With classes being held online, keeping in contact with instructors is more important now than ever. Instructors have their own preferred way of communicating with students, so ask what works best for them. You’ll find that some are social media savvy and will accept direct messages via Twitter; others will give their phone number out in case of emergencies, while most want to be reached strictly through email. Here are a few ways to communicate with your college instructors.
Email is the best way to communicate with your college instructors. A few simple tips to keep in mind are to use your student email, greet them professionally, state which course you’re in, be direct and clear with your problem or question, thank them for their time, and don’t expect a response during weekends or after business hours. It is best to email instructors during business hours (8 am. to 5 p.m.), and they are more likely to respond quickly.
- CANVAS EMAIL
Canvas, SFCC’s learning management system, includes an email feature, so you can do all your schoolwork and communication in one place. Follow the same guidelines as stated above. Within this feature, you can email your instructors, classmates, or do a group email with both.
- SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECT MESSAGE
Be sure to ask your instructor their preference with social media messaging. Some may not mind at all, others may use only with high important communication, while others may strictly prohibit it. If your instructor gives permission to use social media direct messaging, then be sure to follow the guidelines stated above and be professional as possible.
- OFFICE HOURS
Instructors designate a portion of their schedule for “virtual office hours” during this time of social distancing. Most instructors post their office hours in their syllabi or in Canvas. If you are having issues with understanding a topic or assignment, popping in to your instructor’s “virtual office” is another way to communicate with him or her.
No matter how you’re communicating with instructors, make sure to be professional and respectful. Remember that everything online can be found, so beware of what you say. Proofread your email to ensure everything is spelled correctly and makes sense. Always use your instructor’s preferred method of communication and greet them with their preferred name. One final tip is to read the syllabus to find the answer to your question before reaching out to your instructor.
Written by Megan Spencer, Social Media and Digital Communications Coordinator at State Fair Community College.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Megan! I run State Fair Community College’s social media. I grew up with a creative passion and have always loved drawing, painting, and crafting. My educational background is in graphic design and marketing. I love to help people, which is one of the reasons I started writing these blogs for SFCC’s students. It’s about community!
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