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Distance Learning - The How To's of Courses

Netiquette Expectations

Always practice Internet Etiquette when communicating electronically. The purpose of communicating electronically in an online course is to share information.

  • Be respectful of other participants, their time, their bandwidth, and their opinions.
  • Remember that you are communicating with people who do not have the advantage of seeing your body language or hearing your voice inflections, and who may interpret your message differently than you intended.
    • Using all caps may be interpreted as shouting.
    • Use humor and sarcasm carefully (we can’t see the twinkle in your eye); add emoticons to provide a visual representation of your intent.
    • Keep your critiques constructive; antagonistic criticism is called “flaming” and may cause an unwanted reaction.
  • Remember that you are judged by the quality of your writing.
    • Spelling and grammar do count.
    • Be coherent and succinct.
    • Don’t plagiarize; respect copyrights.
    • Don’t depend on a single source when contributing new information from external resources.
    • Be professional.

Course Assignments

Asynchronous Meetings

Sending and Receiving email

The instructor(s) will respond to all inquiries, questions, and other electronic correspondence within a timely, but not necessarily immediate, manner. Most electronic communications will be answered within 24 hours. All email messages from the instructor(s) will be sent to the student’s Oglala Lakota College's email address. To avoid having your message mistakenly identified as SPAM, please identify the course in the subject line.

Individual Assignments & Projects

Students are expected to participate in weekly individual assignments. Each week will present to you in an Assignments link in the Moodle course the topic and content expectations of the assignment for the week.

Your assignments submitted will be in APA style with reference citations.

Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums are designed to facilitate asynchronous interactions about a particular thread or topic. You enter the discussion on your time schedule, read the postings, add comments, and introduce new material related to the topic. The purpose of a threaded discussion is to expand your knowledge through the collective research and comments on the subject. To be successful in online discussion forums, you need to visit the site frequently and become actively engaged in the process.

  • Research the topic and add constructive comments and information
  • Practice professional netiquette when communicating with others
  • Visit the discussion frequently
  • Stay on the subject
  • Share relevant experiences and external resources
  • Strive for quality more than quantity of postings
  • Include open ended questions in your postings to encourage dialog

All students are expected to participate in all Discussion Forums. Participation will be graded on the quality of the posting, the use of outside resources, sharing information from agencies and/or specific programs, and contributions to new knowledge.

Successful Online Discussions

Criteria Excellent Good Average Below Average Poor
Postings 5 postings, well distributed throughout the week 4 postings, well distributed throughout the week 3 postings, well distributed throughout the week 2 or less postings throughout the week No Postings throughout the week
Description of Contribution Use of Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation

Critical and/or creative contribution

Very clear that readings were understood and incorporated well into responses

Asks questions that extend the discussion and makes insightful, critical comments

Contributes new information and identifies the source
Use of Comprehension and Application

Readings were understood and incorporated into responses

Exhibits good insights and understanding of discussion question

Relates the issue to prior material covered in the course
Use of Knowledge

Postings are not on tract with readings

Repeats basic correct information related to discussion
Seemingly, no evidence that readings were understood or incorporated into the discussion

Didn’t do the readings
No Participation

Synchronous Meetings or Real Time Meetings

Students are expected to participate in the weekly synchronous meetings. Each class will be facilitated by the instructor and include student team presentations. All students are expected to actively participate in class discussions.

All assigned readings must be completed before the meeting.

Quizzes, Tests, Exams, Other Assessments

Quizzes, tests, exams and other assessments will be presented to the student during the course. These assessments will be clearly identified in Moodle with information about how and when the assessment will be accomplished.

Time Commitment and Weekly Interactions Requirements

To be successful in this online course, you must be willing to allocate sufficient time to access course materials, participate in online classes and discussion groups, and complete all of the assignments. Similar to traditional classroom courses, you will interact with the content, your teacher, and your classmates on at least a weekly basis through course assignments, synchronous meetings, and asynchronous discussion as indicated in this syllabus. During this course, you should plan on scheduling 12 to 15 hours per week.


We want to acknowledge Clemson University for the inspiration of these articles.

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