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Interacting Online

Online discussions are a little bit different from discussions in your regular, face-to-face (sometimes called F2F) classroom. You won’t be able to have the same back-and-forth as you have in a classroom discussion. You won’t hear immediately from others on what they think about what you are saying. You will have to return to the discussion for a few days to see what everyone has to say.

Some of the differences in online discussions are positive. Because you can answer when you want, you are not put on the spot to respond to a tough question right away. You can take time to carefully think through what you want to say. And you don’t have to respond right away to someone you disagree with. You can take some time to think about why you disagree. That may allow you to state your view more respectfully.

In our online discussions, you should follow the same netiquette rules as you do for email. The number one rule is that real people, not computers, read your emails and comments.  Do not say anything that you would not say in person. Remember the ACCESS Acceptable Use Policy. Any inappropriate behavior, including cyberbullying, will not be tolerated. 

Beyond following the rules of netiquette, you should also follow some basic online privacy rules.
Keep identifying information private. This includes your cell number, your home address, and your birthday – anything that is uniquely connected to you. And certainly don’t post your D2L username or password.

Online discussions will feel unusual at first. But hang in there. The more you participate, the more comfortable you will get. You will also develop more of a community in your class. And even better, you will find even more motivation to succeed.