Online Etiquette and Expectations for Engagement

You will use multiple online and digital communication technologies throughout your studies

Email, discussion boards, Microsoft Teams, and Blackboard Collaborate are just some of the tools you’ll use to interact with your tutors and fellow students. It’s important to remember that the same expectations for how you conduct yourself as a member of the University community apply to both physical and digital spaces, even outside the virtual classroom. 

As a starting point for online engagement, consider the following: 

1.   Treat others with dignity and respect 

Treat all participants with dignity and respect. Support your fellow students as you want to be supported, even if your opinions differ. 

2.  Be polite, professional and inclusive 

Address people as they wish to be addressed. 

3.  Use clear and concise language 

Be respectful of each others' time and attention. 

4.  Check your spelling and grammar 

Don’t chastise anyone for their mistakes. Remember that your fellow students might be anywhere in the world and English may not be everyone’s first language. 

5  Think about your font 

Use standard fonts optimised for online reading (sans serif, 12-14 pt. font).  

6.  Avoid capitals 

Avoid typing in capitals as this may be interpreted as shouting.     

7.  Be careful with humour and sarcasm 

Tone of voice and intention is not always clear when conveyed through text so it’s important to minimise chances for misinterpretation. 

8.  Be mindful of sharing personal information online 

Be careful about sharing both yours and others’ information, as it may be visible in undesired places or not be intended to be shared publicly. 

Social Media Guidance for Students

Social media can be a powerful tool for sharing your thoughts both within and outside of your studies. In our hybrid learning and teaching environment, tools such as blogs and Facebook groups will only become more important.  

While many courses will have dedicated social media spaces administered by course organisers, programme representatives or other moderators, it’s also important to consider your conduct when engaging with social media in a non-University context. Inclusivity, privacy and academic integrity are all crucial points to consider in any kind of online engagement. 

The University’s Social Media Handbook for Students gives a fuller view of expectations you should keep in mind while using social media as a member of the University community.