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Tufts OpenCourseware
Author: Fulcrum Institute Development Team

Netiquette - A framework for communicating online

Fulcrum Institute faculty and staff strive to create an online learning community that is supportive and healthy. To meet this aim, we ask that you act in accordance with our netiquette framework.

1. Typing in all capital letters comes across as "shouting" -- please don't type with your "caps lock" on.

2. If someone sends you an email message, you should get their permission before forwarding any or all of that message to another person or posting excerpts in a discussion group.

3. Read all the messages in a discussion thread before posting your response -- that way you can avoid saying something that's redundant or off-topic.

4. It is never o.k. to "flame" a colleague. A flame is a message that includes insults or inappropriate criticism. When communicating via computer, it's sometimes easy to forget that our messages will be read by real people who have real feelings. We applaud critical thinking and rigorous debate and we ask that all messages be written in a civil tone with non-offensive language.

5. The success of this course depends on thoughtful and active participation in the discussions. If you don't post messages within your group discussion, it's as if you have skipped class. It is your responsibility to let your group and the facilitator know if, for any reason, you cannot fulfill this responsibility.

6. Courses in an online context involve a great deal of reading. You can help keep the work load more manageable by carefully editing your messages before you send them, and trying to express your thoughts in a concise manner.

7. We all love to share anecdotal, tangential information and to joke. Please use the Coffee Shop forum for this purpose. Off-topic personal messages that are only intended for one reader should be sent directly to that person via email.