It is important to realise that chat rooms and the other communication tools in your site are part of your unit of study (uos). This means that there are standards of appropriate conduct online, just as there are in a tutorial or laboratory situation. These online standards of behaviours are called netiquette.

Like any sort of communication, online communication depends on participants speaking a similar language and showing each other a similar level of respect. It is particularly important to be clear and polite in your written speech as the usual non-verbal methods of communication do not carry across into text. Using the occasional emoticon or paying attention to grammar and spelling can help clarify the meaning of your responses. Your fellow students or lecturers may not appreciate conversations becoming informal or going off-topic.

Students are expected to show each other mutual respect at all times. The university has a policy for dealing with students who engage in defamatory or offensive behaviour. You can download a copy of the ICT resources policy part of which is stated below:

"All Users will be lawful, efficient, economical and ethical in their use of the University's ICT Resources, which are provided to create, preserve, transmit and apply knowledge through teaching, research, creative works and other forms of scholarship."

If you are unsure about what is appropriate in a discussion, it is always best to ask your tutor or lecturer personally for clarification.