When we communicate online with others, hurt feelings can result if we are not careful. Last week, I experienced some of this in my current online doctorate class. I don’t believe my classmates meant to do this but nevertheless, I felt criticized after many hours of hard work and it caused me not to want to participate. So … this experience has made me even more sensitive as an online instructor to the written comments I make in the courses that I teach. My wife doesn’t like email for this very reason. She feels like it is much to easy to take written comments and misconstrue their meaning. We talk about this a lot as we respond to emails that we get from colleagues and friends. What do they actually mean? Do we need to read between the lines? These are a couple of questions that we ask ourselves as we debate this issue.
Well … as I was contemplating this dilemma, I found a resource that gives some good advice regarding how to communicate effectively online. Click here to check it out. I like the way the author, John Senor, has given pointers on proper ‘netiquette’. He has also shared many examples of ways to communicate social presence. His examples includes strategies for affective communication, interactive communication, and cohesive communication. I am going to continue to refer to his examples as I continue teaching and learning online.
Feel free to share any other tips that you might have so we can all benefit and become better communicators online.