Most in person classrooms have community expectations of behaviour that create a climate of respect and encourage a productive learning environment. These same expectations apply when learning online. However online communication comes with its own set of challenges--it can lack verbal and non-verbal cues such as tone, gestures, facial expressions and personal accountability that are a regular part of in person classroom environments.
Online video conferencing can feel very casual due to the fact that you are at home or in a less structured environment and some people may feel uncomfortable on camera. The casual environment, possible discomfort and absence of non-verbal cues can lead to misunderstandings in the online environment. It is important to recognize that the online classroom is in fact a classroom, and certain behaviors are expected when you communicate with both your peers and your instructors.
To reduce the occurrence of misunderstandings and to promote an online environment where students feel respected, it is important to consider behaviours for online learning. This code of conduct for online behaviour is often referred to as "netiquette" and is the practical expected behaviour for working virtually on the Internet.
In all your interactions, remember that there is a person behind the written post, who has feelings and can be hurt by what and how you interact with them. It is easier to say something online when you do not have to look the person in the eye, so don’t post anything that you would not say to the person face-to-face.