Confronting incivility in the online classroom can significantly benefit from spiritual approaches that address behaviors on a continuum of mild to aggressive. This may include the need to intervene when covert or overt threats occur. Electronic communications can lead to misperceptions and misunderstandings between students and faculty. Lack of understanding of diverse cultures, life experiences, and professional and spiritual histories can lead to behaviors that are perceived as intentionally hostile when, in fact, they are not. It is important in the online classroom to differentiate between the two and establish expected virtual classroom behaviors.
Kay Swartzwelder, PhD, RN, is an assistant clinical professor at Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a Family Nurse Practitioner. She is chair of the Ethical Decision-Making course at Drexel University.
Paul Clements, PhD, RN, is a full clinical professor at Drexel University and a Distinguished Fellow in the International Association of Forensic Nurses. He is certified as a Gang Specialist and in Danger Assessment. He oversees the forensics course at Drexel University.
Karyn Holt, PhD, RN, is a full clinical professor at Drexel University and Director of Online Quality. She is the chair of the Online Faculty Fellows and course chair for the research course.
Gary Childs, MS, Library Science, is the Health Sciences Liaison Librarian at Drexel University Libraries. He assists faculty and students in conducting effective searches through multiple databases.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Accepted by peer-review 7/9/2018.