Hilliard City School District – Online Courses
Expectations for Netiquette and Academic Integrity
Netiquette, or Internet etiquette, are guidelines for maintaining civilized, professional and effective communication in online environments and email exchanges. Teachers and participants will demonstrate appropriate netiquette when interacting with each other. Written communication will be conducted using standard classroom English (not text language or slang).
Here are some guidelines to consider when completing assignments in your online course as well as when you are communicating with your classmates and teachers.
Know Your Context
- Instructors will set the tone and provide guidance/guidelines about what is expected.
- Though students are not sitting in a traditional classroom, they are still taking a course through the school district and should behave in a “school appropriate” manner at all times.
- Remember that culture influences communication style and practices. Stay open and ask questions. Avoid assumptions.
- Be aware of the district policy on academic integrity and cheating: Presenting someone else’s work as one’s own in order to obtain a grade or credit is considered to be cheating. This includes, but is not limited to, copying others assignments, quiz or test answers, and plagiarism/internet plagiarism. Students who violate this policy will receive zero credit for assignments or work involved and may be subject to further consequences by an administrator. (Taken from the District High School Handbook.)
Be Considerate and Expect the Same
- When posting in forums or collaborating with peers, remember there is a person behind the words. Ask for clarification before making judgement.
- Check your tone before you submit, publish, post and send.
- Avoid jokes and sarcasm. They often don’t translate well to the online environment.
- Keep your questions and comments relevant to the discussion topic. If another student posts a comment or question that is off topic, do NOT reply. The teacher will reply in private to the participant.
- Treat the other participants in the forums in a polite and respectful manner. Model the same standards of behavior online you would follow in a face-to-face discussion.
- Do not use ALL CAPS when posting as this is considered, “Shouting.” Do not “flame” others in the forums. Flaming is the “act of responding in a highly critical, sarcastic, or ridiculing manner.”
Know that Text has Permanence
- What you say online is difficult to retract later. Be smart!
- Consider your responsibility to yourself as an individual, the class as a group, and to the learning environment.
- If you are working collaboratively, agree on ground rules and expectations for online communication.
- Understand that district teachers and administrators reserve the right to remove posts that are not educational in nature and/or do not meet netiquette guidelines
Respect Privacy and Original Ideas
- One of the essential parts of a student’s education is developing “the ability to synthesize ideas by combining research, his/her own thoughts, and self-expression.” Part of developing this skill is learning to cite the sources of the information and to give credit where credit is due. This includes documenting the facts and ideas found through research. “Shortcutting this process is a form of academic misconduct called plagiarism and will rob students of valuable learning experiences.” (Adapted from The Ohio State University Policy on Plagiarism, 2013)
- There is a big difference between collaboration and copying. Working with another student to learn is collaboration. Giving answers to another student is copying. Copying another student’s answers (or giving your work to another student to copy) is also a form of plagiarism.
- When working on a challenging assignment in an online course, it can be tempting to look at outside websites to learn more. The internet is full of resources to help students to enrich their learning experiences. Using outside sites as a supplement to the content in the course can be acceptable (though you should start with asking the teacher). But, using outside sites to find answers to questions and to avoid the learning experience itself is not acceptable and can be considered another form of plagiarism.
- Plagiarism is not only unethical, it’s illegal. Cheating and plagiarism in an online course will not be tolerated. See the district policy above for more information.
- To be safe, always use quotation marks if you are referencing an outside source or responding to a specific point made by someone else. References to outside sources also require citations. That way there is no question about what you are claiming as your own words.