VUSN Online Behavior

This page describes professional communication and behaviors for online communication and interaction (email, discussion board postings, chats, wikis, blogs) to ensure a forum for dynamic and engaged learning. The expectations for online behavior at VUSN may be described across 3 general areas: 1) Respect & Courtesy, 2) Participation & Collaboration, and 3) Presentation of Self. An inability to uphold Net Etiquette expectations may have repercussions related to Student Conduct.

Respect & Courtesy

Teaching and learning processes work best with free and open exchange of ideas, yet in an electronic setting, without the benefit of facial expressions, body language, or tonal cues, miscommunication and misunderstanding may occur. Behaviors that demonstrate respect and courtesy include:

  • Respecting diversity of opinion 

  • Welcoming dissenting opinions and interpretation without judgmental comments 

  • Respecting personal privacy and the privacy of others 

  • Adhering to the academic honesty policy
  • Creating and maintaining a culture of civility 


Participation & Collaboration

Active participation and collaboration in the online educational community enhances learning outcomes. Behaviors that demonstrate participation and collaboration include:

  • Preparing constructive, comprehensive, thoughtful responses to others 

  • Clarifying statements as necessary 

  • Discussing with faculty any discomfort with what someone else has written 

  • Completing and submitting group work in a timely fashion 

  • Preparing for discussions by reading all postings or communications before responding 

  • Sharing helpful information with all classmates 


Presentation of Self

Conduct in the online setting is as important as face‐to‐face interaction. Communication and social presence of an individual in a course contributes to the perception of his or her professionalism and competency by others. Behaviors that result in the best presentation of self include:

  • Authentic, honest, and kind communication 

  • Use of formal, clear, concise, appropriate language 

  • Use of proper titles to address others unless otherwise directed 

  • Careful consideration before use of emoticons, humor, sarcasm or jokes, use judiciously 

  • Composition of written communication, discussion board posts, or other on‐line assignments off‐line, before 
posting 

  • Re‐reading, proof reading, and editing communications and discussion board postings before uploading or 
sending 

  • Referencing and assigning appropriate credit to others’ work or posts