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Sep 04, 2016 10:35 AM EDT

Online Education: 5 Tips On How Students Can Positively Interact With Professors And Classmates


A lot of people have been burned at one point or another by what they posted online. Students who are trying to earn their degrees through online programs should be extra careful in dealing with professors and fellow classmates.

Nowadays, communication has shifted from being in-person to text-based. This means that non-verbal cues such as content, volume, tone, word choice, posture and overall delivery can no longer be used to enhance our message. This is why a lot of sarcastic jokes, puns and innuendos are easily misinterpreted.

According to U.S. News, students who want to take up online courses should make sure that they are familiar with Internet etiquette, or "netiquette," before enrolling. A lot of online programs include this as part of their orientation. The publication shared 5 ways on how online students can positively interact with their professors and fellow students.

1. Follow the headline rule.

If you don't want your words printed as a headline for a news report, then better not write it at all. This applies to homework, quizzes, papers, discussions, forums, journal entries, social media as well as emails with professors and classmates.

2. Ask someone to proofread.

Have another person read the email or post you've written. Ask for feedback and figure out a more neutral way of expressing the same idea.

3. Stay away from the "send" or "submit" button when angry.

In the heat of the moment, it's so easy to write something online that you'll surely regret afterwards. Give yourself time to cool off and carefully choose your words.

4. Respect other people's privacy.

It's so easy to find information on your professors and classmates online. Respect them. Several universities prosecute students for unreasonable invasion of privacy or for suspicious or threatening behavior.

5. Always report online bullying.

Make sure to stop the culture of bullying by reporting incidents. Document evidence and report it to the appropriate university official. Don't forget that you're saving others from being victims as well when you make a conscious effort to stop this hate crime.

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