peers. Communicating netiquette as early as possible can help prevent hostile, online conduct (e.g. discriminatory language, flaming, all-caps ranting, etc.), as well as improper, ‘non-academic’ correspondence (e.g. colloquial slang, coarse language, abbreviated ‘text-talk,’ etc.).
While it’s imperative to include a statement addressing your online etiquette expectations in order to meet QM standard 1.3, not all instructors require the same level of communicative rigor for their courses. Before you let students dive into your content, make sure you’ve carefully considered the way you want students to address you and one another during the semester.
Per Quality Matters, below are a few suggestions for you to consider as you begin drafting a netiquette statement. Make sure you’re thinking about:
- Expectations for the tone and civility used in communicating with fellow learners and the instructor, whether the communication is by electronic means or by telephone or face-to-face.
- Expectations for email content, including “speaking style” requirements (e.g., standard English as opposed to popular abbreviations used online and regional colloquialisms).
- Spelling and grammar expectations.
- Awareness of and sensitivity to cultural differences.
AP Guidance: Never assume that learners will simply understand and adhere to netiquette without being told. Your detailed netiquette statement will help set the tone for all course communication during the semester and ensure that all online correspondence remains pleasant and relevant. Also, don’t forget to include links to departmental/institutional codes of conduct to reinforce your etiquette standards when necessary!
Click here to access Quality Matters eLearning Marketplace. The Quality Matters eLearning Marketplace is a free, searchable database built to serve the broad QM community with an easy-to-use eLearning product/service directory organized within the 8 general standards of the rubric as well as by user and product categories.
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