Online Course Basics

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The Online Course Format

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Glossary

 

 

Communication

One of the biggest differences between an online course and the traditional classroom course is that most of the conversation that takes place in an online course is in writing.  Many students like the idea that writing their thoughts down can help them organize what they want to say and give them time to really think about their response before they actually communicate with their instructor or classmates.  It’s important to make sure you only use your Southeast Key e-mail address to correspond with your instructor and fellow classmates.  Other e-mail addresses may be filtered out of mailboxes as spam.

Image of a button that says "Send"

Netiquette

Below are a few helpful guidelines that are recommended for online communications:

  • Be polite and respectful – It is sometimes tempting to say things you wouldn’t say in person because online is more anonymous, but remember there are real people reading and responding to your messages.
  • Be tolerant of other views – Keep in mind that you will encounter views and backgrounds that are different from your own.
  • Address the idea, not the person – Remember there are real people on the other end of your message.  When reacting to someone else’s response, address the issue, not the person.
  • Be careful when using sarcasm or humor – Without seeing face-to-face expressions or hearing the tone in your voice, people may take your humor personally and you never know who might be offended by your remarks.  Keep in mind that your online communication does not show your emotions.  Be sure you word your responses carefully.
  • Double check to whom you're sending email. It can be embarrassing when an email that you meant for one person ends up being read by others. It goes without saying that you will want to avoid this mistake.
  • Using all capital letters in email is equivalent to SHOUTING.  Avoid it whenever possible.
  • Make sure that you use a meaningful subject line so that your readers will have a clear idea of what your message contains. 
  • Messages should be short and to the point (although there are exceptions to this rule, such as assignments that are submitted by email).
  • Do not forward others' messages without asking first.  While you should always write your email messages assuming others whom you don't know may see them, it is considered very rude to forward someone else's message without asking their permission. 
  • Always put your name at the top of assignments that you turn in to your instructor or fellow classmates (Drop Box, e-mail, Forum, etc).

It’s important to make sure you only use your Southeast Key e-mail address to correspond with your instructor and fellow classmates.  Other e-mail addresses may be filtered out of mailboxes as spam.

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