In an in-person class, there are countless ways to communicate to your instructor and your peers that you are bright, conscientious, and invested in learning
- Be on time
- Be prepared with required materials
- Ask and answer questions
- Keep your phone silent and out of sight
In a synchronous online class, many of the above guidelines still apply. In addition, consider the following
- Keep your video turned on if possible
- Avoid multitasking on your phone or computer
In an asynchronous class, there may be fewer personal interactions that allow you to build relationships with your instructor, TA, and fellow students. Nevertheless, it is still important to reach out with questions, comments, and insights. In these instances, email may become one of the most important ways for you to communicate and create a positive impression.
In the video below, two UT professors discuss real-life emails from students and offer tips for professional communication.
To represent yourself well through email, follow these guidelines
- Keep your tone fairly formal
- Use the correct title for your instructor (Dr., professor, etc.)
- Identify your course and unique number
- Proofread your email before you hit send
- Consider the timing of your request—don’t expect a response on evenings or weekends
- Make sure to show gratitude for your professor or TA’s time
- Don’t email your entire class or reply all, unless you really mean it
- Conclude your message with your full name and EID
Your communications with your professor, TA, and classmates in email, chats, and discussion posts are all part of building relationships in an online class. When your professor reflects on your participation over the semester while determining final grades, these are things they may revisit. Professional communication today may open doors to internships, research opportunities, and letters of recommendation in the future.