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Professional Etiquette as an Online Student

Etiquette isn’t a set of ‘prescriptions for properness’ but merely the guidelines for doing things in ways that make people feel comfortable.
-Emily Post

If you are new to online learning, you may be unfamiliar with the rules of virtual etiquette. Fortunately, while virtual learning environments place more emphasis on written communication in the form of email and discussion board posts, many of the etiquette rules you follow in brick-and-more schools and workplaces still apply in online classrooms.

Like in-person professional etiquette, interacting with your virtual community in a professional manner helps:

Why Virtual Etiquette Matters

Lists 5 Rules

Professional Image

Maintain a Professional Image

Behaving professionally helps maintain your image as a reliable, dedicated student and Walden representative. It signals to others that you are open to opportunities for academic and professional development and networking opportunities.

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Demonstrate a Sense of Self-Respect

Practicing professional etiquette shows that you respect yourself and your professional or scholarly goals. This, in turn, helps garner the respect of those around you.

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Focus on Goals

Boost productivity

When peers, instructors, and staff behave in a professional manner, everyone is better able to focus on achieving their goals. Unprofessional behavior is distracting, demotivating, and discouraging.

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Improve Communication

Efficient and Effective Communication

Treating others with respect and responding to emails in a timely, courteous fashion facilitates more efficient, effective communication—a skill that is especially important in online environments, where sticking around after class to get assignment clarification from an instructor isn’t an option.

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Prioritize Respect and Consideration

Create an Environment of Respect

Practicing professional etiquette creates a respectful academic environment in which everyone can thrive. A setting which prioritizes respect and consideration for others ensures that all students, staff, and instructors feel safe, comfortable, and valued. In turn, cultivating an environment based on respect encourages everyone to participate, ask questions, and contribute to projects and conversations.

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To ensure that everyone—staff, students, and instructors—gets the most out of their Walden experience, we can all do our part to foster a virtual community based on cooperation and mutual respect.