Dr. El-Najjar's DSC Website




Emergency Plan 

Main Differences Between Online and Regular Courses

Questions & Strategies

Ethics, Plagiarizing, & Cheating

Access Statement for Students with Disabilities

Withdrawal from the Course

Workforce Development



Dalton State College

Division of Social Sciences


Ten Points of


By Hassan A. El-Najjar




Teaching and learning courses online brought with it a set of new norms, which can be called internet etiquette, or netiquette. Here are some of them:  


1. Online courses require more computer and internet skills than regular courses. Therefore, for best results students need to be knowledgeable of these skills or at least willing to learn them from classmates and instructors.


2. Online course instructors are more facilitators of learning than teachers, in the traditional sense. Therefore, more autonomy is expected on the side of students; and more facilitation and guidance to learning than teaching on the side of instructors.


3. A lot of student-student and student-instructor communication is expected in online courses. Therefore, email messages and discussions should be brief and to the point; otherwise, they may be counterproductive. See Point # 10.


4. Any course syllabus is expected to be detailed and accurate enough to cover all areas of a course and to answer any potential questions from students. Therefore, students are expected to read syllabi carefully before they write to instructors asking about such issues as evaluation, tests, test dates, etc., which are usually stated clearly in an online syllabus.


5. Online classes constitute secondary groups, in the sociological sense. This means that communication should be formal. Email messages and discussions should be conducted with due respect to everybody in the group, particularly when expressing different viewpoints.


6. Offensive and obscene language or symbols should not be used. It is harassment, to say the least, and it is counterproductive to the learning process.


7. Treat all others online with courtesy and due respect, as if you're interacting with them in a face-to-face classroom setting.


8. Always remember that anything you write online cannot be erased or taken back once sent, it will be seen by many people and saved in many places.


9. A respectful and courteous atmosphere contributes to the success of the online learning process. It encourages people to  be forthcoming with their questions and input without fear of being insulted or hurt.


10. Netiquette is the highest and most refined form of etiquette because you don't see  the person you're interacting with and paying respect to. You're following it because it is nice to do so, irrelevant of who is at the recipient end.


       An example of a brief, clear, and courteous message should start with a greeting, mentioning the name of the recipient, then the message content, and finally a signature showing the first and last name of the sender if it is through Georgia View, and the class information if it is through DSConnect. 




Hi Dr. El-Najjar,


The message content ....................



Your first and last name

Sociology 1101-030, Online