Online “Netiquette” Guidelines All Students Should Know

               -the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group.
              -the correct or acceptable way of communicating on the Internet


There’s a time and a place for everything—BUT IN MOST SITUATIONS TYPING IN ALL CAPS IS INAPPROPRIATE. Most readers tend to perceive it as shouting and will have a hard time taking what you say seriously, no matter how intelligent your response may be. If you have vision issues—there are ways to adjust how text displays so you can still see without coming across as “yelling.”

2. Sarcasm can (and will) backfire

Sarcasm has been the source of plenty of misguided arguments online, as it can be incredibly difficult to understand the commenter’s intent. What may seem like an obvious joke to you could come across as off-putting or rude to those who don’t know you personally.  As a rule of thumb, it’s best to avoid sarcasm all together in an online classroom.

3. Attempt to find your own answer

For questions related to class structure such as due dates or policies, refer to your syllabus or take a closer look at the top of your course home page.  Relatively simple questions can usually be answered within seconds—which saves everyone time. If your questions remain unanswered after a bit of effort, feel free to bring them up with your instructor. Always keep in mind that asking a question that is clearly within the instructions will only tell your teacher that you are not fully reading the instructions.

4. Stop … grammar-time!

Always make an effort to use proper punctuation, spelling, and grammar. Trying to decipher a string of misspelled words frustrates the reader and distracts from the point of your message. Take the time to spell check any message you send and save everyone the headache. Also, always write properly, discussion forums are not text messages and should never be written out like one.
On the other hand, it’s important to be reasonable about others’ grammar mistakes. Nobody likes the grammar police scolding a classmate because he or she used “your” instead of “you’re”. If a classmate makes a simple mistake in a message that is otherwise coherent, give them a break.

5. Don’t get cute with text colors

While it may be tempting to write all messages in neon green, whoever is reading it may not appreciate it as much as you. Stick to the basic black text color—if you need to emphasize something in your sentence use bold or italicized words. This will help ensure everyone can easily read your message without acquiring a headache. (See how hard this was to read compared to the others!)

6. Brevity rules

Keep email messages short and to the point.  You don’t need to share your life story to ask for help with a problem—just focus on the essential information. This will ensure your question doesn’t get lost in the noise and saves time for everyone involved.

7. Don’t over share

Personal information is valuable to identity thieves, so try not to share more than is necessary. We’re not suggesting your classmates are criminals, but it’s good practice in general to be guarded when it comes to personal information.  If you feel your teacher is asking you to give information that you are not comfortable sharing with the teacher or the class please talk to that teacher or talk to the online coordinator, Gina Pavlovich (

8. Be kind

Communicating online is unique in that there tends to be a level of anonymity between the people who are interacting. This sometimes results in individuals being more impolite than they might be in person. In an online class, you might not have the complete anonymity that comes with using a screen name, but you likely won’t see your classmates face-to-face. Make a point to be respectful in your comments—even if you disagree or dislike someone’s stance on a topic.

Special Thanks to Will Erstad from Rasmussen College
For his full article please visit:


What I Wish Someone Told Me BEFORE Taking an Online Course

#1- Online Courses are NOT the easy way out! Opting for online courses over traditional courses is not the easy route for your education. It’s true that online courses offer you the flexibility to learn in your own time and space, but that doesn’t change the amount of work you put in. You still have the same amount of work—just without the formal classroom setting. You must make the time to do the work and not get distracted or behind.

#2- You need to know your learning style, what way do you learn best? People have different learning styles, so an advantage of online learning for one student may be a disadvantage for another. For example, if you like to ask questions during lectures and interact with your professor after class, online courses will be an adjustment for you. Seeking out help will be harder than just walking up to your teacher before or after class. You must be willing to reach out to your teacher via email, text, or phone call.

#3- You must work hard in the beginning to become comfortable with the technology. The first few weeks of your online course will probably be the hardest because not only are you learning the subject matter, you are also learning how to navigate the system, upload work, answer forums, etc. Don’t let this turn you away from learning online, just be ready for it and know that it will become easier. 

#4- Organize your time wisely! It’s your responsibility to take the initiative to keep up with your work when enrolled in online classes. It can be easy to let assignments slide and miss due dates because of the wiggle room and flexibility that come with online courses. Procrastination is a slippery slope and can affect your grade negatively. It’s important to stay organized and follow a schedule because it’s difficult to catch up once you fall behind. 

#5- Always submit your best work. Small assignments such as discussion forums are sometimes seen as ‘not important’ to students and they tend to only partially do the work or the work be messy, with a lot of errors. These small discussions are the way in which your teacher and classmates get to know you and how you feel about different topics. Always write properly, give thorough answers, and go in and respond to classmates to make sure you get full credit.

Thanks to Kristina Erikson from Rasmussen College
Her full article can be found at:

Niswonger Online and Hamblen County Schools

Hamblen County Schools- Understanding the Importance of Online Education

“Pavlovich said a wide variety of classes are offered through the Foundation, including AP classes, languages, physical education and computer science.

She said these classes don’t just teach the content, but also teach important college and career readiness tools such as time management, industry and soft skills.”

Read full article here:

Niswonger Online and NCAA


All courses taken with Niswonger Online have been approved by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). When completing your application to NCAA you must state which courses you took online and then give a school name. When asked for a school name you must write Niswonger Online. Putting anything else will cause the application process to be delayed.

Online Course Provider- Niswonger Online

Questions completing your NCAA Application?

NCAA Eligibility Center

Toll-Free Phone Number for Prospective Student-Athletes and Parents

877-262-1492 (U.S. and Canadian students except Quebec)

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday

Information about Niswonger Online



This site was created to help students with questions they may have when beginning their online course with Niswonger Online. Please scroll through the help videos (found here) for information on how to access your course, upload assignments, contact your teacher, see your grades, etc. If you would like to take an online course with the Niswonger Foundation please speak with your school liaison or counselor.

Any questions?