With much of our learning now happening in a virtual setting, follow these tips to get the most out of learning together online.

In general, when learning together online remember to:

  • Adhere to the same standards of behaviour online that you follow in real life.
  • Be polite and avoid bad language.
  • Acknowledge people’s contributions.
  • Respect other people’s point of view.
  • Be non-judgemental and supportive.
  • Be sensitive to cultural differences.

When you’re learning in synchronous online classrooms (eg using Zoom):

  • Mute your microphone when not speaking to reduce background noise.
  • Allow other speakers to finish speaking before contributing.
  • Make appropriate use of other communication functions such as chat, reactions, raise hand etc.
  • Login to Zoom using your MQ OneID so your name appears on the screen.
  • Find somewhere as quiet as possible.
  • Find some where with good lighting.
  • Use an appropriate Zoom background if you wish.
  • Be on time for your class.
  • Avoid multi-tasking.
  • Limit distractions around you such as social media, email and text messages ands turn off notifications.
  • Keep your camera on where possible.

When you’re participating in online discussion forums:

  • Check in on your online discussion boards regularly and actively participate to help build your online community.
  • Keep posts clear and concise to make it easier for others to read.
  • Stay on topic and start a new discussion thread with a subject heading if changing topics.
  • Re-read your messages before you send them.
  • Use capital letters only for specific purposes such as headings, otherwise it can seem like SHOUTING.
  • Use emoticons appropriately to give tone and visual meaning to written words.
  • Avoid posting when angry.
  • Never attack another member or post an emotionally charged contribution. This is considered ‘flaming’ and is not acceptable.
  • The rules of copyright and plagiarism apply to discussion groups. If you use someone else’s ideas, cite them appropriately. Do not share teaching materials or the content of discussions elsewhere (e.g. ‘study help’ or ‘study sharing’ sites).
  • Do not post material that is discriminatory, obscene, threatening or intimidating.

We can all contribute to building a safe and supportive online environment for everyone at Macquarie by following the Student Code of Conduct and Acceptable use of IT policy.


For more details, take a look at the Learning proper netiquette guide.

Download this information as a .pdf that you can share with your students and others.


Posted by Teche Editor

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