Netiquette (“Internet etiquette”) is a set of rules and norms that facilitates respectful and efficient communication in an online environment. Instructors may use the Emory College Netiquette Document (below), or adapt the standards to fit their own course.

Emory College Netiquette Document

In general:

Treat online interactions as in-person interactions and be respectful of your instructors and other students.

When participating in online discussion boards:


  • Check grammar and spelling before posting on online discussion boards.
  • Make sure to credit others by citing your sources.
  • Choose standard fonts that are optimized for online reading (i.e. sans serif) and font sizes that are easily readable (i.e. size 12 and 14).
  • Be concise.


  • Avoid using sarcasm. The message can often come across as rude or offensive.
  • Avoid writing in all-caps. It can easily be misinterpreted as yelling.
  • Avoid using profanity or offensive language.
  • Avoid sharing private or sensitive information.
  • Avoid using slang or emoticons.

During synchronous class meetings

For instructors:

  • Consider the size of your class and how you want students to interact during the synchronous session
    • For example, in large classes, it is helpful for students to mute themselves and only unmute when they speak. But in smaller classes, you may prefer that students remain unmuted to ease conversation flow.

For students:

  • Please have your video on whenever it is possible. If you experience internet issues (e.g. low bandwidth), please communicate with your instructor in a timely manner.
  • Check your browsers and documents before sharing your screen to avoid sharing contents that are inappropriate for class.
  • Use virtual backgrounds to protect your privacy.
  • Dress appropriately as you would in a face-to-face class
  • In large classes, use the mute function when you are not talking.
  • Practice turn-taking. Wait until another person finishes to start talking.