Netiquette Guide

Netiquette Guide

Using the online communication tools

Using online discussion forum


Start a new thread

If you want to say something which has not been said yet try starting a new tread. It helps the reader separate out the ideas It's especially when we go back later in the session to revising for tests etc. 

Reply to a message

When you're responding to someone's posting directly you might like to include all or part of the message you're replying to in your own message. Use the "reply" function to do this. 

Quote the original author

Remember you can cut out some of what will be included to keep the message short. Make sure you acknowledge the original author.

Replying privately

When you have something to say directly to the author that may not be interesting to the whole class reply just to that person using the "Forward" function. They will receive your message in their Vista email box. 

Marking messages as "read" or "unread"

When you click on a message it automatically gets tagged by Vista as "read". You can change this and select to have a read message marked as unread or visa-versa.

Select what you want to read

You can select to view all messages or only those which are new or "unread". If you select unread the others will be hidden but can be viewed by altering your selection.

Compile messages as text documents

When you are ready to read an online discussion in total, you can ask Vista to compile a number of messages by thread and click to download these as a text file to your desktop. Select the thread and click on the "Create Printable View" button.

Using e-mail


Use salutations

Start communications with a semi official letter convention, for example an introduction eg 'Dear Sally,....' and finishing with 'regards, Sandi'. This can be adapted once you get to know the writing style that the reader prefers.

Set priorities

Avoid marking all e-mails as high priority. If you use it sparingly it will have a greater effect when you really do need to mark it 'Highest Priority'

Before you e-mail your lecturer

While you lecturer does want to hear about issues be respectful of their time. Before you email them directly check if you have already been given the answer in your notes or if someone else has asked the same question in the discussion forum.

Using Chat


Raise your hand

When you want to speak you need to let the lecturer or moderator know. If the Handraising mode has been enabled clicking on this will signal the lecturer and put you in the queue. Otherwise you can send a question mark '?'.

Chats are logged

Some lecturers will want to save a 'chat' session so that it can be uploaded and read by students who were unable to attend. Make sure all of your chatting always abides by the university rules.

Start with a name

When your answering a specific question indicate the name of the original author, this will help prevent crossed lines. For example:

[Mary] What do you think of our campus?

[Alan] What do you think of the flooding in the US?

[Harry] I think it is wonderful.

           Oops! This is much better...

[Harry] John, it is wonderful.

[Harry] Mary, what an awful thing.

Using Instant Messaging or 'Who's Online?'


Send an invitation

Before you invite someone to 'chat' online with you, think about where they are and what they might be doing. If a friend is in the middle of a big assignment it might not be a good idea to disturb them.

Set your status

You can set your status so that you are Invisible or Visible/Unavailable, so that people can't bother you while you are working online by inviting you to chat.



Last reviewed: 17 November, 2014


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