Netiquette guidelines are used to provide specific expectations for students who interact electronically in asynchronous and synchronous Internet-based learning environments. Online communication can occur through email, chat rooms, learning management systems (LMSs), and other similar tools.The following guidelines should be used to set expectations for communication in hybrid and/or online courses. 

Best Practices for Postings

  1. A student should post his or her original response and replies throughout the discussion period. He or she should not post all responses in one day. Frequent discussion encourages conversation.

  2. A student must follow specific discussion board requirements posted by each individual instructor.

  3. When a student replies to a discussion board post, he or she should provide a constructive response and avoid posting statements such as “I agree,” or “Great Job.”  The response should explain whether or not the student replying agrees or disagrees with previously posted content along with an explanation about why the student agrees or disagrees. Each reply statement should be supported with evidence from course readings, personal experience, or research.

  4. All discussion board postings and responses should be directly related to the core topic of discussion.

  5. Original responses and replies should incorporate specific course content within each posting.

  6. All student comments and responses should be posted in the appropriate discussion board area to create discussion threads. 

  7. Students should integrate prior knowledge and experiences into discussion board responses and replies to assist with building an online community.

  8. Students must use proper netiquette and as postings and conversations become part of the course and may be recorded.


  1. All responses and replies should include constructive feedback, which helps to promote positive and respectful online interactions.

  2. Do not place classmates in unsafe situations with responses and/or replies.

  3. Please be reminded that students are human beings and have feelings. Do not post inappropriate replies or comments to other students.

  4. Remember the benefit of an online class is completing assignments on your schedule.  However, classmates and your professor are not online 24/7, so you may not receive a response from an email or discussion board instantly. 

  5. Avoid flames. A “flame” is an online personal attack. Students should discuss the topic not judge or attack another student for their conclusion.

  6. Ensure your response and/or reply is understandable and could not be construed in a wrong manner.

  7. Do not overuse emoticons.

  8. Do not use inappropriate language.

  9. Mitchell Community College faculty appreciates diverse backgrounds and creates inclusive learning environments. Students need to be respectful of the diversity when interacting in class discussions and act appropriately within the classroom setting.

  10. Allow the discussion to evolve. Do not abruptly change the discussion topic.

  11. Students should share their knowledge, ideas, and experiences within discussion boards. These aspects enhance the discussion board experience.

  12. If a student or faculty member offers you great advice, a resource, and explanation, etc., thank that person online.

  13. Obtaining a higher education involves learning new ideas and accepting the views of other students. Be respectful of students’ posts and comments.

  14. Do not use Caps Lock when posting to a discussion board, interacting in a chat session, or sending an email. Typing in all capital letters signifies the person posting or sending the content is shouting at the recipient(s). There is no need for shouting.

  15. A troll, based upon Internet terms, is someone who likes to create controversy. If you notice a troll within your course, notify your instructor and ignore the postings.

  16. Mitchell Community College does not tolerate sexist, bigoted, racist or demeaning content within the learning management system. The instructor will remove a post if it violates the institution guidelines or community standards. The instructor may also disable student video if background images or activity distract from the learning environment.

  17. Remember to post and/or reply to each discussion board. Your response is valued.

  18. Remember that the course is intended just for those enrolled.  An instructor may ask for a student to leave an online session if necessary.

  19. Throughout each week, check your post and the reply thread for new comments. Read and reply to a couple of the new comments.

  20. Before you post your original response or reply, check your post for grammar. Also, make sure that the post does not violate the netiquette guidelines.

  21. Use formal writing with complete sentences and punctuation when posting to a discussion board posting a response or sending an email. Do not use text language, slang, abbreviations, etc.

  22. If you need help, ask your instructor for help. Review his or her syllabus for office hours and modes of contact.


University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.  (n.d.).  Netiquette Guidelines. University of North Carolina at Wilmington.  Retrieved from