Discussion Board Etiquette
The discussion board for your course can be a vital asset to your distance learning. If all participants follow a few principles of online etiquette, the discussion board can be a great opportunity to share ideas, express opinions, and receive feedback from peers who are engaged in the same learning objectives as you. Here are a few guidelines:
Discussion boards are a shared learning environment. Instead of just reading the discussion thread of others; if everyone contributes, all benefit.
2. Be Brief
Reading comments on a discussion board can be time consuming. Make your point clearly and succinctly, but remember to be academic in your tone.
3. Delete Extraneous Information
When replying to a post, delete all extraneous information except the specific phrase, sentence, or comment to which you are replying. This helps the reader know what you are replying to and helps him or her save time by not wading through a long post or the entire thread.
4. Give a Frame of Reference
Quote or summarize the content to which you are responding. For example, “When Joe wrote he agreed with Jane’s conclusion, I began to think…”
5. Post Substantive Comments
Avoid comments that lack substance such as ‘I agree’, ‘Good point’, and ‘Me too!’ These comments do not add any depth to the discussion or learning.
6. Be Courteous
Tone is a very important part of electronic communication. When you read your message out loud, does it sound the way you would speak to someone in person?
7. Check Previous Postings Before You Post
Read what has previously been posted by others to avoid repeating comments.
8. Give Credit Where Credit is Due
If your contribution to the conversation includes the intellectual property (authored material) of others, e.g., books, newspaper, journal articles or websites, cite your references.
9. Use Proper Grammar, Spelling, and Fonts
The Discussion Board is part of a college course, so your writing style should conform to the rules of standard English. Social networking and text messaging has spawned a body of linguistic shortcuts that are not part of academic dialogue. Here are some guidelines:
10. Ask Appropriate Questions
The course discussion board is not the place for every question. If you have questions about your coursework or grade, Student Services can answer those kinds of questions. Save the discussion board for topics and questions relevant to the course material.
11. Be Realistic About When to Expect an Answer
The professor and other taking this course also work and have family obligations, which may prevent them from responding to posts right away. Be patient if you don’t get an answer to your post right away. If your question or comment goes unanswered longer than 3 days, ask politely if they’ve seen your post.