Netiquette for Online Learning: A Guide for Instructors and Students

Rules of netiquette are general expectations of behavior that promote effective communication and positive experiences when working with others online. In your courses, you will likely use a combination of web-based tools for communicating with students, instructors, college services, and potential employers.

To help faculty and students learn about netiquette for online learning, we have assembled these resources. Please take a look and feel free to share them with your students.

What Faculty Can Do to Help Students Be Successful in Their Courses

Success BadgeAll semester classes are given a course shell in Blackboard through an automated process that starts with Course Scheduling and INFOnline. At minimum, faculty are required to add their course syllabi to their course sections in Blackboard and make them available to students.

However, you may use your course sites to facilitate communication, provide frequent grade feedback, and share supplemental materials with students. We recommend that faculty perform these best practices to support all students in their learning.

Post Handouts and Supplemental Materials in Blackboard

Use your course’s tools for sharing files and links to instructional content with students. Be sure to explain how content and activities connect to learning objectives.

Use Communication Tools Regularly

Use your course’s Announcements tool to notify students of course events and schedule
reminders. Be sure to check your MATC Gmail frequently. Reply to student email within 24 to 48 hours of receipt.

To foster a sense of community and open communication, create a Discussion Board forum in the course for students to post questions they may have as the course progresses. Respond to student questions in the forum, but also direct students to reply to their peers.

Post Grades and Feedback in a Timely Manner

Use your course’s Grade Center to post grades and feedback. Communicate to students the expected turn-around time for grades. It is a best practice to provide grades and feedback to students one (1) week after students submit their work. Showing Grades to Students through the My Grades tool allows students to monitor their progress throughout the course.

Make Students Aware of Academic Resources

Share these support resources with students in your courses:

Blackboard End of Semester Process

end-of-semester-process-stickieAt the end of each semester, instructors teaching within Blackboard  must perform a series of tasks called the “End of the Semester Process”. This process is helpful for preserving a full record of an instructor’s Blackboard course content, Grade Center, and student work in an archive file.


  • It is the instructor’s responsibility to archive each of their courses so that content can be accessed at a later date!
  • Blackboard will be unavailable to faculty and students on Dec. 23rd at 5PM CST and will remain unavailable until the week of January 6th, 2014.

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