Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

Communication Guidelines

Online Communication Guidelines

When communicating online, it is often impossible for others to read your body language, tone of voice, or facial expressions. Therefore, it is important to follow certain guidelines when communicating online.

 Be Clear and Respectful

  1. Be respectful of each other. Before posting a comment, ask whether you would be willing to make the same comment to a person’s face. Do not “flame” others. Flaming is the act of responding in a highly critical, sarcastic, or ridiculing manner. Class discussions should be constructive exchanges. 
  2. Keep messages and questions short and relevant to the topic of discussion.
  3. You are taking a college class. Something that would be inappropriate in a traditional classroom is also inappropriate in an online classroom.
  4. Understand that we may disagree and that exposure to other people’s opinions is part of the learning experience.
  5. Ask classmates for clarification if you find a discussion post difficult to understand or offensive.
  6. Respect the privacy of your classmates and what they say in class.
  7. Avoid sweeping generalizations. Back up your stated opinions with facts and reliable sources.

Online Communication

  1. Check your writing for errors or redundancy by reviewing what you’ve written before submitting it.
  2. Be careful with humor and sarcasm. Both can easily be misunderstood.
  3. Typing in all capital letters indicates shouting and should be avoided.
  4. Many communications with your instructor or fellow students are best handled through email. Only post on the class discussion board if the conversation is relevant to others in the class.

 For more information about netiquette, refer to the following:

The Core Rules of Netiquette


Netiquette Guidelines
Online Course Netiquette Guidelines