In a regular classroom, students have many opportunities to interact with their professors and show that they are serious about their coursework.
By contrast, in an online course, professors can only see students’ grades and completed work; they cannot watch as students are concentrate on learning the course material, take notes, and discuss new concepts with their classmates.
Here are 8 ways you can show your professors that you’re serious about your coursework, even in a virtual environment:
- Email your professor at the beginning of the course to introduce yourself and express interest in the topics you will be learning.
- Participant frequently in the discussion boards. After you post once, check back in a few days to see if anyone has commented on your post. If so, respond to their post to further and deepen the discussion.
- Contact your professor whenever you have questions about your assignments. It’s always better to clarify instructions than to misunderstand them.
- Make sure that all emails to your professor are written properly and intelligently. Remember: Your emails are most likely your primary method of communication with your teacher. Take 60 seconds before you press “Send” to re-read your email and make sure it is grammatically correct, has no spelling mistakes, and includes capitalization and punctuation.
- If your professor doesn’t answer your email right away, be patient; do not pressure your teacher and demand a response. Teachers have lives too, and they are not always monitoring their email. If you don’t hear back from your professor after a few days, you can send a respectful follow-up email checking whether they have received your question.
- All contact with your professor should be in a respectful tone. Remember – you are not just texting or chatting with your friend!
- Make sure to always communicate respectfully with your classmates, too. Treating your classmates with respect demonstrates that you are a thoughtful person who takes work seriously.
- Do not plagiarize! Copying work from your friends or from online sources is cheating and totally unacceptable.
With a little bit of forethought, common sense, and respect, you can make a good impression on your professor even in a virtual setting.