Communications classes online
If communication between students and professors is important in a face-to-face class, it’s downright critical in an online class. Without in-person, in-class nudges from profs, online students can quickly fall behind; some remain terminally behind.
The key to making online classes work? Continued conversations with your prof! Here are tips:
First, read your syllabus on the first day of class. Read it again, and e-mail your prof saying you’ve done so. This initial e-mail is a time to introduce yourself and ask specific questions about the course. Another question vital for your success: “Do you review work early? How early?”and add “How should I submit that? Dropbox? E-mail?”
Next, don’t wait until the first assignment is assigned to dive into Angel, Moodle, BlackBoard, etc. If you have a paper due in a week, click through content documents immediately, and take yourself through the steps to upload the work. If you’re confused, ask for help well before the deadline — when others bombard the prof with questions.
Finally, remember that at any time, your communication with your prof can expand beyond e-mail: Make an old-school phone call or, if you are within reasonable distance, a face-to-face appointment. You may eliminate six e-mail strings with one 15-minute conversation. And a call is a must if the prof isn’t responding to your e-mails in a timely manner.
Distance ed students usually juggle many responsibilities. Put “e-mail my professor” high on your to-do list. You’ll not only feel more satisfaction with the class and likely receive stronger grades, but you’ll have incredible practice for future online interactions with colleagues.
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Hi Karen! Some of my classes were online, and for some of them that required presentations, we used Adobe Connect web conferencing software: Yes, you would likely use your computer's microphone and/or webcam to speak to your professor and classmates. I thought it worked very well! Good luck! :)