Distance Learning Etiquette–Part B

Treat your fellow students with respect (Photo by CECAR – Climate and Ecosystems Change Adaptation R)

I began listing appropriate etiquette for the online classroom in my last post, but there’s room for more improvement.

5) Give the professor 24 hours to respond to your questions. The professor is not hanging out, iPhone in hand, waiting for it to buzz with your latest excited comment. He has a life that is completely separate from yours, and is not always online. He’s not Google. Don’t expect instant answers.

6) Don’t wait till the last minute to submit homework, exams, any required papers. Allow enough time for the unexpected freeze, crash, and other impediment.

7) Stick to easy to read fonts, like Times New Roman, at size 12. All work should be in black, and nothing should be in all caps. Put some thought into your message, and you won’t have to get creative with its appearance.

8) Follow the assigned format for papers. There is a reason that the professor said to use APA, and that is the format he expects to see.

9) Read the syllabus, read the assignment, read any notes that the professor has posted, pay attention to what other students have asked, to make sure that the question you were about to ask hasn’t already been answered.

10) Respond to classroom threads with meaningful, cogent thoughts. It’s the online equivalent of raising your hand in class, and it shows that you are interested in the course, paying attention, and learning enough to share with others.

11) Offer to help other students who are struggling, or form study groups if you need help yourself. This not only eases the professor’s load, it’ll make your distance learning experience smoother and more enjoyable if you share it with other people who are going through the same thing you are.

12) Learn the platform for the class, then study the pages the professor has created. That work is for your benefit, not his. He already knows the course and how he grades.

13) Don’t tell the professor that you submitted work that you haven’t. He isn’t stupid, and believe it or not, this isn’t the first time he’s heard that excuse.

14) Do not plagiarize. The professor has access to Google, too.

15) Do not be rude to other students, no matter how much they annoy you.

16) Take responsibility for your mistakes. If you mess up, turn work in late or not at all, own up to it. Everyone makes mistakes. The sign of maturity is acknowledging the error and learning from it.

17) Remember the Golden Rule: Treat the professor and the other students the way that you would like to be treated.

In conclusion, show pride in your work, show that your mama raised you up right, and don’t annoy the teacher. The guidelines that you learn to follow in class are the same sort of protocol that you will have to follow in the workplace after you earn your degree. You might as well learn them and practice them now, when failure doesn’t mean the end of your job.

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